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[2] I am that consul, O conscript fathers, to whom neither the forum in which all justice is contained, nor the Campus Martius, 1 consecrated to the consular assemblies, nor the senate house, the chief assistance of all nations, nor my own home, the common refuge of all men, nor my bed devoted to rest, in short, not even this seat of honour, this curule chair has ever been free from the danger of death, or from plots and treachery. I have been silent about many things, I have borne much, I have conceded much, I have remedied many things with some pain to myself amid the alarm of you all. Now if the immortal gods have determined that there shall be this end to my consulship that I should snatch you, O conscript fathers, and the Roman people from miserable slaughter, your wives and children and the vestal virgins from most bitter distress, the temples and shrines of the gods and this most lovely country of all of us, from impious flames, all Italy from war and devastation, then whatever fortune is laid up for me by myself it shall be borne. If, indeed, Publius Lentulus, being led on by soothsayers believed that his name was connected by destiny with the destruction of the republic, why should not I rejoice that my consulship has taken place almost by the express appointment of fate for the preservation of the republic?

1 The Campus Martius was consecrated or restored to Mars after the expulsion of the Tarquins; the comitia centuriata at which all magistrates were created were held there.

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