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[45] That which, the year before, his brother Metellus and the senate, which even then was unanimous, had refused, and in the most rigorous manner rejected with one voice and one mind, Cnaeus Pompeius being the first to declare his opinion; (so greatly, after the dissensions of the nobles of which we are now reminded, were circumstances disturbed and altered;) that which his brother when consul opposed being done,—which his kinsman and companion, a most illustrious man, who had refused to speak in his favour when he was accused, had utterly prevented,—was now effected for him, owing to the dissensions of the nobles, by that man as consul, who, of all others, was bound to be his greatest enemy; and he said that he had done it by the advice of that man whose authority no one could repent having followed. A most shameful and grievous firebrand was thrown into the republic. Your authority was aimed at; and the dignity of the most honourable orders in the city, and the unanimity of all virtuous men, and in short, the entire constitution of the state. For these things were certainly attacked when that flame kindled at that time was directed against me, who had been the principal investigator of these matters. I bore the brunt of the attack, and I alone suffered on behalf of my country; but still I bore it so that you, while you were surrounded by the same flames, saw me wounded first and burning, as it were, in your defence.

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