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[37] For what was there in the case of Quintus Metellus similar to mine? Although all good men considered that he had right on his side, yet the senate did not espouse his cause by any public resolution, nor did any separate body of men by any private vote, nor had all Italy undertaken the advocacy of his cause by their decrees. For he had shown greater regard for some sort of private credit of his own, than for the manifest welfare of the republic, when he alone had refused to swear to a law which had been passed by means of violence; and lastly, his great bravery appeared to be exercised with this qualification, that his own credit for consistency was not to be sacrificed to his affection for his country. But he had to contend against the invincible army of Caius Marius; he had for an enemy Caius Marius, the preserver of his country, now for the sixth time administering the affairs of the republic as consul. He had to contend against Lucius Saturninus, now for a second time tribune of the people; a vigilant man, and one who in a popular cause conducted himself, if not with moderation, at all events with due regard to the prejudices of the people, and in a very disinterested spirit. He yielded, lest, being conquered by brave men, he should fall disgracefully, or lest, if conqueror himself, he should deprive the republic of many gallant citizens.

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