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11. [27]

These circumstances which I have been mentioning might in truth have been sufficient to throw a veil over the vices of Cnaeus Plancius. Do not then wonder that in such a life as I am proceeding to describe, they should have been such numerous and great helps to him in the attainment of honour; for this is he, who, when quite a young man, having gone with Aulus Torquatus into Africa was beloved by that most dignified and holy man, so worthy of every description of praise and honour, to as great a degree as the intimacy engendered by being messmates, and the modesty of a most pure minded youth allowed. And if he were present he would affirm it no less zealously than his cousin who is here present and his father-in-law, Titus Torquatus, his equal in every sort of glory and virtue, who is indeed connected with him in the closest bonds of relationship and connection, but these obligations of affection are so strong that those other reasons for intimacy drawn from relationship appear insignificant. He was in Crete afterwards as the comrade of Saturninus, his relation as a soldier of Quintus Metellus, who is here present, and as he was most highly approved of by them and is so to this day, he has a right to hope that he will be approved of by every one. In that province Caius Sacerdos was the lieutenant,—how virtuous, how consistent a man and Lucius Flaccus,—what a man, what a citizen was he! and they by their zeal in his behalf, and by their evidence, declare what sort of man they think Plancius. [28] In Macedonia he was a military tribune. In that same province he was afterwards quaestor. In the first place, Macedonia is so attached to him as these men, the chief men of their respective cities, state it to be; who, though they were sent with another object, still, being moved by his unexpected danger, give him their countenance, sitting here by his side, and put forth all their exertions in his behalf; if they stand by him, they think that they shall be doing what is more acceptable to their fellow-citizens, than if they attend strictly and solely to their embassy, and to the commission that was entrusted to them. But Lucius Appuleius considers him so excellent a man, that by his attentions and kindness to him, he has gone beyond that principle of our ancestors which enjoins that praetors ought to consider themselves as standing in the light of parents to their quaestors. He was a tribune of the people, not perhaps as violent as those men whom you naturally extol, but certainly such a one, that if all had at all times been like him, a violent tribune would never have been wished for or regretted.

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