52. Could you have dared to ask Publius Servilius or Marcus Lucullus, (men by the assistance of whose wisdom and authority I as consul snatched the republic out of your hands, out of your jaws,) with what words or with what ceremony you could consecrate the house of a citizen? (that is my first point;) and in the next place, of that citizen, to whom the chief of the senate, to whom all ranks of men, to whom all Italy, to whom every nation upon earth, bore testimony that he had saved this city and empire? What would you say, O you most wicked and mischievous disgrace to the city?  “Come forward, come forward, Lucullus, Servilius, while I dedicate the house of Cicero. Come, stand before me, and take hold of the door-post.” You are, in truth, a man of extraordinary audacity and impudence, but still your eyes, and countenance, and voice would have failed you while those men who, by their dignity, upheld the character of the Roman people and the authority of the empire, were striking terror into you by their dignified language, and saying that it would be impious for them to be present at your frantic deeds, and at such wicked and parricidal attacks on the country.  And when you saw this, then you betook yourself to your kinsman,—not that he was selected by you, but that he was left you by the rest. And yet I believe that he,—if he is really descended from those men who, it is traditionally reported, learnt their sacred ceremonies from Hercules himself; after he had completed his labours,—would not have been so cruel with respect to the distress of a brave man, as with his own hands to place a tomb on the head of a man still living and breathing; as he either actually said and did nothing at all, and bore this as a punishment for the rashness of his mother, that he lent his presence though mute, and his name to this sin; or, if he did say anything in a few faltering words, and if he did touch the door-post with trembling hand, at all events he did nothing regularly or solemnly, nothing according to proper usages or established forms. He had seen Murena, his stepfather, the consul elect in company with the Allobroges, bring to me when I was consul the proofs of the conspiracy for the general destruction. He had heard from him that he had twice received safety from me, once as an individual, and a second time in common with the whole body of citizens.  Who is there, then, who can think that this new priest, performing this his first religious ceremony, and uttering these his first official words since his admission to the priesthood, would not have felt his tongue grow mute, and his hand grow torpid, and his mind become weakened and fail through fear; especially when out of all that numerous college he saw neither king, nor flamen, nor priest and was compelled against his will to become a partner in another's wickedness, and was enduring the most terrible punishment of his most disgraceful relationship?
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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.
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