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52. For that the feelings which he had cherished from the beginning towards Aratus had an admixture of shame and fear, was made plain by what he did to him at the last. For he desired to kill Aratus, and thought he could not be a free man while Aratus lived, much less a tyrant or a king. In a violent way, however, he made no attempt upon him, but ordered Taurion, one of his officers and friends, to do this in a secret way, preferably by poison, when the king was absent. [2] So Taurion made an intimate companion of Aratus, and gave him poison, not of a sharp and violent sort, but one of those which first induce gentle heats in the body, and a dull cough, and then little by little bring on consumption. The thing was not hidden from Aratus, but since it was no use for him to convict the criminal, he calmly and silently drank his cup of suffering to the dregs, as if his sickness had been of a common and familiar type. [3] However, when one of his intimate companions who was with him in his chamber saw him spit blood, and expressed surprise, ‘Such, my dear Cephalo,’ said Aratus, ‘are the wages of royal friendship.’

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