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Although you are listening to me, O judges, with the greatest attention, and with exceeding kindness, still I fear that some of you may, perchance, marvel why I am so prolix, and what is my object in tracing things back so far, or what connection the offences of those men who harassed the republic before the tribuneship of Publius Sestius have with his cause now. But my desire is to show that all the counsels of Publius Sestius, and the whole object of his tribuneship, was to remedy the misfortunes of the afflicted and ruined republic as far as was in his power. And pardon me, if in laying open those wounds, I appear to say rather too much about myself; for you and all good men decided that that disaster which befell me was the heaviest possible blow to the republic. And Publius Sestius is now on his trial, not on his own account, but on mine —for as he devoted all the powers of his tribuneship to the promotion of my safety it is inevitable that I should look upon my own cause in past time as united with the defence which I am now making for him.

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