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What then are we to think? Had not Scipio and Caesar any slaves? To be sure they had, but they abided by the laws of their country, and lived with moderation, preserving the habits sanctioned by the constitution. For it is the conduct of prudent men to abide by those ancient institutions under which they and their ancestors have lived, and made war upon and subdued the rest of the world; and yet, at the same time, if there were any useful or honourable institutions among the people whom they have subdued, those they take for their imitation at the same time that they take the prisoners. And this was the conduct of the Romans in olden time; for they, maintaining their national customs, at the same time introduced from the nations whom they had subdued every relic of desirable practices which they found, leaving what was useless to them, so that they should never be able to regain what they had lost. Accordingly they learnt from the Greeks the use of all machines and engines for conducting sieges; and with those engines they subdued the very people of whom they had learnt them. And when the Phœnicians had made many discoveries in nautical science, the Romans availed themselves of these very discoveries to subdue them. And from the Tyrrhenians they derived the practice of the entire army advancing to battle in close phalanx; and from the Samnites they learnt the use of the shield, and from the Iberians the use of the javelin. And learning different things from different people, they improved upon them: and imitating in everything the constitution of the Lacedæmonians, they preserved it better than the Lacedæmonians themselves; but now, having selected whatever was useful from the practices of their enemies, they have at the same time turned aside to imitate them in what is vicious and mischievous.

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