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[11] But who would say that all has not gone wonderfully well with him? For unless he had wished to live for ever—a wish he was very far from entertaining—what was there, proper for a human being to wish for, that he did not attain? The exalted expectation which his country conceived of him in his childhood, he at a bound, through incredible merit, more than realized in his youth. Though he never sought the consulship, he was elected consul twice—the first time1 before he was of legal age, the second time at a period seasonable for him, but almost too late for the safety of the commonwealth. And he overthrew the two cities that were the deadliest foes of our empire and thereby put an end not only to existing wars, but to future wars as well. Why need I speak of his most affable manners, of his devotion to his mother, of his generosity to his sisters,2 of his kindness to his relatives, [p. 121] of his strict integrity to all men? These things are well known to you both. Moreover, how dear he was to the State was indicated by the grief displayed at his funeral. How, then, could he have gained any advantage by the addition of a few more years of life? For even though old age may not be a burden—as I remember Cato, the year before he died, maintained in a discourse with Scipio and myself—yet it does take away that freshness which Scipio kept even to the end.

1 Scipio was elected consul the first time in 147 B.C., at the age of thirty-eight, when a candidate for the aedileship, and given command of the war against Carthage. He was elected again in 134 B.C. (though not a candidate), to conduct the siege against Numantia and to end a war which had gone on unsuccessfully for the Romans for eight years.

2 Scipio's mother, Papiria, had been divorced by Paulus, and Scipio gave her the legacy received by him from his adoptive grandmother, Aemilia, wife of Scipio the Elder. After his mother's death he gave the same property to his sisters.

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