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[78] For a man who has ventured on such a step as that of prosecuting a man of consular rank because he says that the republic has been injured by his violence, cannot possibly behave as a turbulent citizen in the republic himself: a man who will not allow another to be at peace, even after he his been acquitted of bribery and corruption, can never himself become a briber of others with impunity.

The republic, O judges, has two prosecutions, which have been carried on by Marcus Caelius, as pledges to secure it from any danger from him and guarantees of his good-will and devotion. Wherefore I do pray and entreat you, O judges, after Sextus Clodius has been acquitted within these few days in this very city;—a man whom you have seen for the last two years acting on all occasions as the minister or leader of sedition;—a man who has burnt sacred temples and even the census of the Roman people and all the public records and registers1 with his own hands;—a man without property, without honesty, without hope, without a home, without any character or position, polluted in face, and tongue, and hand, and in every particular of his life;—a man who has degraded the monument of Catulus, who has pulled down my house, and burnt that belonging to my brother;—who on the Palatine Hill, and in the sight of all the city, stirred up the slaves to massacre and to the conflagration of the city;—I entreat you, I say, not to suffer that man to have been acquitted in this city by the influence of a woman, and at the same time to allow Marcus Caelius to be sacrificed, in the same city, to a woman's lusts. I entreat you never to permit the same woman, in conjunction with a man who is at the same time her brother and her husband, to save a most infamous robber, and to overwhelm a most honourable and virtuous young man.


1 This refers to Clodius having set on fire the temple of the Nymphs, where the registers of the censors were kept.

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