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[2] But still, if there he any one who thinks that Postumus's conduct, whether it proceeded from a vain hope, or from a not sufficiently considered calculation or (to use the strongest possible terms) from pure rashness deserves to be blamed, I will not object to his entertaining that opinion. But I do beg this, that as he sees that his designs have been punished with the greatest cruelty by fortune himself, he will not think it necessary to add any additional bitterness to the ruin with which he is already overwhelmed. It is quite enough not to help to set men up again who have fallen through imprudence; but to press down those already fallen, or to increase their impetus when falling, is unquestionably most barbarous. Especially, O judges, when this principle is almost implanted by nature in the race of man, that those men who are of a family which considerable glory has already distinguished, should with the greatest eagerness pursue the same path as their ancestors, seeing that the virtue of their fathers is celebrated in the recollection and conversation of all men; just as not only did Scipio imitate Paullus in his renown gained by military exploits; not only did his son imitate Maximus; but his own son also imitated Decius in the devotion of his life, and the exact manner of his death. Let small things, O judges, be compared in this way to great things.


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