But what comes next? Do I, who never praised Catiline, who never as consul countenanced Catiline when he was on his trial, who have given evidence respecting the conspiracy against others,—do I seem to you so far removed from sanity, so forgetful of my own consistency, so forgetful of all the exploits which I have performed, as, though as consul I waged war against the conspirators, now to wish to preserve their leader, and to bring my mind now to defend the cause and the life of that same man whose weapon I lately blunted, and whose flames I have but just extinguished? If, O judges, the republic itself, which has been preserved by my labours and dangers, did not by its dignity recall me to wisdom and consistency, still it is an instinct implanted by nature, to hate for ever the man whom you have once feared, with whom you have contended for life and fortune, and from whose plots you have escaped. But when my chief honours and the great glory of all my exploits are at stake; when, as often as any one is convicted of any participation in this wickedness, the recollection of the safety of the city having been secured by me is renewed, shall I be so mad as to allow those things which I did in behalf of the common safety to appear now to have been done by me more by chance and by good fortune than by virtue and wisdom?
This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
THE ORATION OF M. T. CICERO IN DEFENCE OF PUBLIUS SULLA.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.
An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.