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But if the injury inflicted on them by their enemies was not any disgrace to those men who were expelled unjustly, but still who were restored according to law, after their enemies had been slain, after the tribunes had brought forward motions respecting them; not by the authority of the senate, not by the comitia centuriata, not by the decrees of all Italy, not by the universal regret of the state; do you think that in my case, who departed uncondemned, who departed at the same time as the republic, and returned with the greatest dignity, while you were still alive, while one of your brothers was one of the consuls who brought me back, and the other was the praetor who demanded my recall, your wickedness ought to be any discredit to me? And if the Roman people, being inflamed with passion or envy, had driven me out of the city, and afterwards, remembering my services to the republic, had recollected itself; and shown its repentance for its rashness and injustice by restoring me; yet, in truth, no one would have been so senseless, as to think that such conduct on the part of the people ought not rather to be considered an honour to me than a disgrace. [88] But now, when of all the people no one has accused me, when it is impossible for me to have been condemned, seeing that I have never been accused, since I was not even expelled in such a way that I could not have got the better of my adversaries if I had contested the point with them by force; and when, on the other hand, I have at all times been defrauded and praised and honoured by the Roman people; what pretence has any one for thinking himself better off than I am, at all events as far as the people are concerned? [89]

Do you think that the Roman people consists of these men who can be hired for any purpose? who are easily instigated to offer violence to magistrates? to besiege the senate? to wish every day for bloodshed, conflagration and plunder? people, indeed, whom you could not possibly collect together unless you shut up all the taverns; a people to whom you gave the Lentidii, and Lollii, and Plaguleii, and Sergii, for leaders. Oh for the splendour and dignity of the Roman people, for kings, for foreign nations, for the most distant lands to fear; a multitude collected of slaves, of hirelings, of, criminals, and beggars! [90] That was the real beauty and splendour of the Roman people, which you beheld in the Campus Martius at that time, when even you were allowed to speak in opposition to the authority and wishes of the senate and of all Italy. That is the people—that, I say, is the people which is the lord of kings, the conqueror and commander-in-chief of all nations, which you, O wicked man, beheld in that most illustrious day when all the chief men of the city, when all men of all ranks and ages considered themselves as giving their votes, not about the safety of a citizen, but about that of the state; when men arrive into the Campus, the municipal towns having been all emptied, not the taverns.

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