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40. [96]

Am I to wait while seventy-five voting tablets are distributed in your case; when all men of all classes and ages and ranks of society have long since formed their opinions concerning you? For who is there who thinks you deserving of a visit; or of any compliment or even of an ordinary salutation? All men wish to efface all recollection of your consulship, to extirpate your conduct, your habits, your very appearance and name from the republic. The lieutenants who were with you are alienated from you, the military tribunes are hostile to you; the centurions and any other soldiers who may be left out of that once numerous army, and who were not disbanded by you but scattered abroad, hate you, wish for calamities to befall you, execrate you. Achaia which has been drained by you, Thessaly which has been harassed by you, Athens which has been plundered by you, Dyrrachium and Apollonia which have been completely emptied by you, Ambracia which has been pillaged by you, the Parthinians and Bulliensians who have been mocked by you, Epirus which has been laid waste by you, the Locrians, the Phocians, the Boeotians whom you have ravaged with fire and sword, Acarnania, Amphilochia, Perrhaebia, and the nation of the Athamanes who have been sold by you, Macedonia which has been sacrificed by you to the barbarians, Aetolia which has been lost, the Dolopians and the neighbouring mountaineers who have been driven from their towns and from their lands, the Roman citizens who have dealings as merchants in those countries,—all feel that you came among them as their chief despoiler, and harasser, and robber, and enemy.

[97] To all these numerous and weighty opinions formed respecting you in this manner, there has been added the private sentence of condemnation which you have passed upon yourself. Your secret arrival, your stealthy journey through Italy, your entry into the city deserted by your friends;—the fact of your sending no letters to the senate, of your addressing no congratulation to them on successes achieved by you during the whole of three summer campaigns, of your making no mention of any triumph;—you do not only omit to say what you did, but you do not even dare to say where you were.

When you had brought back the dry withered leaves of your laurels from that fountain and seed-ground of triumphs, when you threw them down and left them at the gate, then you yourself gave your verdict against yourself, and pronounced yourself “guilty.” And if you had done nothing deserving of honour, what had become of your army? where was the need for all that expense? what did you want with a military command? why did you seek for that province so fruitful in supplications and triumphs? But if you had ventured to cherish hopes of anything,—if you had nourished the thoughts which the name of “Imperator,” the fasces bound with laurel, and those trophies so full of disgrace and ridicule to you, show that you had entertained,—who can be more miserable, who more thoroughly condemned than you, who neither when absent ventured to write to the senate that the affairs of the republic had been prosperously conducted by you, nor dare to say as much when you are present?

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