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[98]

To encounter voluntarily such great grief of mind, and by oneself to endure, while the city is standing, those things which, when a city is taken, befall the conquered citizens; to see oneself torn from the embrace of one's friends, one's houses destroyed, one's property plundered; above all for the sake of one's country, to lose one's country itself to be stripped of the most honourable favours of the Roman people, to be precipitated from the highest rank of dignity, to see one's enemies in their robes of office demanding to conduct one's funeral before one's death has been properly mourned;—to undergo all these troubles for the sake of saving one's fellow-citizens, and this with such feelings that you are miserable while absent, not being as wise as those philosophers who care for nothing, but being as attached to one's relations and to oneself as the common feelings and rights of men require,—that is illustrious and godlike glory. For he who with a calm spirit for the sake of the republic abandons those things which he has never considered dear or delightful is not showing any remarkable good will towards the republic but he who abandons those things for the sake of the republic from which he is not torn without the greatest agony, his country is dear to that man and he prefers her safety to his affection for his own relations.


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