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9. [19]

There is another class of them, who, although they are harassed by debt, yet are expecting supreme power; they wish to become masters. They think that when the republic is in confusion they may gain those honours which they despair of when it is in tranquillity. And they must, I think, be told the same as every one else,—to despair of obtaining what they are aiming at; that in the first place, I myself am watchful for, am present to, am providing for the republic. Besides that, there is a high spirit in the virtuous citizens, great unanimity, great numbers, and also a great body of troops. Above all that, the immortal gods will stand by and bring aid to this invincible nation, this most illustrious empire, this most beautiful city, against such wicked violence. And if they had already got that which they with the greatest madness wish for, do they think that in the ashes of the city and blood of the citizens, which in their wicked and infamous hearts they desire, they will become consuls and dictators and even kings? Do they not see that they are wishing for that which, if they were to obtain it, must be given up to some fugitive slave, or to some gladiator? [20]

There is a third class, already touched by age, but still vigorous from constant exercise; of which class is Manlius himself; whom Catiline is now succeeding. These are men of those colonies which Sulla established at Faesulae, which I know to be composed, on the whole, of excellent citizens and brave men; but yet these are colonists, who, from becoming possessed of unexpected and sudden wealth, boast themselves extravagantly and insolently; these men, while they build like rich men, while they delight in farms, in litters, in vast families of slaves, in luxurious banquets, have incurred such great debts, that, if they would be saved, they must raise Sulla from the dead; and they have even excited some countrymen, poor and needy men, to entertain the same hopes of plunder as themselves. And all these men, O Romans, I place in the same class of robbers and banditti. But, I warn them, let them cease to be mad, and to think of proscriptions and dictatorships; for such a horror of these times is ingrained into the city, that not even men, but it seems to me that even the very cattle would refuse to bear them again.

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load focus Notes (J. B. Greenough, G. L. Kittredge)
load focus Latin (Albert Clark, Albert Curtis Clark, 1908)
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