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3. [6]

Quintus Catulus the chief of this body the great leader of the public council, in the fullest possible house, called me the father of my country. This most illustrious man, who is at this moment sitting close to you, Lucius Gellius, in the hearing of all these people, said that a civic crown was owed to me by the republic.1 Though I was only clad in the garb of peace, the senate, by an unprecedented sort of supplication, opened the temples of the gods in my honour; not because I had successfully governed the republic, that being a compliment which had been paid to many, but because I had saved it, that being an honour which has never been conferred on any one. When in the assembly of the people, on giving up my office, I was prevented saying what I had intended by the tribune of the people, and when he would only allow me to take the oath, I swore without any hesitation that the republic and this city had been saved by my single exertions. [7] On that day, the entire Roman people gave me in that assembly, not a congratulation to be remembered for the rest of the day, but they gave me immortality and eternal glory, when they themselves swearing also, with one voice and consent approved of my oath couched in such proud and triumphant words. And on that occasion, my return home from the forum was of such a nature that there did not appear to be a single citizen who was not in my train. And my consulship was conducted throughout in such a manner, that I did nothing without the advice of the senate,—nothing without the approbation of the Roman people; that in the rostra I constantly defended the senate,—in the senate-house I was the unwearied advocate of the people; that in that manner, I united the multitude with the chief men, and the equestrian order with the senate. I have now briefly described my consulship.

1 A civic crown was given to those who had saved the life of a citizen.

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