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40. [100]

And if the consideration of the provinces has more weight with you than that of your own interests, I not only do not object, but I even demand that you should be influenced by the authority of the provinces. In truth, we will oppose to the province of Asia first of all a great part of the same province, which has sent deputies and panegyrists to stand up and defend this man from danger; in the next place we will set against it the province of Gaul, the province of Cilicia, the province of Spain, and the province of Crete; and against Greeks, whether they be Lydians, Mysians, or Phrygians, shall be set the men of Massilia, the Rhodians, the Lacedaemonians, the Athenians, and all Achaia, Thessaly, and Boeotia. Septimius and Caelius, the witnesses for them, shall be balanced by Publius Servilius and Quintus Metellus, as witnesses of this man's moderation and integrity. The Asiatic jurisdiction shall be replied to by the jurisdiction of the city; and the whole conduct and entire life of Lucius Flaccus shall defend him from accusations brought against him, all relying on the transactions of a single year.

[101] And if, O judges, it ought to avail Lucius Flaccus that, as tribune of the soldiers, as quaestor, as lieutenant to the most illustrious generals, he has behaved among the most distinguished armies, and in the most important provinces, in a manner worthy of his ancestors; let it also avail him, that before your own eyes, at a time of general danger to you all, he united his fate to mine, and shared my danger; let the panegyrics of most honourable municipalities and colonies avail him; let the most glorious and genuine praise of the Roman senate and Roman people avail him. [102]

Oh that night, that night which nearly brought eternal darkness on this city, when the Gauls were invited to war, when Catiline was invited into the city, when the conspirators were invited to bring fire and sword upon us all; when I, O Flaccus, invoking heaven and night, was with tears entreating your aid, and you in tears were listening to me; when I commended to your honest and well-proved loyalty the safety of the city and of the citizens. You, O Flaccus, being at that time praetor, took the messengers of the general destruction; it was you who arrested that plague 1


1 He refers to the ambassadors of the Allobroges, and to the letters from Lentulus, etc., which were found in their possession. See the Arguments to the Catilinarian orations.1

2 of the republic which was contained in letters; you brought the proofs of our danger, you brought the aid that was to secure our safety to me and to the senate. What thanks were then given you by me! how did the senate, how did all good men thank you! Who would then have thought that any good man would ever refuse to Caius Pomptinus, that bravest of men, or to you, I will not say safety, but any imaginable honour? Oh those nones of December; what a time was that when I was consul! a day that I may fairly call the birthday of this city, or at all events its day of salvation.

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