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Not so, if you would reason with your heart as I do with mine. Weigh this first—whether you think that anyone would [585] choose to rule amid terrors rather than in unruffled peace, granted that he is to have the same powers. Now I, for one, have by nature no yearning to rule as a king rather than to do kingly deeds, and neither does any man I know who has a sound mind. [590] For now I attain all everything from you without fear, but, if I were ruler myself, I would have to do much that went against my own pleasure.

How, then, could royalty be sweeter to me to have than painless rule and influence? I am not yet so misguided [595] that I desire other honors than those which bring profit. Now, every man has a greeting for me; now, all that have a request of you crave to speak with me, since in me lies all their hope of success. Why then should I give up these things and take those others? [600] No mind will become false while it is wise. No, I am no lover of such a policy, and if another put it into action, I could never bear to go along with him. And, in proof of this, first go to Pytho, and ask whether I brought a true report of the oracle. [605] Then next, if you have found that I have planned anything in concert with the soothsayer, take and slay me, by the sentence not of one mouth, but of two—by my own no less than yours. But do not assume my guilt on unproven inference. It is not just to judge bad men good at random, [610] or good men bad. I think that casting off a true friend is for a man like casting away the life in his own bosom, which he most loves. You will surely learn about these affairs in time, since time alone reveals a just man. [615] But you can discern a bad man even in one day alone.

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