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[72] The tribunes of the people enter on their office, who had all pledged themselves to bring forward a motion concerning me. The chief of them is bought over by my enemies, whom men, laughing at him amid their indignation, were used to call Gracchus; since it was the fate of the city, that even that weasel escaped out of the brambles should attempt to gnaw a hole in the republic. But the other fellow, Serranus,—not the Serranus1 from the plough, but the one from the deserted granary of Gavius Olelus, where you might count2 the grains,—being inserted among the Atilii Calatini, on a sudden, after the names had been entered on the tablets, withdrew his name from the list.

The first of January arrives; you are better acquainted with what ensued than I am; however, I say what I have heard. You know what a numerous attendance of the senate there was, what expectation of the people, what a concourse of deputies from all Italy; how great too was the virtue and activity and authority of Publius Lentulus, the consul; and also how very moderate towards me was the behaviour of his colleague, who, though he said that he had taken a dislike to me on account of a disagreement between us on the affairs of the republic, still said that he would give it up to the conscript fathers and to the critical times of the republic.

1 A name of Cincinnatus, given to him also by Virgil:—“ Velte sulco Serrane serentem.
”—Aen. vi. 845.

2 There is probably some corruption here in the text. “Calata comitia, a kind of comitia for the consecration of a priest; hence calatis granis for comitiis, facete. Cic.”—Riddle, Lat. Dict. in voc. Calo. There seems a sort of pun on Calatus and Calatinus.

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