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[101]

O what miserable nights of watching did you pass, O Cnaeus Plancius! O what tearful vigils! O what bitter nights! O what a miserable task was that which you undertook of protecting my life! if I, now that I am alive, am unable to be of any service to you, though perhaps I might have been of some if I had been dead. For I recollect, I well recollect, and I never shall forget, that night when I, miserable man that I was, and led on by ungrounded hopes, made you who were watching over me, and sitting by me, and lamenting, some vain and empty promises. I promised that, if I were restored to my country, then I would in person show my gratitude; but, if chance deprived me of life, or if any greater violence prevented my return, then I undertook that these men, these whom we see here, (for what others could I then be thinking of?) would make you a fitting return on my behalf, for all your exertions. Why do you fix your eyes upon me now? Why do you claim the performance of my promise? Why do you implore my observance of good faith? I was not promising you at that time anything from my own resources, but from the good-will of these men towards me. I saw that these men were mourning for me; that they were groaning for me; that they were willing to do battle in defence of my rights and safety, even at the hazard of their own lives—I, as well as you, was hearing every day of the regret, and grief, and complaints of these men; and now I fear that I may be able to make you no other return beyond tears, of which you yourself shed plenty for my distresses.


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