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After the consul had said what he wanted to say, one of those who were appealing to the tribunes-Sp. Ligustinus-begged the consul and the tribunes to allow him to say a few words to the Assembly.  They all gave him permission, and he is recorded to have spoken to the following effect: "Quirites, I am Spurius Ligustinus, a Sabine by birth, a member of the Crustuminian tribe. My father left me a jugerum of land and a small cottage in which I was born and bred, and I am living there today.  As soon as I came of age my father gave me to wife his brother's daughter. She brought nothing with her but her personal freedom and her modesty, and together with these a fruitfulness which would have been enough even in a wealthy house.  We have six sons and two daughters. Four of our sons wear the toga virilis, two the praetexta, and both the daughters are married.  I became a soldier in the consulship of P. Sulpicius and C. Aurelius. For two years I was a common soldier in the army, fighting against Philip in Macedonia; in the third year T. Quinctius Flamininus gave me in consideration of my courage the command of the tenth company of the hastati.  After Philip and the Macedonians were vanquished and we were brought back to Italy and disbanded, I at once volunteered to go with the consul M. Porcius to Spain.  Men who during a long service have had experience of him and of other generals know that of all living commanders not one has shown himself a keener observer or more accurate judge of military valour. It was this commander who thought me worthy of being appointed first centurion in the hastati.  Again I served, for the third time, as a volunteer in the army which was sent against Antiochus and the Aetolians. I was made first centurion of the principes by Manius Acilius. After Antiochus was expelled and the Aetolians subjugated we were brought back to Italy.  After that I twice took service for a year at home. Then I served in Spain, once under Q. Fulvius Flaccus and again under Ti. Sempronius Gracchus. I was brought home by Flaccus amongst those whom, as a reward for their courage, he was bringing home to grace his triumph.  I joined Tiberius Gracchus at his request. Four times, within a few years, have I been first centurion in the triarii; four-and-thirty times have I been rewarded for my courage by my commanders; I have received six civic crowns.  I have served for twenty-two years in the army and I am more than fifty years old. But even if I had not served my full time and my age did not give me exemption, still, P. Licinius, as I was able to give you four soldiers for one, namely, myself, it would have been a right and proper thing that I should be discharged.  But I want you to take what I have said simply as a statement of my case.  So far as anyone who is raising troops judges me to be an efficient soldier, I am not going to plead excuses.  What rank the military tribunes think that I deserve is for them to decide; I will take care that no man shall surpass me in courage; that I always have done so, my commanders and fellow-campaigners bear witness. And as for you, my comrades, though you are only exercising your right of appeal, it is but just and proper that as in your early days you [15??] never did anything against the authority of the magistrates and the senate, so now, too, you should place yourselves at the disposal of the senate and the consuls and count any position in which you are to defend your country as an honourable one."
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