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7.

Lastly, my name was pronounced not only by your band of partisans at your instigation, but even after your forces had been routed and scattered, I was summoned by name to the senate by the whole Roman people, who at that time were assembled around the Capitol, though on that day I was far from well. [16] Being expected, I came. After many opinions had been already pronounced, I was asked mine. I delivered one very advantageous to the republic, and at the same time necessary for my own interests. Abundance of corn and cheapness of price was demanded of me; as if I had any influence in producing such a state of things as that. Things were in a very different condition. I was pressed by eager expostulation from many good men. I was unable to support the abuse of the wicked. I proposed to entrust the business to an influential friend, not in order to impose a burden on one to whom I was under such heavy obligations, (for I would rather have sunk under it myself, than done that,) but because I saw, what every one else saw, that, whatever we promised in behalf of Cnaeus Pompeius, he would most easily accomplish by his integrity, wisdom, virtue, and authority, and by his invariable good-fortune. [17] Therefore, whether the immortal gods give this to the Roman people as the fruit of my return, that, as on my departure there ensued a want of corn, and famine, and devastation, and bloodshed, and conflagration, and pillage, and impunity for all crimes, and flight, and terror, and discord, so my return is followed by fertility of the lands, by abundant harvests, by hopes of tranquillity, by peaceful dispositions on the part of the citizens, by a restoration of the courts of justice and of the laws, while unanimity on the part of the people and the authority of the senate seem to have been brought back in my company; or, if the fact is that I, on my arrival, was bound, in return for such kindness, to do something for the Roman people by my prudence, authority and diligence; then I do promise, and undertake, and pledge myself to do it. I say no more. This, I say, which is sufficient for the present occasion, that the republic shall not, on any pretence connected with the price of corn, fall into that danger into which some people endeavoured to bring it.


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