There are two times at which the decisions of our fellow-citizens about us are looked for with anxiety,—one when our honours, and the other when our safety is at stake. Honours have been given to few men with such good-will on the part of the Roman people as I have experienced. No one has ever been restored to safety with such extraordinary zeal on the part of all the citizens as I have. But what men think of you we have already had experience when you were a candidate for honour; and now that your safety is at stake, we are in expectation of what we shall see. However, not to compare myself with these the leading men of the state, who are here to give their countenance to Publius Sestius by their presence, but merely to compare myself to one, the most impudent and vilest of men, I will just ask you, O Vatinius,—you the most arrogant of all men, and also the most hostile to me,—whether you think it was better and more desirable for this state, for this republic, for this city, for these temples, and for the treasury, and for the senate-house, and for these men whom you see around us, and their property, fortunes, and children,—whether you think it was better and more desirable for all the rest of the citizens, and for the temples of the gods, and for the auspices, and for the religious rites and observances of the city, that I should have been born as a citizen in this city, or that you should? When you have answered me this question, either so impudently that men will hardly he able to keep their hands off you, or in so melancholy a manner as to burst that inflated neck and throat of yours; after that, reply to me from memory to these questions which I am going to put to you.
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THE SPEECH OF M. T. CICERO AGAINST PUBLIUS VATINIUS; CALLED ALSO, THE EXAMINATION OF PUBLIUS VATINIUS.
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