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And in the first place, I ask you this, O you insane and frantic man, what excessive punishment for your wickednesses and crimes is it that distracts you so as to make you think that these men—men of their high character, who support the dignity of the republic, not only by their wisdom, but also by their dignified appearance—are angry with me, because in delivering my opinion I connected the safety of the citizens with the honour of Cnaeus Pompeius, and that they are likely at this present time to have different feelings with respect to the general interests of religion from those which they entertained when I was absent? [4] “Oh,” says he, “you had the advantage before the priests, but now you must inevitably get worst off since you have had recourse to the people.” Is it so? Will you transfer that which is the greatest defect in the ignorant multitude,—namely, its fickleness and inconstancy, and change of opinion, as frequent as the changes of the weather, to these men, whose gravity protects them from inconsistency, while their fixed and definite principles of religion and the antiquity of precedents, and the authority of written records and monuments, effectually deters them from all capricious change of sentiment? “Are you,” says he, “the man whom the senate was unable to do without? whom the good lamented? whom the republic regretted? by whose restoration we expected that the authority of the senate was restored? and who destroyed that authority the very first thing you did?” I am not at present speaking of my own matters; I will first of all reply to your impudence.

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