Wherefore, not only is the military glory which you slight to be preferred to your formulas and legal pleas; but even the habit of speaking is far superior, as regards the attainment of honours, to the profession to the practice of which you devote yourself. And therefore many men appear to me to have preferred this at first; but afterwards, being unable to attain eminence in this profession, they have descended to the other. Just as men say, when talking of Greek practitioners, that those men are flute-players who cannot become harp-players, so we see some men, who have not been able to make orators, turn to the study of the law. There is great labour in the practice of oratory. It is an important business, one of great dignity, and of most exceeding influence. In truth, from you lawyers men seek some degree or advantage; but from those who are orators they seek actual safety. In the next place, your replies and your decisions are constantly overturned by eloquence, and cannot be made firm except by the advocacy of the orator; in which if I had made any great proficiency myself; I should be more sparing while speaking in its praise; but at present I am saying nothing about myself; but only about those men who either are or have been great in oratory.
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THE ORATION OF M. T. CICERO IN DEFENCE OF L. MURENA, PROSECUTED FOR BRIBERY.
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