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13. [29]

Did any one all that time hear, not only of any act of yours, or of any report of yours to the senate of all these transactions, but of even any word at all uttered by you on the subject or of any complaint of yours? Do you think that you were consul at that time, you, during whose period of authority the man who, by means of the authority of the senate, had saved the republic, and who in Italy had united all parties of all nations by the celebration of three triumphs, made up his mind that he could not appear in public with safety? Were you and your colleague consuls at that time when, if you ever ventured to say one word on any subject or to submit any motion whatever to the senate, the whole body raised an outcry against you, and declared that you should do nothing whatever till you had first made a motion concerning me and my affairs? and when you both, though in fact you were fettered by your treaty with that man, still said that you were anxious to do so, but that were hindered by the law? [30]

A law which even to private individuals seemed to be no law at all, having been framed by slaves, posted up by violence, carried by piratical fury when the senate was driven away when all virtuous men had been frightened from the forum when the republic had been taken by storm in violation of all laws whatever, and which was drawn up in violation of every precedent; were men who said that they were afraid of that law, consuls? could, I will not say the minds of men, but could any records or annals even style them such? For even if you did not consider that a law, which was contrary to all law, being the proscription by the mere power of a tribune of a citizen who had never been condemned, and the deprivation of his rights and the confiscation of his property, but nevertheless were held fast by the agreement which you had made; who would consider you to have been then, not only consuls, but even free men at all, when your minds were hampered by a bribe, your tongues padlocked by wages? But if, on the other hand, you, being the only people in the state who did so, did consider that a law; can any one think that you were consuls then, or that you are men of consular rank now, you who are ignorant of the laws, and principles, and usages, and rights of that state in which you wish to be accounted some of the chief citizens? [31]

When you were going in your robes as generals into those—provinces which you had (shall I say bought or stolen?) did any one consider you consuls? Therefore, I imagine, even if men did abstain from escorting you on your departure from the city with a numerous attendance to pay you a compliment and do honour to you, at all events they followed you with their good wishes as consuls, but with curses as enemies or traitors.

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