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[86]

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.


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