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9.

Servius adopted the civil service, full of anxiety and annoyance, of answering, writing, cautioning; he learned the civil law; he worked early and late, he toiled, he was visible to every one, he endured the folly of crowds, he tolerated their arrogance, he bore all sorts of difficulties, he lived at the will of others, not at his own. It is a great credit a thing pleasing to men, for one man to labour hard in that science which will profit many. [20]

What has Murena been doing in the meantime? He was lieutenant to Lucius Lucullus, a very brave and wise man, and a consummate general; and in this post he commanded an army, he fought a battle, he engaged the enemy, he routed numerous forces of the enemy, he took several cities, some by storm, some by blockade. He traversed that populous and luxurious Asia you speak of; in such a manner as to leave in it no trace either of his avarice or of his luxury; in a most important war he so behaved himself that he performed many glorious exploits without the commander-in-chief; but the commander-in-chief did nothing without him. And all these things, although I am speaking in the presence of Lucius Lucullus, yet that we may not appear to have a licence of invention granted us by him on account of the danger we are in, we are borne witness to in the public despatches; in which Lucius Lucullus gives him such praise as no ambitious nor envious commander-in-chief could have given another while dividing with him the credit of his exploits. [21]

There is in each of the rivals the greatest honesty, the greatest worth; which I, if Servius will allow me, will place in equal and in the same panegyric. But he will not let me; he discusses the military question; he attacks the whole of his services as lieutenant; he thinks the consulship is an office requiring diligence and all this daily labour. “Have you been,” says he, “so many years with the army? you can never have been near the forum. Have you been away so long? and then, when after a long interval you arrive, will you contend in dignity with those who have made their abode in the forum?” First of all, as to that assiduity of ours, O Servius, you know not what disgust, what satiety, it sometimes causes men; it was, indeed, exceedingly advantageous for me myself that my influence was in the sight of all men; but I overcame the weariness of me by my own great labour; and you, perhaps, have done the same thing, but yet a regret at our absence would have been no injury to either of us. [22]

But to say no more of this, and to return to the contest of studies and pursuits; how can it be doubted that the glory of military exploits contributes more dignity to aid in the acquisition of the consulship, than renown for skill in civil law? Do you wake before the night is over in order to give answers to those who consult you? He has done so in order to arrive betimes with his army at the place to which he is marching. The cook-crow wakens you, but the sound of the trumpet rouses him: you conduct an action; he is marshaling an army: you take care lest your clients should be convicted; he lest his cities or camp be taken. He occupies posts, and exercises skill to repel the troops of the enemy, you to keep out the rain; he is practised in extending the boundaries of the empire, you in governing the present territories; and in short, for I must say what I think, preeminence in military skill excels all other virtues.


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