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[3] For he himself regarded lying as part of a man's excellence and ability, made no account of his agreements with the senators, and did not intend to keep them; whereas he knew that Metellus was a steadfast man, who thought with Pindar that ‘truth is the foundation of great excellence,’ 1 and he therefore wished to bind him beforehand by a statement to the senate that he would not take the oath, and then have his refusal to do so plunge him into a hatred on the part of the people that could never be removed. And this was what came to pass.

1 Fragment 221 (Boeckh).

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