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The tribunes of the people, O Romans, would have pursued a more convenient course, if they had said to my face, in my presence, the things which they allege to you concerning me. For then, they would have given you an opportunity for a more just decision in the matter, and they would have followed the usages of their predecessors, and have maintained their own privileges and power. But, since they have shunned any open contest and debate with me at present, now, if they please, let them come forth into the assembly which I have convened, and though they would not come forward willingly when challenged by me, let them at least return to it now that I openly invite them back.

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