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3. [6]

Publius Sestius, O judges, was born (as most of you know) of a wise and conscientious and strict father, who, after he had been appointed as the first tribune of the people among a number of most noble men and in a prosperous time of the republic, was not so eager to obtain the other honours of the state as to seem worthy of them. By the advice of that father, he married the daughter of a most honourable and thoroughly tried man Caius Albinus by whom he had this boy whom you see here, and a daughter who is now married. My client was so highly esteemed by these two men of the highest class of old-fashioned virtue, that he was beyond all things beloved by and agreeable to both of them. The death of his daughter took away from Albinus the name of his father-in-law, but it did not take away the affection and good-will engendered by that connection. And to this very day he is very fond of him, as you may judge by his constant attendance here, and by his anxiety for him, and by his frequent solicitations to you on his behalf. [7] He married a second wife, while his father was still alive, the daughter of a most virtuous but most unfortunate man, Caius1 Scipio. And with respect to this man, the piety of Publius was shown in a most remarkable way, and one acceptable to all men, for he immediately went to Massilia2 to see and comfort his father-in-law, cast out as he was by the waves of the republic, lying in a foreign land, a man who ought to have stood in the footsteps of his ancestors. And he conducted his daughter to him, in order to induce him, by that unexpected sight and embrace, to lay aside, if not all, at least some part of his sorrow; and as long as he lived he supported with the most unceasing attentions the sorrow of the father and the desolate condition of his daughter.

I might here say a great deal about his liberality, his attention to his domestic duties, his conduct as military tribune, and his great moderation in his province in the discharge of the duty of that magistracy; but I keep always in my view the dignity of the republic, which summons me to the consideration of herself, and exhorts me to pass over these minor points.

[8] My client, O judges, was indeed, by lot the quaestor of Caius Antonius, my colleague, but by his sharing in all my counsels he was in effect mine. I am prevented by scruples concerning the pledge of confidence, as I interpret it, under which such duties are performed, from explaining to you how much information he brought to me, and what great foresight he displayed. And of Antonius I will only say this one thing; that in that time of exceeding fear and danger to the state, he never once attempted either to remove by any denial or to allay by any concealment the general apprehensions of all men, or the especial suspicion conceived by some persons with respect to himself. And if you were accustomed with truth, while I was occupied in supporting and restraining that colleague of mine, to praise my indulgence to him, united as it was with the greatest watchfulness over the interests of the republic, almost equal praise ought to be given to Publius Sestius, who kept such a watch on his own consul that he seemed to him to be a good quaestor, and to all of you to be a most excellent citizen.


1 Caius Scipio, surnamed Asiaticus, was proscribed by Sulla, and compelled to retire to Marseilles for safety.

2 Now Marseilles.

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