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[9] If, on the other hand, each living thing has its own peculiar virtue, in which it excels the rest or, at any rate, the majority (I may instance the courage of the lion and the swiftness of the horse), it may be regarded as certain that the qualities in which man excels the rest are, above all, reason and powers of speech. Why, therefore, should we not consider that the special virtue of man lies just as much in eloquence as in reason? It will be with justice then that Cicero1 makes Crassus say that “eloquence is one of the highest virtues,” and that Cicero himself calls it a virtue in his letters to Brutus2 and in other passages.

1 de Or. III. xiv. 55.

2 Lost.

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