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56. [142]

And as this is the case, O priests, recall now your attention from this subtle argument of ours to the general state and interests of the republic, which you have before now had many gallant men to assist you in supporting, but which in this cause you are upholding on your own shoulders alone. To you the whole future authority of the senate, which you yourselves always led in a most admirable manner during the discussion of my case; to you that most glorious agitation of Italy, and that thronging hither of all the municipal towns; to you the Campus Martius, and the unanimous voice of all the centuries, of which you were the chiefs and leaders; to you every company in the city every rank of men all men who have any property or any hopes, think that all their zeal for my dignity, all their decisions in my favour are not only entrusted, but put wholly under your protection. [143] Lastly the immortal gods themselves, who protect this city and empire, appear to me to have claimed the credit of my return and of the happiness which it has diffused as due to the power and judicial sentence of their priests in order to make it evident to all nations and to all posterity that I had been restored to the republic by divine agency. For this return of mine, O priests and this restoration consists in recovering my house, my possessions, my altars, my hearths, and my household gods. And if that fellow with his most wicked hands tears up their dwellings and abodes and with the consuls for his leaders, as if the city were taken, has thought it becoming to destroy this house alone, as if it were the house of its most active defender, still those household gods, those deities of my family, will be by you replaced in my house at the same time as myself.


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