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[81] Wherefore, if you will undertake the advocacy of your family renown, it will behoove me not only to be silent about your monuments, but even to be glad that the fortune of Publius Africanus, though dead, is such, that his honour is defended by those who are of the same family as himself, and that it requires no adventitious assistance. But if your friendship with that man is an obstacle to you,—if you think that this thing which I demand of you is not so intimately connected with your duty,—then I, as your locum tenens, will succeed to your office, I will undertake that business which I have thought not to belong to me. Let that proud aristocracy give up complaining that the Roman people willingly gives, and at all times has given, honours to new and diligent men. It is a foolish complaint that virtue should be of the greatest influence in that city which by its virtue governs all nations. Let the image of Publius Africanus be in the houses of other men; let heroes now dead be adorned with virtue and glory. He was such a man, he deserved so well of the Roman people, that he deserves to be recommended to the affection, not of one single family, but of the whole state. And so it partly does belong to me also to defend his honours with all my power, because I belong to that city which he rendered great, and illustrious, and renowned; and especially, because I practice, to the utmost of my power, those virtues in which he was preeminent,—equity, industry, temperance, the protection of the unhappy, and hatred of the dishonest; a relationship in pursuits and habits which is almost as important as that of which you boast, the relationship of name and family.

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load focus Notes (J. B. Greenough, G. L. Kittredge)
load focus Latin (Albert Clark, William Peterson, 1917)
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