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[13] Unless, indeed, Lucius 1 Caesar, a thoroughly brave man and of the best disposition towards the republic, seemed to any one to be too cruel three, days ago, when he said that the husband of his own sister, a most excellent woman, (in his presence and in his hearing,) ought to be deprived of life,— when he said that his grandfather had been put to death by command of the consul and his youthful son, sent as an ambassador by his father, had been put to death in prison. And what deed had they done like these men? had they formed any plan for destroying the republic? At that time great corruption was rife in the republic, and there was the greatest strife between parties. And, at that time, the grandfather of this Lentulus, a most illustrious man, put on his armour and pursued Gracchus; he even received a severe wound that there might be no diminution of the great dignity of the republic. But this man, his grandson, invited the Gauls to overthrow the foundations of the republic; he stirred up the slaves, he summoned Catiline, he distributed us to Cethegus to be massacred, and the rest of the citizens to Gabinius to be assassinated, the city he allotted to Cassius to burn, and the plundering and devastating of all Italy he assigned to Catiline. You fear, I think, lest in the case of such unheard of and abominable wickedness you should seem to decide anything with too great severity; when we ought much more to fear lest by being remiss in punishing we should appear cruel to our country, rather than appear by the severity of our irritation too rigorous to its most bitter enemies.

1 The brother-in-law of Lucius Caesar was Marcus Fulvius, whose death, at the command of Opimius the consul, is referred to at Cat. 2. chap1. He sent his son to the consul to treat for his surrender, whom Opimius sent back the first time, and forbade to return to him; when he did return, he put him to death.

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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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