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[17] I owe this man, O Romans, such a debt as it is hardly right for one man to owe to another. You, following the counsels of this man, and the opinion of Publius Lentulus, and the authority of the senate, have replaced me in that position in which I had been through your kindness, and that by the votes of the same centuries by which you originally placed me there. At the same time you heard from the same place men of the greatest eminence—most accomplished and honourable citizens, the chief men of the city, all the men of consular rank, all the men of praetorian rank, say the same thing—that it was clear by the testimony of everybody, that the republic had been preserved by me alone. Therefore, when Publius Servilius, a man of the greatest dignity, and a most accomplished citizen, had said that it was through my labours that the republic had been handed over to the magistrates in a sound condition, all the rest declared their assent to that statement. But you heard at that time not only the authoritative declaration, but the sworn evidence of a most illustrious man, Lucius Gellius, who, because he was aware that his fleet had been tampered with, and that he himself had been in great danger, said in your assembly that if I had not been consul when I was, the republic would have been utterly destroyed.

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