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Forgive, but verify

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During the Gallic Wars, Julius Caesar captured a young enemy captain named Dumnorix. Caesar planned to execute him, but then Dumnorix’s brother Divitiacus visited Caesar and pled for his brother’s life. Caesar took Divitiacus’s hand and comforted him. Next he called Dumnorix before him. Caesar summarized the charges against him, cautioned him to engage in no future activities that would arouse suspicion, and pardoned him.

Then Caesar did something else. He charged spies with keeping an eye on Dumnorix to make sure that he lived up to the agreement.

Lesson: Keep watching the “other side” after negotiating an agreement to make sure they live up to their end of the deal.

—Adapted from Caesar’s Commentaries on the Gallic and Civil Wars, Julius Caesar, El Paso Norte Press.

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