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[51] Then, therefore, when these things had been heard, you recollect that a resolution of the senate was passed, on my motion, that the comitia should not be held the next day, in order that we might be able to discuss these matters in the senate. Accordingly, the next day, in a full meeting of the senate, I addressed Catiline himself; and desired him, if he could, to some explanation of these reports which had been brought to me. And he—for he was not much addicted to disguising his intentions—did not attempt to clear himself; but openly avowed and adopted the statements. For he said then, that there were two bodies of the republic,—the one weak with a weak head, the other powerful without a head,—and that, as this last had deserved well of him, it should never want a head as long as he lived. The whole senate groaned at hearing itself addressed in such language, and passed a resolution not severe enough for such unworthy conduct; for some of them were against too rigorous a resolution, because they had no fear; and some, because they had a great deal. Then he rushed forth from the senate, triumphing and exulting,—a man who never ought to have been allowed to leave it alive, especially as that very same man in the same place had made answer to Cato, that gallant man who was threatening him with a prosecution, a few days before, that if any fire were kindled against his own fortunes, he would put it out not with water, but by the general ruin.


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