Is there, then, any object of such value or any
advantage so worth the winning that, to gain it, one
should sacrifice the name of a “good man” and the
lustre of his reputation? What is there that your
so-called expediency can bring to you that will compensate for what it can take away, if it steals from
you the name of a “good man” and causes you to
lose your sense of honour and justice? For what
difference does it make whether a man is actually
transformed into a beast or whether, keeping the
outward appearance of a man, he has the savage
nature of a beast within?
Again, when people disregard everything
that is morally right and true, if only they may
secure power thereby, are they not pursuing the
same course as he1
who wished to have as a father-inlaw 2
the man by whose effrontery he might gain
power for himself? He thought it advantageous to
secure supreme power while the odium of it fell
upon another; and he failed to see how unjust to
his country this was, and how wrong morally. But3
the father-in-law himself used to have continually
upon his lips the Greek verses from the Phoenissae,
which I will reproduce as well as I can—awkwardly,
it may be, but still so that the meaning can be
If wrong may e'er be right, for a throne's sake
Were wrong most right:—be God in all else feared!
From A. S. Way's translation.
Our tyrant deserved his death for having made an
exception of the one thing that was the blackest
crime of all.