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[12] What, if both these causes existed,—if there was both famine to excite men, and you too like a nail working into this ulcer? was there not all the more need to apply some remedy, which might put an end to both the evil caused by nature, and to the other mischief imported into the case? There was then both present dearness and impending famine; that is not enough; men were attacked with stones. If that arose from the indignation of the common people, without any one having stirred them up, it is a great misfortune; but if, it was caused by the instigation of Publius Clodius, it is only the habitual wickedness of a wicked man: if both these causes existed,—if there was both a fact sufficient of itself to excite the feelings of the multitude, and if there were leaders of sedition ready and forearmed; then, does it not seem natural for the republic to have had recourse to the protection of the consul and the loyalty of the senate? But it is quite plain that one of these causes did exist; that there was a difficulty of obtaining provisions, and an extreme scarcity of corn, so that men were afraid not only of a continuance of high prices, but of actual famine. No one denies it. But I do not wish you, O priests, to suspect that that enemy of all tranquillity and peace was likely to seize on this as a pretext for conflagration, and massacre, and rapine, unless you see it proved.

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