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What more shall I say? If, then, amid the darkness and impenetrable clouds and storms which were then lowering above the republic, when you had driven the senate from the helm and turned the people out of the ship, and while you yourself, like a captain of pirates, were hastening on with all your sails set, with your most infamous band of robbers; if at that time you had been able to carry the resolutions which you proposed, and punished, and brought forward, and sold, what place in the whole world would have been free from the extraordinary magistrates and commanders invested with their power by the great Clodius? [25]

But at last the indignation of Cnaeus Pompeius, (I will say, even in his hearing, what I have felt, and still do feel what ever may be the way in which he takes it,)—the indignation I say, of Cnaeus Pompeius, which had been too long concealed and slumbering, being at last aroused, came on a sudden to the aid of the republic, and raised the city crushed with misfortunes, dumb, weakened, and broken spirited through fear to some hope of recovering its liberty and former dignity. And was this man not to be appointed to superintend the providing the city with corn? You, forsooth, by your law abandoned all the corn, whether belonging to private individuals or to the state, all the provinces which supply corn, and all the contractors, and all the keys of the granaries, to that most impure of gluttons, the taster of your lusts, to that most needy and most impious man, Sextus Clodius, the companion of your family, who by his tongue alienated even your sister from you. And it was by this action of yours that dearness was first produced, and afterwards scarcity. Famine, conflagration, bloodshed, and pillage were impending. Your insane frenzy was threatening the fortunes and property of every man. [26] That ill-omened pest of the state even complains that the corn should have been taken out of the impure mouth of Sextus Clodius, and that the republic in its extremest peril should have implored the aid of that man by whom it recollected that it had often been preserved, and had its power extended. Clodius thinks that nothing ought to be done out of the regular course. What! what sort of law is it that you say that you passed about me, you parricide, you fratricide, you murderer of your sister; did you not pass that out of the regular course? Was it lawful for you to pass, I will not say a law, but a wicked private bill, concerning the ruin of a citizen, the preserver of the republic, as all gods and men have long since agreed to call him, and, as you yourself confess, when he was not only uncondemned but even unimpeached, amid the mourning of the senate and the lamentation of all good men, rejecting the prayers of all Italy, while the republic lay oppressed and captive at your feet? And was it not lawful for me, when the Roman people implored me, when the senate requested me, when the critical state of the republic demanded it of me, to deliver an opinion concerning the safety of the Roman people? [27] And if that opinion the dignity of Cnaeus Pompeius was increased, in connection with the common advantage, certainly I ought to be praised if I seemed to have given my vote for honour of that than who had brought his influence to aid in the ensuring of my safety.

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