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This election had been stopped through the good sense and courage of the senate, but another followed where more important interests were at stake and more numerous and more influential competitors appeared.  This was the election to the censorship. Those who were standing were L. Valerius Flaccus, the two Scipios, Publius and Lucius, Cnaeus Manlius Vulso, L. Furius Purpurio as patricians, and the following plebeians: M. Porcius Cato, M. Fulvius Nobilior, the two Sempronii, Tiberius and Sempronius Longus, and M. Sempronius Tuditanus.  The contest was a very animated one, but patricians and plebeians alike, even those belonging to the noblest families, were far outstripped by M. Porcius.  This man possessed such ability and force of character that in whatever station he had been born he must have been a fortunate and successful man. In no department of business, whether public or private, was the requisite knowledge lacking to him, he was equally versed in the affairs of town and country life.  Some men have reached the highest posts through their knowledge of law, others through eloquence, others again through their military reputation. This man's versatile genius made him at home in all alike, so much so indeed that whatever he took up you would say that he was born for that one thing alone.  In war he was a most doughty fighter and distinguished himself in many famous battles, and when he reached the highest posts he proved himself a consummate general. In peace, if you consulted him you found him a most able lawyer, and if he had to plead in a case, a most eloquent one.  Nor was he one of those whose power of speech lasts only during their lifetime, and of whose eloquence no memorial survives; his eloquence is still alive and vigorous, enshrined in writings on all sorts of subjects.  There are a great number of speeches made in his own defence and in defence of others, and also against others, for he harassed his opponents equally whether he was prosecuting or defending.  Personal quarrels-far too many of them-kept him busy, and he himself took care to keep them alive, so that it would be difficult to say who displayed the greater energy, the nobility in trying to suppress him, or he in worrying the nobility.  He was undoubtedly a man of a rough temper and a bitter and unbridled tongue, absolute master of his passions, of inflexible integrity, and indifferent alike to wealth and popularity.  He lived a life of frugality capable of enduring toil and danger, with a mind and body tempered almost like steel, which not even old age that weakens everything could break.  In his eighty-sixth year he defended himself in a lawsuit and published his speech, in his ninetieth year he brought Ser. Galba to trial before the people.
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