Did you think that you were consul at Capua, a city where there was once the abode of arrogance, or at Rome, where all the consuls that ever existed before you were obedient to the senate? Did you dare, when you were brought forward in the Flaminian Circus, with your colleague, to say that you had always been merciful? by which expression you declared that the senate and all virtuous men were cruel at the time that I warded off ruin from the republic. You were a merciful man when you handed me over,—me, your own relation,—me, whom at your comitia you had appointed as chief guardian of the prerogative tribe, whose opinions on the calends of January you had asked then, bound and helpless to the enemies of the republic! You repelled my son-in-law, your own kinsman; you repelled your own near relation, my daughter, with most haughty and inhuman language, from your knees; and you, also, O man of singular mercy and clemency, when I, together with the republic, had fallen, not by a blow aimed by a tribune, but by a wound inflicted by a consul, behaved with such wickedness and such intemperance, that you did not allow one single hour to elapse between the time of my disaster and your plunder; you did not allow even time for the lamentations and groans of the city to die away.
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THE SPEECH OF M. T. CICERO AFTER HIS RETURN. ADDRESSED TO THE SENATE.
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