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57. [144]

Wherefore, O I pray and entreat you, O thou great God of the Capitol, thee whom the Roman people has styled, on account of your kindnesses to us, All Good, and, on account of your might All Powerful; and you, O royal Juno; and you, O guardian of the city, O Minerva, you who have at all times been my assistant in my counsels, and the witness of my exertions; and you too, you who above all others have claimed me back and recalled me, you, for the sake of whose habitations most especially it is that I am engaged in this contest, O household gods of my fathers, and of my family; and you too, who preside over this city and this republic, you do I entreat, from whose spires and temples I once repelled that fatal and impious flame, you too do I supplicate, O Vesta, whose chaste priestesses I have defended from the rage and frenzy and wickedness of men whose renowned and eternal fire I could not suffer either to be extinguished in the blood of the citizens or to be confused with the conflagration of the whole city, I entreat you all that,— [145] if at that almost fatal crisis of the republic I exposed my life, in defence of your ceremonies and temples, to the rage and arms of abandoned citizens; and it at a subsequent time, when the destruction of all good men was aimed at through my ruin, I invoked your aid, I recommended myself and my family to your protection, I devoted myself and my life, on condition that it both at that moment, and previously, and in my consulship, disregarding all my own advantage, all my own interests, and all reward for my exertions, I strove with all my anxiety and thoughts and vigilance for nothing but the safety of my fellow-citizens, I might be allowed some day or other to enjoy my country restored to me; but if my counsels had been of no service to my country, then, that I might endure everlasting misery, separated from all my friends;—I may be allowed to think this devotion of my life accepted and approved by the gods, when I am by your favour restored to my home. [146] For at present, O priests, I am not only deprived of my house, which you are at present inquiring into, but of the whole city, to which I appear to be restored. In the most frequented and finest part of the city, look to that (I will not say monument, but) wound of the country. And as you must see that that sight is to me one which is more to be detested and avoided than death itself; do not, I entreat you, allow that man by whose return you have thought that the republic too would be restored, to be deprived not only of the ornaments suited to his dignity, but even of his part in the city.

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