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Although the whole power of providing for this rests with you, O judges,—you, in this cause, are the masters and directors of the whole republic,—if Lucius Catiline, with his council of infamous men whom he took out with him, could give his decision in this case, he would condemn Lucius Murena; if he could put him to death, he would. For his plans require the republic to be deprived of every sort of aid; they require the number of generals who may be opposed to his frenzy to be diminished; they require that greater power should be given to the tribunes of the people, when they have driven away their adversary, to raise sedition and discord. Will, then, thoroughly honourable and wise men, chosen out of the most dignified orders of the state, give the same decision that most profligate gladiator, the enemy of the republic, would give? [84] Believe me, O judges, in this case you are deciding not only about the safety of Lucius Murena, but also on your own. We are in a situation of extreme danger; there is no means now of repairing the losses which we have already, sustained, or of recovering the ground which we have lost. We must take care not only not to diminish the resources which we still have, but to provide ourselves with additional ones if that be possible. For the enemy is not on the Anio, which in the time of the Punic war appeared a most terrible thing, but he is in the city, in the forum; (O ye immortal gods! this cannot be said without a groan;) there are even some enemies in this sacred temple of the republic, in the very senate-house itself. May the gods grant that my colleague, that most gallant man, may be able in arms to overtake and crush this impious piratical war of Catiline's. I, in the garb of peace, with you and all virtuous men for my assistants, will endeavour by my prudence to divide and destroy the dangers which the republic is pregnant with and about to bring forth. [85] But still, what will be the consequences if these things slip through our hands and remain in vigour till the ensuing year? There will be but one consul; and he will have sufficient occupation, not in conducting a war, but in managing the election of a colleague. Those who will hinder him

That intolerable pest,
****** will break forth wherever it can find room; and even now it is threatening the Roman people; soon it will descend upon the suburban districts; frenzy will range at large among the camp, fear in the senate-house, conspiracy in the forum, an army in the Campus Martius, and devastation all over the country. In every habitation, and in every place, we shall live in fear of fire and sword. And yet all these evils, which have been so long making ready against us, if the republic is fortified by its natural means of protection, will be easily put down by the counsels of the magistrates and the diligence of private individuals.

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