17. And I had to contend not against a victorious army, but against a lot of hired artisans, men excited with the hope of plundering the city. I had for an enemy,—not Caius Marius, the terror of our enemies, the hope and support of his country,—but two ill-omened monsters whom want and the immensity of their debts and fickleness and a wicked disposition, had delivered over to the tribune of the people as his slaves.  Nor had I to contend against Saturninus, who was seeking to satisfy his own indignation with great earnestness of mind, because he knew that the superintendence of the import of provisions had been, as an intentional insult, transferred from him while he was quaestor at Ostia, to the chief man both of the senate and of the city, Marcus Scaurus. But I had to struggle with the debauched favourite of wealthy buffoons, with the adulterer of his sister, with the very high-priest of lewdness, with a poisoner, with a forger of wills, with an assassin, with a robber; and if—as was very easy to be done, as ought to have been done, and as many most virtuous and brave citizens entreated me to do—I had overcome those men by force and arms, I had no reason to fear that any one would reprove me for having repelled force by force, or grieve for the death of those abandoned citizens, or, as I should rather call them, domestic enemies. But these were the things which had weight with me. That Fury was in the habit of crying out in all the assemblies that all the things which he was doing to the prejudice of my safety, he was doing with the approval of Cnaeus Pompeius a most illustrious man, and both then and now a most intimate friend of mine as far as he was able to show himself such. Marcus Crassus a most gallant man with whom I had every imaginable intimacy of friendship, was announced by that same pest to be most hostile to my fortunes. Caius Caesar, who had no right to he alienated from me as far as any action of mine could have deserved such feelings on his part, was constantly stated by the same man in his daily harangues to be a most determined enemy to my safety.  These three men he said he was going to avail himself of as his advisers in forming all his plans, and as his assistants in all his actions: of whom he said that one had the most numerous army in Italy; and that the other two, who were private men at that time, could easily get an army a-piece if they chose, and that they would do so. And while he menaced me, he threatened me, not with a judicial decision of the people, nor with any legal or legitimate sort of contest, nor with any discussion or regular trial of our dispute, but with violence, and arms, and armies, and generals, and camps.
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Table of Contents:
THE SPEECH OF M. T. CICERO IN DEFENCE OF PUBLIUS SESTIUS.
THE SPEECH OF M. T. CICERO AGAINST PUBLIUS VATINIUS; CALLED ALSO, THE EXAMINATION OF PUBLIUS VATINIUS.
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