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9.

[21] Here who, O Romans can there be so obstinate against the truth, so headstrong, so void of sense, as to deny that all these things which we see, and especially this city, is governed by the divine authority and power of the immortal gods? Forsooth, when this answer had been given, that massacre, and conflagration, and ruin was prepared for the republic; and that, too, by profligate citizens, which, from the enormity of the wickedness, appeared incredible to some people, you found that it had not only been planned by wicked citizens, but had even been undertaken and commenced. And is not this fact so present that it appears to have taken place by the express will of the good and mighty Jupiter, that, when this day, early in the morning, both the conspirators and their accusers were being led by my command through the forum to the Temple of Concord, at that very time the statue was being erected? And when it was set up and turned towards you and towards the senate the senate and you yourselves saw everything which had been planned against the universal safety brought to light and made manifest.

[22] And on this account they deserve even greater hatred and greater punishment, for having attempted to apply their fatal and wicked fire, not only to your houses and homes, but even to the shrines and temples of the Gods. And if I were to say that it was I who resisted them, I should take too much to myself and ought not to be borne. He—he, Jupiter, resisted them, He determined that the Capitol should be safe, he saved these temples, he saved this city, he saved all of you. It is under the guidance of the immortal gods, O Romans, that I have cherished the intention and desires which I have, and have arrived at such undeniable proofs. Surely, that tampering with the Allobroges would never have taken place, so important a matter would never have been so madly entrusted, by Lentulus and the rest of our internal enemies, to strangers and foreigners, such letters would never have been written, unless all prudence had been taken by the immortal gods from such terrible audacity. What shall I say? That Gauls, men from a state scarcely at peace with us, the only nation existing which seems both to be able to make war on the Roman people, and not to be unwilling to do so,—that they should disregard the hope of empire and of the greatest success voluntarily offered to them by patricians; and should prefer your safety to their own power—do you not think that that was caused by divine interposition? especially when they could have destroyed us, not by fighting, but by keeping silence.


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load focus Notes (J. B. Greenough, G. L. Kittredge)
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