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[71]

In the meantime Publius Sestius, O judges, the tribune elect, undertook a journey to Caius Caesar, for the sake of my safety. What he effected, how much real good he did, has nothing to do with the matter. I think indeed if Caesar was, as I believe him to have been, well-inclined towards us, that Sestius did me no good at all; if Caesar was a little angry with me, he did not do much good; but still you see the unwearied activity and loyalty of the man.

I now come to the tribuneship of Sestius; for he undertook this journey for the sake of the republic when he was only tribune elect. He thought that it concerned the unanimity of the citizens, and the facility of accomplishing what he had at heart, to show that Caesar's mind was not averse to the business.

That year passed away. Men seemed to breathe, not from having actually attained their wishes, but from their hopes of recovering the republic. Two vultures in the robe of war1 went forth with evil omens and the execrations of the citizens. I only wish that everything had happened to them which men then prayed might happen; and then we should not have lost the province of Macedonia, nor our cavalry, and those gallant cohorts in Syria.


1 The Latin word is paludati. “The paludamentum always denotes the cloak worn by a Roman general commanding an army, and by his principal officers, in contradistinction to the sagum of the common soldiers, and to the toga or robe of peace.”—Smith, Dict. Ant. p. 713, v. Paludamentum.

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