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40. [86]

And as this is the case, O judges, in the first place for the sake of the republic, than which nothing ought to be of more importance in the eyes of every one, I do warn you, as I am entitled to do by my extreme diligence in the cause of the republic, which is well known to all of you,—I do exhort you, as my consular authority gives me a right to do,—I do entreat you, as the magnitude of the danger justifies me in dying, to provide for the tranquillity, for the peace, for the safety, for the lives of yourselves and of all the rest of your fellow-citizens. In the next place I do appeal to your good faith, O judges, (whether you may think that I do so in the spirit of an advocate or a friend signifies but little,) and beg of you, not to overwhelm the recent exaltation of Lucius Murena, an unfortunate man, of one oppressed both by bodily disease and by vexation of mind, by a fresh cause for morning. He has been lately distinguished by the greatest kindness of the Roman people, and has seemed fortunate in being the first man to bring the honours of the consulship into an old family, and a most ancient municipality. Now, in a mourning and unbecoming gait, debilitated by sickness, worn out with tears and grief, he is a suppliant to you, O judges, invoking your good faith, imploring your pity, fixing all his hopes on your power and your assistance. [87] Do not, in the name of the immortal gods, O judges, deprive him not only of that office which he thought conferred additional honour on him, and at the same time of all the honours which he had gained before, and of all his dignity and fortune. And, O judges, what Lucius Murena is begging and entreating of you is no more than this; that if he has done no injury unjustly to any one, if he has offended no man's ears or inclination, if he has never (to say the least) given any one reason to hate him either at home or when engaged in war, he may in that case find among you moderation in judging, and a refuge for men in dejection, and assistance for modest merit. The deprivation of the consulship is a measure calculated to excite great feelings of pity, O judges. For with the consulship everything else is taken away too. And at such times as these the consulship itself is hardly a thing to envy a man. For it is exposed to the harangues of seditious men, to the plots of conspirators, to the attacks of Catiline. It is opposed single-handed to every danger, and to every sort of unpopularity. [88] So that, O judges, I do not see what there is in this beautiful consulship which need be grudged to Murena, or to any other man among us. But those things in it which are calculated to make a man an object of pity, are visible to my eyes, and you too can clearly see and comprehend them.

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