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12. [37]

I will just, O Caecilius, say this much familiarly to you about yourself, forgetting for a moment this rivalry and contest of ours. Consider again and again what your own sentiments are, and recollect yourself; and consider who you are, and what you are able to effect. Do you think that, when you have taken upon yourself the cause of the allies, and the fortunes of the province, and the rights of the Roman people, and the dignity of the judgment-seat and of the law, in a discussion of the most important and serious matters, you are able to support so many affairs and those so weighty and so various with your voice, your memory, your counsel, and your ability? [38] Do you think that you are able to distinguish in separate charges, and in a well-arranged speech, all that Caius Verres has done in his quaestorship, and in his lieutenancy, and in his praetorship, at Rome, or in Italy, or in Achaia, or in Asia Minor, or in Pamphylia, as the actions themselves are divided by place and time? Do you think that you are able (and this is especially necessary against a defendant of this sort) to cause the things which he has done licentiously, or wickedly, or tyrannically, to appear just as bitter and scandalous to those who hear of them, as they did appear to those who felt them? [39] Those things which I am speaking of are very important, believe me. Do not you despise this either; everything must be related, and demonstrated, and explained; the cause must be not merely stated, but it must also be gravely and copiously dilated on. You must cause, if you wish really to do and to effect anything, men not only to hear you, but also to hear you willingly and eagerly. And if nature kind been bountiful to you in such qualities, and if from your childhood you had studied the best arts and systems, and worked hard at them;—if you had learnt Greek literature at Athens, not at Lilybaeum, and Latin literature at Rome, and not in Sicily; still it would be a great undertaking to approach so important a cause, and one about which there is such great expectation, and having approached it, to follow it up with the requisite diligence; to have all the particulars always fresh in your memory; to discuss it properly in your speech, and to support it adequately with your voice and your faculties. [40] Perhaps you may say, What then? Are you then endowed with all these qualifications?—I wish indeed that I were; but at all events I have laboured with great industry from my very childhood to attain them. And if I, on account of the importance and difficulty of such a study have not been able to attain them, who have done nothing else all my life, how far do you think that you must be distant from these qualities, which you have not only never thought of before, but which even now, when you are entering on a stage that requires them all, you can form no proper idea of, either as for their nature or as to their importance?

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