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26. [52]

Being influenced then by these facts, and knowing that men who were already associated in a conspiracy were being brought down by Catiline into the Campus Martius, armed with swords, I myself descended into the campus with a guard of brave men, and with that broad and shining breastplate, not in order to protect me, (for I knew that Catiline would aim at my head and neck, not at my chest or body,) but in order that all good men might observe it, and, when they saw their consul in fear and in danger, might as they did, throng together for my assistance and protection. Therefore, as, O Servius, men thought you very remiss in prosecuting the contest, and saw Catiline inflamed with hope and desire, all who wished to repel that pest from the republic immediately joined the party of Murena. [53] And in the consular comitia the sudden inclination of men's feelings is often of great weight, especially as, in this case, it took the direction of a very gallant man, who was assisted by many other concurrent aids in his application for the office. He was born or a most honourable father and ancestors; he had passed his youth in a most modest manner; he had discharged the office of a lieutenant with great credit; he had been praetor, as such he had been approved as a judge; he had been popular through his liberality; be had been highly honoured in his province; he had been very diligent in his canvass, and had carried it on so as neither to give way if any one threatened him, nor to threaten any one himself. Can we wonder that the sudden hope which Catiline now entertained of obtaining the consulship was a great assistance to this man? [54]

The third topic which I have got to speak about refers to the charge of bribery; which has been already entirely refuted by those who have spoken before me, but which must still be discussed by me, since such is the will of Murena. And while speaking on this point, I will reply to what Postumius, my own intimate friend, a most accomplished man, has said about the trials of agents, and about sums of money which he asserts have been found; and to what Servius Sulpicius, that able and virtuous young man, has said about the centuries of the knights; and to what Marcus Cato, a man eminent in every kind of virtue, has said about his own accusation, about the resolution of the senate, and about the republic in general.

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