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19. [42]

Wherefore, if you do require to be reminded at all by me, O judges, (which, in truth, you do not,) it seems to me I may, without presuming too much on my authority, give you this gentle hint,—that you ought to consider that those men are carefully to be preserved by you, whose valour, and energy, and good fortune in military affairs have been tried and ascertained. There has been a greater abundance of such men in the republic than there is now; and when there was, people consulted not only their safety, but their honour also. What, then, ought you to do now, when military studies have become obsolete among our youth, and when our best men and our greatest generals have been taken from us, partly by age, and partly by the dissensions of the state and the ill fortune of the republic? When so many wars are necessarily undertaken by us, when so many arise suddenly and unexpectedly, do you not think that you ought to preserve this man for the critical occasions of the republic, and to excite others by his example to the pursuit of honour and virtue? [43] Recollect what lieutenants Lucius Julius, and Publius Rutilius, and Lucius Cato, and Cnaeus Pompeius have lately had in war. You will see that at that time there existed also Marcus Cornutus, Lucius Cinna, and Lucius Sulla, men of praetorian rank, and of the greatest skill in war; and, besides them, Caius Marius, Publius Didius, Quintus Catulus, and Publius Crassus, men not learned in the science of war through books, but accomplished and renowned by their achievements and their victories. Come now, cast your eyes over the senate house, look thoroughly into every part of the republic; do you see no possible event in which you may require men like those? or, if any such event should arise, do you think that the Roman people is at this moment rich in such men? And if you carefully consider all these circumstances, you will rather, O judges, retain at home, for yourselves and for your children, a man energetic in undertaking the toils of war, gallant in encountering its dangers, skillful in its practice and its discipline, prudent in his designs, fortunate and successful in their accomplishment, than deliver him over to nations most hostile to the Roman people, and most cruel, by condemning him.

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