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[15] I, indeed, think on the contrary, O judges, that while Cnaeus Pompeius excels in every kind and variety of accomplishment, even of those which are not easily learnt without the most perfect leisure for their study, his most extraordinary credit and his most admirable knowledge consists in his thorough acquaintance with the treaties, and agreements, and conditions of other peoples, kings, and foreign nations, in short, with the entire laws of war and peace; unless, indeed, you mean to make out that the things which our books teach us while in the shade and at our leisure, Cnaeus Pompeius was incapable of learning, either from books, when he was in the enjoyment of peace, or from the actual transactions, when he was engaged in the business of the state.

It is my opinion, O judges,1 this action is more to be attributed to the fault of the times than of the individual. Nor will I say any more about a trial of so scandalous a description. For it is the stain and disgrace of this age to envy virtue, and to seek to crush the budding flower of worth and dignity. In truth, if Cnaeus Pompeius had lived five hundred years ago,

1 Orellius considers the text here as hopelessly corrupt, I have translated the reading of Hottomann, which Orellius approves, and gives in his note.

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    • E. T. Merrill, Commentary on Catullus, 62
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