Though neither a fluent speaker nor bold pleader, in a very few years he was at the head of his profession.
That brutal assault cost Sumner three years of heroic struggle to restore his shattered health - years during which Massachusetts loyally re-elected him, in the belief that in the Senate chamber his vacant chair was the most eloquent pleader for free speech and resistance to slavery.
Cicero had a perfect mastery of all weapons wielded by a pleader in Rome.
It is due to them that the Romans of the day are living figures to us, and that Cicero, in spite of, or rather in virtue of his frailties, is intensely human and sympathetic. The letters to Atticus abound in the frankest selfrevelation, though even in the presence of his confessor his instinct as a pleader makes him try to justify himself.
In his early days he was famous as a pleader, and his knowledge of Roman law is reflected in parts of his writings.