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8. [17]

But why are we speaking so long about one enemy; and about that enemy who now avows that he is one; and whom I now do not fear, because, as I have always wished, a wall is between us; and are saying nothing about those who dissemble, who remain at Rome, who are among us? Whom, indeed, if it were by any means possible, I should be anxious not so much to chastise as to cure, and to make friendly to the republic; nor, if they will listen to me, do I quite know why that may not be. For I will tell you, O Romans, of what classes of men those forces are made up, and then, if I can, I will apply to each the medicine of my advice and persuasion.

[18] There is one class of them, who, with enormous debts, have still greater possessions, and who can by no means be detached from their affection to them. Of these men the appearance is most respectable, for they are wealthy, but their intention and their cause are most shameless. Will you be rich in lands, in houses, in money, in slaves, in all things, and yet hesitate to diminish your possessions to add to your credit? What are you expecting? War? What! in the devastation of all things, do you believe that your own possessions will be held sacred? do you expect an abolition of debts? They are mistaken who expect that from Catiline. There may be schedules made out, owing to my exertions, but they will be only catalogues of sale. Nor can those who have possessions be safe by any other means; and if they had been willing to adopt this plan earlier, and not, as is very foolish, to struggle on against usury with the profits of their farms, we should have them now richer and better citizens. But I think these men are the least of all to be dreaded, because they can either be persuaded to abandon their opinions, or if they cling to them, they seem to me more likely to form wishes against the republic than to bear arms against it.

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