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Many other men have excelled in different kinds of virtues. Cato, however, who was the first of the Porcian family,1 is generally thought to have been an example of the three greatest of human endowments, for he was the most talented orator, the most talented general, and the most talented politician;2 all which merits, if they were not perceptible before him, still shone forth, more refulgently even, in my opinion, in Scipio Æmilianus, who besides was exempted from that hatred on the part of many others under which Cato laboured:3 in cones- quence of which it was, what must be owned to be a peculiarity in Cato's career, that he had to plead his own cause no less than four and forty times;4 and yet, though no person was so frequently accused, he was always acquitted.

1 See B. xiv. c. 5.

2 Val. Maximus adds, that he was the best lawyer of his time.—B.

3 We meet with a passage in Livy, B. xxxix. c. 44, illustrative of this view of Cato's character. In Cicero's treatise, De Senectute, where Cato bears a prominent part, frequent allusion is made to the strictness and even severity of his principles, although the general impression which we re- ceive of his character and manners is highly interesting, and, upon the whole, not unamiable.—B.

4 Plutarch says, that nearly fifty impeachments were brought against him, the last when he was eighty-six years of age.—B.

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