Can I ever appear grateful enough to Cnaeus Pompeius, who said, not only among you who all were of the same opinion, but also before the whole Roman people, that the safety of the republic had been preserved by me, and was inseparably connected with mine? who recommended my cause to the wise, and taught the ignorant, and at the same time checked the wicked by his authority, and encouraged the good; who not only exhorted the Roman people to espouse my cause, but even entreated them to do so, as if he were speaking for a brother or a parent; who, at a time when he was forced to keep within his house from fear of contests and bloodshed, begged even of the preceding tribunes to propose and carry a law respecting my safety; who in a colony lately erected, where he himself was discharging the duties of a magistrate in it, where there was no bribed interrupter, declared that the privilegium 1 passed against me was violent and cruel, confirming that declaration by the authority of most honourable men, and by public letters, and, being the chief man there, gave his opinion that it was becoming to implore the protection of all Italy for my safety; who, when he himself had always been a most firm friend to me, laboured also to make all his own friends also to me.
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THE SPEECH OF M. T. CICERO AFTER HIS RETURN. ADDRESSED TO THE SENATE.
1 “A Privilegium signified an enactment that had for its object a single person, which is indicated by the form of the word privae res, being the same as singulae res. It might be beneficial to the party to whom it referred, or not; but it is generally used by Cicero in the unfavourable sense.”—Smith, Dict. Ant. p. 500, v. Lex. “In the time of the republic it was not allowed to pass or to propose such a law.”—Riddle, v. Privilegium. But I do not know his authority for such a statement.
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