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18.

What then? Did the harangue of an enemy, especially so foolish a one as that, and aimed as it was so wickedly against the most illustrious men, move me? No. It was not his speech, but the silence of those men against whom that most infamous speech was directed that influenced me. For they—although the real cause of their silence was quite a different one—appeared, nevertheless, to men who were afraid of everything, by their very silence to speak, and by their forbearing to deny his assertions, to confess them.

[41] But they, being then under the influence of excessive fear, because they thought that those actions and all the events of the preceding year were being undermined by the praetors, and annulled by the senate and by the chief men of the city, were unwilling to alienate a popular tribune of the people from their interests, and were in the habit of saying that their own dangers touched them more nearly than mine. But still Crassus said that my cause ought to be undertaken by the consuls, and Pompeius implored the aid of their good faith; and he said that he, though a private individual, would not desert the cause which was taken up by public authority. And as he was most anxious for my welfare, and eager beyond measure for the preservation of the republic, certain men, trained for that purpose, warned him to be more careful; and said that a plot was laid against his life, to be carried into execution in my house; and they kept this suspicion alive in him, some by letters, some by messengers, some by coming and talking to him about it; so that he, though most certainly he had no fear of me, yet thought it necessary to guard against them, lest they should attempt anything against him and lay the blame on me. But Caesar himself, who those men, ignorant of the truth, thought was angry with me most especially, was at the gates, was in military command; his army was in Italy, and in that army he had appointed to a command the brother of that very tribune of the people, my enemy.


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