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[84] “You brought,” says he, “you levied, you got together a band of men.” What was he going to do with them? To besiege the senate? to expel citizens who had not been condemned? to plunder men's property? to set fire to buildings? to plunder private houses? to him the temples of the immortal gods? to expel the tribunes of the people from the rostra by force of arms? to sell whatever provinces he pleased to whomsoever he pleased? to give men the title of king? to restore to free cities, by means of our lieutenants and ambassadors, men who had been condemned for capital offences? to blockade the chief man of the state in his house with armed bands? It was to effect all these objects, I suppose, which could never possibly be attained unless the republic were overwhelmed by armed men, that Publius Sestius got together his multitude of men, and his troops, as you call them. But the pear was not yet ripe. The circumstances of the case did not as yet invite good men to have recourse to such means for their protection. We were defeated not indeed by that body alone, but still not entirely without its agency. You were all mourning in silence.


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