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[34] This I do say:—If this war, and this enemy,—if that king was a proper object for contempt the senate and Roman people would not have thought it one to be undertaken with such care, nor would they have carried it on for so many years, nor would the glory of Lucullus be as great as it is. Nor would the Roman people have entrusted the care of putting a finishing stroke to it to Cnaeus Pompeius; though of all his battles, numberless as they are, that appears to me to have been the most desperate and to have been maintained on both sides with the greatest vigour, which he fought against the king. And when Mithridates had escaped from that battle, and had fled to the Bosphorus, a place which no army could approach, still, even in the extremity of his fortunes, and as a fugitive, he retained the name of a king. Therefore, Pompeius himself; having taken possession of his kingdom, having driven the enemy away from all his coasts, and from all his usual places of resort still thought that so much depended on his single life, that though, by his victory, he had got possession of everything which he had possessed, or had approached, or even had hoped for, still he did not think the war entirely over till he drove him from life also. And do you, O Cato, think lightly of this man as an enemy, when so many generals warred against him for so many years, with so long a series of battles? when, though driven out and expelled from his kingdom, his life was still thought of such importance, that it was not till the news arrived of his death, that we thought the war over? We then say in defence of Lucius Murena, that as a lieutenant in this war he approved himself a man of the greatest courage, of singular military skill, and of the greatest perseverance; and that all his conduct at that time gave him no less a title to obtain the consulship than this forensic industry of ours gave us.


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