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[33] As there were thought to be two parties in the republic, the one was supposed, out of its enmity to me, to demand that I should be given up to it; the other, to defend me, but timidly out of fear of bloodshed. But those who seemed to require me to be given up to them increased the fear of a contest by their conduct as they never diminished the suspicions and anxieties of men by denying what they were suspected of. Wherefore, when I saw the senate deprived of leaders, and myself attacked by some of the magistrates, betrayed by some, and abandoned by others; when I saw that slaves were being enlisted by name under some pretence of forming guilds; 1 that all the troops of Catiline were recalled to their original hopes of massacre and conflagration under almost the same leaders as before; that the Roman knights were under the same fear of proscription as before; that the municipal towns were in dread of being pillaged, and every one in fear of his life; I might—I might, I say, O conscript fathers, still have been able to defend myself by force of arms, and many wise and brave men advised me to do so; nor was I wanting in the same courage which I had shown before, and which was not unknown to you. But I saw that if I defeated my present enemy, I had still too many others behind who must also be defeated; that if I were beaten myself; many virtuous men would fall for my sake, and with me, and even after me; and that the avengers of the blood of the tribunes were present, but that all satisfaction for my death must he exacted by the slow progress of the law, and reserved for posterity.


1 “Clodius not only restored the old collegia or guilds, but formed some new ones of the very dregs of the city, and of the slaves; and this is alluded to in several of the subsequent orations.”—Manut.

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