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[23]

As, then, this is the case, O conscript fathers, instead of my military command—instead of the army,——instead of the province 1 which I have neglected, and the other badges of honour which have been rejected by me for the sake of protecting the city and your safety,—in place of the ties of clientship and hospitality with citizens in the provinces, which, however, by my influence in the city, I study to preserve with as much toil as I labour to acquire them,—in place of all these things, and in reward for my singular zeal in your behalf, and for this diligence in saving the republic which you behold, I ask nothing of you but the recollection of this time and of my whole consulship. And as long as that is fixed in your minds, I still think I am fenced round by the strongest wall. But if the violence of wicked men shall deceive and overpower my expectations, I recommend to you my little son, to whom, in truth, it will be protection enough, not only for his safety, but even for his dignity if you recollect that he is the son of him who has saved all these things at his own single risk.


1 Cicero, in order to tempt Antonius to aid him in counteracting the treasonable designs of Catiline, had given up to him the province of Macedonia, which had fallen to his own lot; and having accepted that or Cisalpine Gaul in exchange for it, he gave that also to Quintus Metellus; being resolved to receive no emolument, directly or indirectly, from his consulship.

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