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[12] Many are the remarkable things I have observed in that great man, but nothing more striking than the manner in which he bore the death of his distinguished son, a former consul. The funeral oration delivered by him on that occasion is in general circulation, and, when we read it, what philosopher does not appear contemptible? Nor was it merely in public and under the gaze of his fellow-citizens that he was great, but he was greater still in the privacy of his home. What conversation! What maxims! What a knowledge of ancient history! What skill in augural law! He had also read much, for a Roman, and knew by heart the entire history, not only of our own wars, but of foreign wars as well. I was, at that time, as eager to profit by his conversation as if I already foresaw what, in fact, came to pass, that, when he was gone, I should have no one from whom to learn.

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load focus Introduction (William Armistead Falconer, 1923)
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