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38. [92]

And, that you, O conscript fathers, may see how great is the resemblance between the two Epicurean generals in their military exploits and management of their command; Albucius, after he had triumphed in Sardinia, was condemned at Rome. And as this man expected a similar end to his campaigns, he laid aside his trophies in Macedonia; and those things which all nations have agreed in considering the insignia and monuments of military glory and victory, this extraordinary “Imperator” of ours made the fatal evidences of towns which had been lost of legions which had been cut to pieces, of a province stripped of its garrison and of all the rest of its troops, to the everlasting disgrace of his family and name; and then, in order that there should to something which might be recorded and engraved on the pedestal of his trophies, when, on his departure from his province, he arrived at Dyrrachium, he was besieged by those very soldiers whom he told Torquatus just now, in answer to his questions, had been disbanded by him out of kindness.

And when he had assured them with an oath that he would pay them the next day all that was due to them, he hid himself at home; and then on a very stormy night, in slippers and in the garb of a slave, he embarked on board a ship, and avoided Brundusium, and sailed towards the furthest part of the coast of the Adriatic Sea; [93] while, in the meantime, the soldiers at Dyrrachium began to besiege the house in which they thought that he was, and as they thought that he was hiding himself there, they began to set fire to it. And the people of Dyrrachium, being alarmed at that proceeding, told them that their “Imperator” had fled away by night in his slippers. Then the troops displace, and throw down, and deface, and destroy a statue of his, an excellent likeness of him, which he had caused to be erected in the most frequented place, that the recollection of so delightful a man might not perish; and in this way they expended on his likeness and on his effigy the hatred which they had hoped to wreak on himself.

[94] And as all this is the truth, (for I have no doubt that, when you see that I am acquainted with these which are the more prominent facts of your career, you will suppose that the more ordinary cases, that the main body of your crimes, has not been entirely unheard of by me,) you have no occasion to tempt me either by exhortation or by invitation. It is quite enough for me to be reminded. And no one and nothing will remind me except the critical occasions of the republic which appear to me indeed to be more immediately pressing than you have ever thought.

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