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[24]

In truth, if I have not only taken on myself the enmity of, but have declared and waged open war against those men who wished to destroy all these things with fire and sword; though some of them were my own personal acquaintances, and some had been saved on capital trials through my defence of them; why should not the same republic which was able to make me hostile to my friends, be able also to reconcile me to my enemies? What reason had I for hating Publius Clodius, except that I thought him likely to prove a mischievous citizen to my country, inasmuch as, inflamed by the most infamous lust, he trampled under foot by one crime two most holy considerations, religion and chastity? Is it, therefore, doubtful from these actions, which he has done and which he is doing every day, that I in opposing him was consulting the interests of the republic more than my own tranquillity; but that some others, who defended him, thought more of their own ease than they did of the peace of the community?


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