35.  These things are, however, of but little importance; but those points are serious and weighty, that you wish now to find fault with, and in an underhand manner, to accuse my departure from the city, which you had often wept over. For you have said that assistance was not wanting to me, but that I was wanting to those who were willing to assist me. But I confess that, because I saw that aid was not wanting to me, I did on that account spare that aid; for who is there who does not know what was the state of things at that time.—what danger and what a storm there was in the republic? Was it fear of the tribunes, or was it the frenzy of the consuls which influenced me? Was it a very formidable thing for me to fight with the sword with the relics of those men, whom, when they were flourishing with their strength unimpaired, I had defeated without the sword? The basest and most infamous consuls in the memory of man,—as both the beginning of their conduct and as their recent termination of those affairs, show them to have been, (one of whom lost his army, and the other sold it,)—having bought their provinces, had deserted the senate, and the republic, and all good men. When no one knew what were the feelings of those men who by means of their armies, and their arms, and their riches, were the most powerful men in the state, then that voice, rendered insane by its infamous debaucheries, made effeminate by its attendance on holy altars, kept crying out in a most ferocious manner that both these men and the consuls were acting in concert with him. Needy men were armed against the rich, abandoned men against the good, slaves against their masters.  The senate was with me, even changing its garments in token of the danger; a measure which was adopted by public resolution for no one else except myself in the memory of man. But recollect who were then our enemies with the name of consuls. The only men since the city was built who ever prevented the senate from complying with a resolution of the senate, and who by their edict took away, not indeed grief, from the conscript fathers, but the power of deciding on the reasons for their grief. The whole equestrian order was with me; whom, indeed, that dancing consul of Catiline's used to frighten in the assemblies of the people with menaces of proscription. All Italy was assembled, and terrified with fear of civil war and devastation.
This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
THE SPEECH OF M. T. CICERO IN DEFENCE OF CNAEUS PLANCIUS.
THE SPEECH OF M. T. CICERO AGAINST PUBLIUS VATINIUS; CALLED ALSO, THE EXAMINATION OF PUBLIUS VATINIUS.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.
An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.