39.  But will you allow this portico to stand on the Palatine Hill, and on the most beautiful spot in the whole city, erected as an everlasting token to keep alive the recollection of all nations and of all foes of the frenzy of the tribunes, of the wickedness of the consuls of the cruelty of the conspirators, of the calamity of the republic, and of my sufferings? A portico which, out of the affection which you have and always have had for the republic, you ought to wish to pull down, not only by your votes, but, if it were necessary, even by your hands. Unless, perchance, the religious consecration of it by that chastest of pontiffs deters any one.  O that action, which careless men laugh at, but which graver citizens cannot hear of without the greatest indignation; has Publius Clodius, who removed religion even out of the house of the Pontifex Maximus,1 introduced it into mine? Do you, you who are the ministers of the religious ceremonies and sacrifices, admit this man to be an originator and regulator of public religion? O ye immortal gods! (for I wish you to hear these things), does Publius Clodius have the management of your sacred rites? Does he feel a reverent awe of your divine power? Is he a man who thinks that all human affairs are regulated by your providence? Is he not mocking the authority of all those eminent men who are here present? Is he not abusing your authority, O priests? Can any expression of religion escape or fall from that mouth? of religion, which with that same mouth you have most foully and shamefully violated, by accusing the senate of passing severe degrees about religion.
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THE SPEECH OF M. T. CICERO FOR HIS HOUSE. ADDRESSED TO THE PRIESTS
THE SPEECH OF M. T. CICERO AGAINST PUBLIUS VATINIUS; CALLED ALSO, THE EXAMINATION OF PUBLIUS VATINIUS.
1 The Pontifex Maximus was Julius Caesar; and it was in his house that the mysteries of the Bona Dea were being celebrated when Clodius got access to it. On which account Caesar divorced his wife Pompeia.
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