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[3]

However, let it not be thought, because one whose life is ended is the theme of my praise, that these words are meant for a funeral dirge.1 They are far more truly the language of eulogy. In the first place the words now applied to him are the very same that he heard in his lifetime. And, in the second place, what theme is less appropriate to a dirge than a life of fame and a death well-timed? What more worthy of eulogies than victories most glorious and deeds of sovereign worth?


1 The reference is to the ceremonial hymns sung at or after funerals, which of course contained much that would not have been said or sung in the hero's life-time.

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