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Here I will not at present implore your aid, O Roman knights—you whose privileges are attacked by this prosecution,—before I implore you, O senators, whose good faith towards this order of knights is at stake; that good faith which has been often experienced before, and which has been lately proved in this very cause. For when—when that most virtuous and admirable consul Cnaeus Pompeius made a motion with respect to this very inquiry—some, but very few, unfavourable opinions were delivered, which voted that prefects, and scribes, and all the retinue of magistrates were liable to the provisions of this law, you—you yourselves, I say—and the senate, in a very full house, resisted this; and although at that time, on account of the offences committed by many men, people's minds were inflamed so that even innocent people were in danger, still, though you could not wholly extinguish its unpopularity, at all events you would not allow fuel to be added to the existing fire.

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