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31. [82]

What shall I say, if there is nothing said about the rights of citizenship even in that very form of motion which Sedulius declares he never voted for? Do you still cling to his authority in order to throw a lustre on the exploits of your splendid tribuneship by the dignity of that man?

But although you passed no law respecting me, to prevent my continuing not only in the number of Roman citizens, but even in that rank in which the honours conferred on me by the Roman people had placed me; will you still raise your voice to attack him whom after the abominable wickedness of the preceding consuls you see honoured by the decisions of the senate, of the Roman people, and of all Italy? whom even at the time when I was departing you could not deny, even by your own law, to be a senator. For, where was it that you passed the law that I should be interdicted from fire and water? When Gracchus passed such a decree respecting Publius Popillius, and Saturninus respecting Metellus, and other most seditious men respecting other most virtuous and gallant citizens, they did not pass a decree that they had been interdicted, which could have been quite intolerable but that they should be interdicted. When did you insert a clause that the censor should not enter me on the rolls of the senate in my proper place? which is a clause in the law concerning every one who has been condemned when the interdict is being framed. [83] Ask this of Sextus Clodius the framer of your laws. Bid him come forward; he is keeping out of the way; but if you order him to be looked for they will find the man in your sister's house hiding himself with his head down. But if no one in his senses ever called your father a citizen—yes, by Jove, a good citizen, and one very unlike you, if no one I say, ever called him an exile, who, when a tribune of the people had proposed a bill against him, would not appear on account of the iniquity of that period of Cinna's triumph, and who, on that account had his command taken from him; if, I say, in his case, a punishment inflicted by law carried no disgrace with it, on account of the violent character of those times, could there, in my ease, be any penalty against me as if I had been condemned when I never was tried when I never was accused when I never was summoned by any tribune of the people, and, especially, a penalty which was not mentioned not even in the proposed bill itself?

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