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[24] And if I had no other duty before me for all the rest of my life, except to appear sufficiently grateful to the very originators and prime movers and authors of my safety, still I should think the period that remains to me of life too brief; I will not say for requiting, but even for enumerating the kindnesses which have been shown to me. For, when shall I, or when will all my relations, be able to show proper gratitude to this man and to his children? What memory, what force of genius, what amount of deference and respect will be a fit return for such numerous and immense services? He was the first man who held out to me the promise and faith of a consul when I was overwhelmed and miserable; he it was who recalled me from death to life, from despair to hope, from destruction to safety. His affection for me, his zeal for the republic, was so great, that he kept thinking how he might not only relieve my calamity, but how he might even make it honourable. For what could be more honourable, what could happen to me more creditable, than that which you decreed on his motion, that all people from all Italy, who desired the safety of the republic, should come forward for the sole purpose of supporting and defending me, a ruined and almost broken-hearted man? So that the senate summoned the citizens and the whole of Italy to come from all their lands and from every town to the defence of one man, with the very same force of expression which had never been used but three times before since the foundation of Rome, and at those times it was the consul who used it in behalf of the entire republic, addressing himself to those only who could hear his voice.

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