But is Sittius himself (for I must not desert the cause of my old friend and host) a man of such a character, or of such a family and such a school as to allow us to believe that he wished to make war on the republic? Can we believe that he, whose father when all our other neighbours and borderers revolted from us behaved with singular duty and loyalty to our republic, should think it possible himself to undertake a nefarious war against his country? A man whose debts we see were contracted not out of luxury but from a desire to increase his property which led him to involve himself in business and who, though he owed debts at Rome, had very large debts owing to him in the provinces and in the confederate kingdoms and when he was applying for them he would not allow his agents to be put in any difficulty by his absence but preferred having all his property sold and being stripped himself of a most beautiful patrimony, to allowing any delay to take place in satisfying his creditors. And of men of that sort I never, O judges, had any fear when I was in the middle of that tempest which afflicted the republic. The sort of men who were formidable and terrible were those who clung to their property with such affection that you would say it was easier to tear their limbs from them than their lands but Sittius never thought that there was such a relationship between him and his estates, and therefore he cleared himself, not only from all suspicion of such wickedness as theirs, but even from being talked about not by arms, but at the expense of his patrimony.
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THE ORATION OF M. T. CICERO IN DEFENCE OF PUBLIUS SULLA.
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