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Lucius Opimius, that most gallant consul never addressed either the senate or the people concerning Publius Popillius. Not only did Caius Marius, who was his enemy, never say a word to them about Quintus Metellus, but even the man who succeeded Marius, Marcus Antonius, a most eloquent man, and his colleague Aulus Albinus, both abstained from all mention of him. But the consuls of last year were continually urged to bring forward a motion in my case; but they, unwilling to appear to be doing so out of interested motives, (because the one was my kinsman, and I had defended the other on a trial for his life,) and fettered by the agreement which they had made about the provinces, endured for the whole of that year the complaints of the senate, the grief of all good men, and the groans of Italy. But on the first of January, after the orphaned republic had implored the good faith of the consul as her legitimate guardian, Publius Lentulus, the consul, the parent and god of our safety, and life, and fortune, and memory, and name, as soon as he had discharged the solemn duties of religion, thought that there was no human business which ought to occupy him before mine.

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