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[9] Now as for your saying, Fannius, that so great merit is ascribed to me—merit such as I neither admit nor claim —you are very kind; but it seems to me that your estimate of Cato is scarcely high enough. For either no man was wise—which really I think is the better view—or, if anyone, it was he. Putting aside all other proof, consider how he bore the death of his son!1 remembered the case of Paulus, and I had been a constant witness of the fortitude of Gallus, but their sons died in boyhood, while Cato's son died in the prime of life when his reputation was assured.

1 Cicero admired the stoical parent (e.g. Fabius, in C.M. 12 Cato, here and in C.M. 84), but on the death of his only daughter about eighteen months before this essay was written Cicero's grief was unrestrained.

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