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[42] Should I, if I were to see you and Gabinius both nailed to a cross, feel greater rejoicing at the laceration of your bodies, than I do at the tearing to pieces of your reputations? Surely not: for there is no punishment imaginable, which, owing to some accident or other, even virtuous and brave men may not have inflicted on them. And this is what even your Greek followers of pleasure say; men whom I wish you would listen to in the spirit in which they deserve to be listened to; you would never have immersed yourself in such a vortex of wickedness. But you listen to them in brothels, in scenes of adultery, in reveling and drunkenness.

But they themselves those very men who define evil by pain, and good by pleasure say that the wise man even if he were shut up in Phalaris's bull and roasted by fire being placed under him would still say that it was pleasant and would not allow himself to be moved the least from his assertion. They insist upon it that the power of virtue is so great that it is absolutely impossible for a virtuous man ever to be otherwise than happy.

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