41. [98]

Do you think that you can possibly appear to be anything but a condemned man to me, who have always been of opinion that a man's fortune was to be estimated by his actions themselves, and not by their results, and that our character and our fortunes depended not on the voting tablets of a few judges, but on the opinions and judgments of all the citizens? when I see that the allies, and the people of the federate states, and all free nations, and all the tributary peoples, and the merchants, and the farmers of the public revenue, and the whole population of the city, and the lieutenants, and the military tribunes, and all the soldiers who are left of your army—as many as have escaped the sword, and famine, and disease, think you worthy of every extremity of punishment? when no excuse can be possibly alleged either before the senate, or before any order of men whatever, or before the Roman knights, or in the city, or in any part of Italy, sufficient to induce any one to pardon your enormous crimes? when I see that even you yourself hate yourself, and are afraid of everybody, and can find no one to whom you can venture to entrust your cause, and by your own verdict condemn yourself? [99]

I have never thirsted for your blood; I have never sought in your case for that extreme severity of the law and of judgment which at times may fall alike on the virtuous and on the guilty. But I have wished to see you abject, despised, scorned by all the rest of the citizens; looking with despair on your prospects, and abandoned even by yourself; looking timidly around at every noise which sounded near you; trembling at everything; distrusting the continuance of even your present safety, such as it is; not daring to utter a word; deprived of all liberty, destitute of all authority, stripped of all the dignity of a consul and of a man of consular rank; shivering, trembling, and fawning on all men. And I have seen you. Wherefore, if that future befalls you which you are in hourly apprehension of, I shall be in no respect concerned at it; if it is even a long while coming, still I shall enjoy the indignities to which you are exposed; and I shall be quite as well pleased to see you in daily fear of a prosecution as actually before the court; nor shall I rejoice less at seeing you in constant and unceasing distress, than I should if I saw you for a short time in the mourning robe of a criminal on his trial.

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