8.  Are then my sentiments found fault with in this business which fell especially to my share? I rescued affairs of the greatest consequence from the mischief of the most imminent danger; and I saved not only it, but you also, from massacre, and conflagration, and devastation. No one denies this; as to the pretext of dearness there was added that spy of the general misery, who always lit the firebrand of his guilt in the misfortunes of the republic. He says that nothing ought to have been decreed irregularly to any one. I do not at present make the same reply to you that I make to the rest,—That many wars, and these wars of the greatest danger and of the greatest importance, both by land and sea, have been entrusted to Cnaeus Pompeius out of the regular order. And if any one repents of those measures, he must also repent of the victory of the Roman people.  I do not deal with you in this manner. I can address this argument to those men, who state that if any matter must be entrusted to one individual, then they would rather entrust it to Cnaeus Pompeius than to any one, but that they make a rule of never entrusting anything to any one in an irregular manner; still, after it has been entrusted to Pompeius, that they then vindicate and uphold the measure, as is due to the dignity of the man. From praising the statements of these men I am hindered by the triumphs of Cnaeus Pompeius, by which he (though it was quite out of the regular order of things that he was summoned to defend his country) increased the reputation of the Roman people, and crowned their empire with honour. At the same time I praise their firmness, which is a virtue which I have need to avail myself of, since it was on my proposition that he was appointed, quite out of the regular routine, to conduct the war against Mithridates and Tigranes.  But still there are some points which I can argue with them; but still, how great is your impudence, when you dare to say that nothing ought to be given to any one out of the regular routine! You who, when, by an iniquitous law, for some unknown cause you had confiscated the property of Ptolemy, King of Cyprus, the brother of the King of Alexandria, who was reigning by the same right as he was, and had involved the Roman people in the crime,—when you had sent a band of robbers from this empire to ravage his kingdom, and goods, and property, though there had been a long alliance and friendship between us and his father, and grandfather, and still more remote ancestors,—appointed Marcus Cato to superintend the carrying away of his money, and the managing the war if any individual was found hardy enough to defend his own property.  Will you say, “Yes, but what a man Cato was! A most religious, most prudent, most gallant man; the firmest friend to the republic, a citizen of a most marvellous and almost unique virtue, and wisdom, and purity of life.” Very fine, but what is all that to you, when you say that it is untrue that any one ought to be appointed to any public duty out of the regular course?
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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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