37.  But not even since that time has Sestius endeavoured to take care to be able, being defended by his people around him, to discharge the duties of his magistracy in the forum, and to conduct the affairs of the republic in safety. Therefore, relying on the sacred nature of his office as tribune, as he considered that he was armed by sacred laws, not only against violence and weapons, but also against words and interruption in speaking, he came into the temple of Castor,—he gave notice to the consul that he could not proceed because he was observing the auspices; when on a sudden that band of Clodius, which had already been repeatedly victorious in the slaughter of citizens, raises an outcry, hurries forward, attacks him. Some fall with their swords on the tribune unarmed and unprovided, and some with pieces of fences and with clubs; and he at length, having received many wounds, and been weakened and disabled by the injuries which he had received from these men, fell down in an almost lifeless state, and was only saved from actual death by their believing that he was dead. For when they saw him lying on the ground with numberless wounds and gashes, scarcely breathing, pale and exhausted, they at last left off wounding him, more because they were tired, and because they were mistaken, thinking him dying than from any feelings of pity or moderation.  And now Sestius is on his trial for violence! Why is this? Because he is alive. But that is no fault of his. One last blow was wanting; and if that had been added he would have yielded up his last breath. Accuse Lentidius; he did not wound him in the right place; accuse Sabinius that fellow from Reate, and ask why he was so prompt to cry out that the man was dead. But why accuse Sestius himself? Was not there enough of him for their swords? Did he resist? Did he not stand to be killed as gladiators are often ordered to do?
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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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