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[32] Will you speak of the mourning of the senate,—the regret of the equestrian order,—the universal sadness of Italy,—the silence of the senate-house, which lasted the whole year,—the uninterrupted vacation of the courts of justice and the forum,—and all the other circumstances of that time, as grounds for abuse of me? They were the wounds which my departure inflicted on the republic. And if my departure had been ever so full of calamity, still it would have been deserving of pity rather than of insult; and it would have been considered as connected with my glory rather than with any reproach; and it would have been accounted my misfortune only, but your crime and wickedness.

But when,—(perhaps this thing which I am about to say may appear a strange thing to you to hear, but still I will certainly say what I feel to be true,)—when I, O conscript fathers, have had such kindnesses and such honours conferred on me by you, I not only do not consider that a calamity, but, if I could have any feeling whatever unconnected with the interests of the republic, (which is hardly possible,) I should consider it, as far as my private interests were concerned, a fortune greatly to be wished for and desired by me.


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