The orator then, whom I am concerned to form,
shall be the orator as defined by Marcus Cato, “a good
man, skilled in speaking.”1
But above all he must
possess the quality which Cato places first and which
is in the very nature of things the greatest and most
important, that is, he must be a good man. This is
essential not merely on account of the fact that, if
the powers of eloquence serve only to lend arms to
crime, there can be nothing more pernicious than
eloquence to public and private welfare alike, while
I myself, who have laboured to the best of my ability
to contribute something of value to oratory, shall have
rendered the worst of services to mankind, if I forge
these weapons not for a soldier, but for a robber.
But why speak of myself?