For I think that these four qualities are indispensable in a great general,—knowledge of military affairs, valour, authority and good fortune. Who, then, ever was, or ought to have been, better acquainted with military affairs than this man? who, the moment that he left school and finished his education as a boy, at a time when there was a most important war going on, and most active enemies were banded against us, went to his father's army and to the discipline of the camp; who, when scarcely out of his boyhood, became a soldier of a consummate general,—when entering on manhood, became himself the general of a mighty army; who has been more frequently engaged with the enemy, than any one else has ever disputed with an adversary; who has himself, as general, conducted more wars than other men have read of; who has subdued more provinces than other men have wished for; whose youth was trained to the knowledge of military affairs, not by the precepts of others, but by commanding himself,—not by the disasters of war, but by victories,—not by campaigns, but by triumphs. In short, what description of war can there be in which the fortune of the republic has not given him practice? Civil war, African war, Transalpine war, Spanish war, promiscuous war of the most warlike cities and nations, servile war, naval war, every variety and diversity of wars and of enemies, has not only been encountered by this one man, but encountered victoriously; and these exploits show plainly that there is no circumstance, in military practice which can elude the knowledge of this man.
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THE SPEECH OF M. T. CICERO IN DEFENCE OF THE PROPOSED MANILIAN LAW.
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