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By the aid of this people, if there had then been real consuls in the republic, or if there had been no consuls at all, I should without any difficulty have resisted your headlong frenzy and impious wickedness. But I was unwilling to take up the public cause against armed violence, without the protection of the people. Not that I disapproved of the late rigour of Publius Scipio, that bravest of men, when he was only a private individual; but Publius Mucius the consul, who was considered somewhat remiss in defending the republic, immediately defended, and, more than that, extolled the action of Scipio in many resolutions passed by the senate. But, in my case, I, if you were slain, would have had to contend by force of arms against the consuls, or if you were alive, against both you and them together.

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