1. What I entreated of the immortal gods, O judges, according to the manners and institutions of our ancestors, on that day when, after taking the auspices in the comitia centuriata, 1 I declared Lucius Murena to have been elected consul,—namely, that that fact might turn out gloriously and happily for me and for my office, and for the Roman nation and people,—that same thing do I now pray for from the same immortal gods, that the consulship may be obtained by that same man with safety, and that your inclinations and opinions may agree with the wishes and suffrages of the Roman people, and that that fact may bring to you and to the Roman people peace, tranquillity, ease, and unanimity. And if that solemn prayer of the comitia, consecrated under the auspices of the consul, has as much power and holy influence as the dignity of the republic requires, I pray also that the matter may turn out happily, fortunately, and prosperously to those men to whom the consulship was given when I presided over the election. [2]

And as this is the case, O judges, and as all the power of the immortal gods is either transferred to, or at all events is shared with you, the same consul recommends him now to your good faith who before recommended him to the immortal gods; so that he being both declared consul and being defended by the voice of the same man, may uphold the kindness of the Roman people to your safety and that of all the citizens. And since in this duty which I have undertaken the zeal of my defence has been found fault with by the accusers, and even the very fact of my having undertaken the cause at all, before I begin to say anything of Lucius Murena, I will say a few words on behalf of myself; not because at this time the defence of my duty seems to me more important than that of his safety, but in order that, when what I have done is approved of by you, I may be able with the greater authority to repel the attacks of his enemies upon his honour, his reputation, and all his fortunes.

1 The comitia centuriata, or as they were sometimes called majora, were the assembly in which the people gave their votes according to the classification instituted by Servius Tullius; they were held in the Campus Martius without the city, and in reference to their military organization they were summoned by the sound of the horn, not by the voice of the lictor. All magistrates were elected in these comitia.

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