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[75]

Do not, then, O Cato, blame with too great severity of language the principles of our ancestors, which facts, and the length of time that our power has flourished under them, justify. There was, in the time of our ancestors, a learned man of the same sect an honourable citizen, and one of high rank, Quintus Tubero. He, when Quintus Maximus was giving a feast to the Roman people, in the name of his uncle Africanus, was asked by Maximus to prepare a couch for the banquet as Tubero was a son of the sister of the same Africanus. And he, a most learned man and a Stoic, covered for that occasion some couches made in the Carthaginian fashion, with skins of kids, and exhibited some Samian 1 vessels, as if Diogenes the Cynic had been dead, and not as if he were paying respect to the obsequies of that godlike Africanus; a man with respect to whom Maximus, when he was pronouncing his funeral panegyric on the day of his death, expressed his gratitude to the immortal gods for having caused that man to be born in this republic above all others, for that it was quite inevitable that the sovereignty of the world must belong to that state of which be was a citizen. At the celebration of the obsequies of such a man the Roman people was very indignant at the perverse wisdom of Tubero,


1 Samian vessels were made of an inferior earthenware; Carthaginian couches were very low and narrow.

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