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Wherefore, if only life be granted me, as far as I can I will defend the state from the wickedness and insidious designs of those men. I promise you this, O Romans, with good faith; you have entrusted the republic to a vigilant man, not to a timid one; to a diligent man, not to an idle one. [101] I am consul; how should I fear an assembly of the people? How should I be afraid of the tribunes of the people? How should I be frequently or causelessly agitated? How should I fear lest I may have to dwell in a prison, if a tribune of the people orders me to be led thither? for I, armed with your arms, adorned with your most honourable ensigns, and with command and authority conferred by you, have not been afraid to advance into this place, and, with you for my backers, to resist the wickedness of man; nor do I fear lest the republic, being fortified with such strong protection, may be conquered or overwhelmed by those men. If I had been afraid before, still now, with this assembly, and this people, I should not fear. For who ever had an assembly so well inclined to hear him while advocating an agrarian law, as I have had while arguing against one? if, indeed, I can be said to be arguing against one, and not rather upsetting and destroying one. [102] From which, O Romans, it may be easily understood that there is nothing so popular, as that which I, the consul of the people, am this year bringing to you; namely, peace, tranquillity and ease. All the things which when we were elected you were afraid might happen, have been guarded against by my prudence and caution. You not only will enjoy ease,—you who have always wished for it; but I will even make those men quiet, to whom our quiet has been a source of annoyance.

In truth, however, power, riches, are accustomed to be acquired by them out of the tumults and dissensions of the citizens. You, whose interest consists in the votes of the people, whose liberty is based on the laws, whose honours depend on the courts of justice and on the equity of the magistrates, and whose enjoyment of your properties depends on peace, ought to preserve tranquillity by every means. [103] For if those men who, on account of indolence, are living in tranquillity, still take pleasure in their own base indolence; you, if in the calm quiet with which you govern fortune, you think such a condition as you enjoy better, should maintain it diligently; not as one that has been acquired by laziness, but as one that has been earned by virtue. 1 And I, by the unanimity which I have established between myself and my colleague, have provided against those men whom I knew to be hostile to my consulship both in their dispositions and actions. I have provided against everything; and I have sought to recall those men to their loyalty. I have also given notice to the tribunes of the people, to try no disorderly conduct while I am consul. My greatest and firmest support in our common fortunes, O Romans, will be, if you for the future behave, for the sake of it, to the republic in the same manner as you have this day behaved to me in this most numerous assembly, for the sake of your own safety. I promise you most certainly, and pledge myself to manage matters so that they who have envied the honours which I have gained, shall at last confess, that in selecting a consul you all showed the greatest possible foresight.

1 This and the next sentence are given up as corrupt by every one. Many different readings have been proposed; and I have endeavoured to extract what appears to have been Cicero's meaning from them, keeping as closely as possible to the text of Orellius.

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