If you did this at random, and had but little regard for the interests of the republic, then they are right to endeavour to guide your party spirit by their wisdom; but if you at that time showed more foresight in the affairs of the state than they did; if you, in spite of their resistance, by yourselves conferred dignity on the empire, safety on the whole world; then at last let those noble men confess that both they and all other men must obey the authority of the universal Roman people. And in this Asiatic and royal war, not only is that military valour required, which exists in a singular degree in Cnaeus Pompeius, but many other great virtues of mind are also demanded. It is difficult for your commander-in-chief in Asia, Cilicia, Syria, and all the kingdoms of the inland nations, to behave in such a manner as to think of nothing else but the enemy and glory. Then, even if there be some men moderate and addicted to the practice of modesty and self-government, still, such is the multitude of covetous and licentious men, that no one thinks that these are such men. It is difficult to tell you, O Romans, how great our unpopularity is among foreign nations, on account of the injurious and licentious behaviour of those whom we have of late years sent among them with military command.
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THE SPEECH OF M. T. CICERO IN DEFENCE OF THE PROPOSED MANILIAN LAW.
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