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But the Orchomenians, who were neighbors and rivals of the Chaeroneians, hired a Roman informer to cite the city by name, as though it were an individual person, and prosecute it for the murder of the Roman soldiers who had been slain by Damon. The trial was held before the praetor of Macedonia (the Romans were not yet sending praetors to Greece), [2] and the city's advocates invoked the testimony of Lucullus. Lucullus, when the praetor wrote to him, testified to the truth of the matter, and so the city escaped capital condemnation. Accordingly, the people who at that time were saved by him erected a marble statue of Lucullus in the market-place beside that of Dionysus. And we, though many generations removed from him, think that his favour extends even down to us who are now living; [3] and since we believe that a portrait, which reveals character and disposition is far more beautiful than one which merely copies form and feature, we shall incorporate this man's deeds into our parallel lives, and we shall rehearse them truly. The mere mention of them is sufficient favour to show him; and as a return for his truthful testimony he himself surely would not deign to accept a false and garbled narrative of his career. [4]

We demand of those who would paint fair and graceful features that, in case of any slight imperfection therein, they shall neither wholly omit it nor yet emphasize it, because the one course makes the portrait ugly and the other unlike its original. In like manner, since it is difficult, nay rather perhaps impossible, to represent a man's life as stainless and pure, in its fair chapters we must round out the truth into fullest semblance; [5] but those transgressions and follies by which, owing to passion, perhaps, or political compulsion, a man's career is sullied, we must regard rather as shortcomings in some particular excellence than as the vile products of positive baseness, and we must not all too zealously delineate them in our history, and superfluously too, but treat them as though we were tenderly defending human nature for producing no character which is absolutely good and indisputably set towards virtue.

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