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20. [59]

It remains for me to speak of the authority and opinion of Quintus Catulus; who, when he asked of you, if you thus placed all your dependence on Cnaeus Pompeius, in whom you would have any hope, if anything were to happen to him, received a splendid reward for his own virtue and worth, when you all, with almost one voice, cried out that you would, in that case, put your trust in him. In truth he is such a man, that no affair can be so important, or so difficult, that, he cannot manage it by his wisdom, or defend it by his integrity, or terminate it by his valour. But, in this case, I entirely differ from him; because, the less certain and the less lasting the life of man is, the more ought the republic to avail itself of the life and valour of any admirable man, as long as the immortal gods allow it to do so. [60] But let no innovation be established contrary to the precedents and principles of our ancestors.— I will not say, at this moment, that our ancestors in peace always obeyed usage, but in war were always guided by expediency, and always accommodated themselves with new plans to the new emergencies of the times. I will not say that two most important wars, the Punic war and the Spanish war, were put an end to by one general; that two most powerful cities, which threatened the greatest danger to this empire— Carthage and Numantia, were destroyed by the same Scipio. I will not remind you that it was but lately determined by you and by your ancestors, to rest all the hopes of the empire on Caius Marius, so that the same man conducted the war against Jugurtha, and against the Cimbri, and against the Teutones. But recollect, in the case of Cnaeus Pompeius himself, with reference to whom Catulus objects to having any new regulations introduced, how many new laws have been made with the most willing consent of Quintus Catulus.

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load focus Notes (J. B. Greenough, G. L. Kittredge)
load focus Latin (Albert Clark, Albert Curtis Clark, 1908)
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