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[26] Poetry has risen to the heights of glory, thanks to the efforts of poets so far apart as Homer and Virgil, and oratory owes its position to the genius of Demosthenes and Cicero. Finally, whatever is best in its own sphere must at some previous time have been non-existent. But even if a man despair of reaching supreme excellence (and why should he despair, if he have talents, health, capacity and teachers to aid him?), it is none the less a fine achievement, as Cicero1 says, to win the rank of second or even third.

1 Or. i. 4.

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load focus Latin (Harold Edgeworth Butler, 1922)
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