Marcus Tullius Cicero is one of the great lights of history, because his genius and influence were directed to the conservation of what was most precious in civilization among the cultivated nations of antiquity. He was not a warrior, like so many of the Roman Senators, but his excellence was higher than that of a conqueror. "He was doomed, by his literary genius, to an immortality," and was confessedly the most prominent figure in the political history of his time, next to Caesar and Pompey. His influence was greater than his power, reaching down to our time; and if his character had faults, let us remember that he was stained by no crimes and vices, in an age of violence and wickedness. Until lately he has received almost unmixed praise. The Fathers of the Church revered him. To Erasmus, as well as to Jerome and Augustine, he was an oracle.In presenting this immortal benefactor, I have no novelties to show. Novelties are for those who seek to upturn the verdicts of past ages by offering something new, rather than what is true...
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