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If there is any natural ability in me, O judges,—and I know how slight that is; or if I have any practice as a speaker,—and in that line I do not deny that I have some experience; or if I have any method in my oratory, drawn from my study of the liberal sciences, and from that careful training to which I admit that at no part of my life have I ever been disinclined; certainly, of all those qualities, this Aulus Licinius is entitled to be among the first to claim the benefit from me as his peculiar right. For as far as ever my mind can look back upon the space of time that is past, and recall the memory of its earliest youth, tracing my life from that starting-point, I see that Archias was the principal cause of my undertaking, and the principal means of my mastering, those studies. And if this voice of mine, formed by his encouragement and his precepts, has at times been the instrument of safety to others, undoubtedly we ought, as far as lies in our power, to help and save the very man from whom we have received that gift which has enabled us to bring help to many and salvation to some.


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