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[27]

But even then, O you impious Caesoninus, you did not emerge from the miserable vileness of your nature, when after a time the reawakened virtue of a most illustrious man quickly demanded the restoration of one who was his own true friend, and a citizen who had deserved well of the state, and of the ancient customs and principles of the republic. Nor would that great man permit the pestilence of your wickedness to remain any longer in that republic, which he himself had embellished and whose power he had extended. But when that Gabinius, such as he is, a man who is surpassed in infamy by you alone, recollected himself,—with difficulty, indeed, but still he did recollect himself,—he contended against his dear friend Clodius, at first only feignedly, then very unwillingly, but at last with genuine ardour and vehemence, in support of Cnaeus Pompeius. And in that spectacle the impartiality of the Roman people was very admirable. It looked on like a master of gladiators, and whichever of them perished, it thought would he an equal advantage to itself; but if both fell, that indeed would be a most heavenly blessing.


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