Wherefore, O conscript fathers, determine with care, as you have begun, and boldly, concerning your own safety, and that of the Roman people, and concerning your wives and children; concerning your altars and your hearths your shrines and temples; concerning the houses and homes of the whole city; concerning your dominion, your liberty and the safety of Italy and the whole republic. For you have a consul who will not hesitate to obey your decrees, and who will be able as long as he lives, to defend what you decide on and of his own power to execute it. 1

1 This speech was spoken, and the criminals executed, on the fifth of December. But Catiline was not yet entirely overcome. He had with him in Etruria two legions,—about twelve thousand men; of which, however, not above one quarter were regularly armed. For some time by marches and counter marches he eluded Antonius, but when the news reached his army of the fate of the rest of the conspirators it began to desert him in great numbers. He attempted to escape into Gaul but found himself intercepted by Metellus who had been sent thither by Cicero with three legions. Antonius is supposed not to have been disinclined to connive at his escape if he had not been compelled as it were by his quaestor Sextus and his lieutenant Petreius to force him to a battle, in which, however, Antonius himself being ill of the gout did not take the command, which devolved on Petreius who after a severe action destroyed Catiline and his whole army, of which every man is said to have been slain in the battle.

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