1. If any one in times past, O judges, was used to wonder what was the reason why in a republic of such power, and in an empire of such dignity, there were not found any great number of citizens endowed with so fearless and magnanimous a spirit as to dare to expose themselves and their personal safety to danger on behalf of the constitution of the state and of the general liberty; from henceforward he must wonder if he ever sees any virtuous or intrepid citizens, rather than if he occasionally finds one timid, and caring more for his own interests than for those of the republic. For without calling to mind and considering the case of each separate individual, you can see at one survey those men who joined the senate and all virtuous citizens in raising up our afflicted country, and delivering it from a horde of domestic robbers, now with sad countenances and mourning garments struggling as defendants for their freedom, for their characters, for their rights as citizens, for their fortunes, and for their children; and those who have polluted, and attacked, and thrown into confusion, and overturned all divine and human laws, going about the city merry and joyful, and, while they are without any provocation, contriving danger for the bravest and best of the citizens, in no fear whatever for themselves.

[2] And though there is much that is scandalous in such a state of things, yet is there nothing more intolerable than that they now seek to employ not their bands of robbers, not men desperate through want and wickedness, but you yourselves, the best men in the city, for the purpose of bringing us and other most virtuous men into danger. And they now think that, as they were unable to destroy them by stones, and swords, and firebrands, by violence, and personal force, and armed bands, they will be able to effect their purpose through the instrumentality of your authority, your integrity, and your judicial decisions.

But, O judges, since I am compelled now to exert that voice in order to ward off danger from them, which I had hoped to be able to devote to returning thanks to, and to commemorating the kindness of those men who have conferred the greatest services on me, I entreat you to allow that voice to be useful to them to whose exertions it is owing that it has been restored at all to myself, and to you and to the Roman people.

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