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[27] You mistake if you think that the senate approves of what is said by me, but that the inclinations of the people are different. All men, who wish to be safe themselves, will follow the authority of the consul, a man uninfluenced by evil passion; free from all suspicion of guilt; cautious in danger; not fearful in contest. But if any one of you cherishes a hope that he may be able in a turbulent state of affairs to promote his own interests, first of all, let him give up hoping any such thing as long as I am consul. In the next place, let him take me myself as a proof—(me whom he sees now consul, though born only in the equestrian rank)—of what course of life most easily conducts virtuous men to honour and dignity. But if you, O conscript father, assist me with your zeal and energy in defending our common dignity, then, in truth, I shall accomplish that of which our republic is at present in the greatest possible need. I shall make the authority of this order, which existed so long among our ancestors, appear after a long interval to be again restored to the republic.

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