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4. [9]

Moreover, when that conspiracy had burst forth from its hiding place and from darkness, and stalked about in arms through the city, he came with the army to Capua; which city we suspected, on account of its exceeding resources and advantages in time of war, was likely to have attempts made on it by that impious and wicked band. And he drove Marcus Aulanus, a military tribune devoted to Antonius, headlong out of Capua; a profligate man, and one who without much disguise had mixed in the intrigues of the conspiracy at Pisaurum, and in other parts of the Gallic territory. He also took care to get rid of Caius Marcellus out of that city, after he had not only come to Capua, but, as if from a fondness for warlike arms, had frequently visited a very numerous troop of gladiators. On which account that illustrious body of Roman settlers which is at Capua, which, on account of the way in which I preserved the safety of that city during my consulship, has adopted me as their only patron, returned the greatest thanks to this Publius Sestius, when he was at my house; and at this very time those same men, changing only their name, and appearing as colonists, and decurions,—most gallant and virtuous men that they are!—come forward to give evidence, and to declare the services done to them by Publius Sestius, and to inform you of their public vote according to which they entreat you to protect him from danger. [10]

Read, I beg, O Publius Sestius, what the decurions1 of Capua decreed, in order that your childish voice may be able to give some hint to our adversaries what it appears likely to be able to do when it has acquired strength. [The decree of the decurions is read.] I am not having a decree read which has been dictated by any obligations of neighbourhood, or clientship, or relation of public hospitality, or which was passed because of a canvass for it, or because of the recommendation of some powerful man. I am reciting to you the expression of a recollection of dangers which have been passed through, the declaration of a most honourable service done to a people, a present return of kindness, and a testimony of past events. [11] And at that very time when Sestius had released Capua from fear, and the senate and all good men, by the detection and crushing of all domestic enemies, had, under my guidance, delivered the city from the greatest dangers, I sent letters to summon him from Capua with that army which he had at that time with him. And the moment he had read the letters, he flew to the city with inconceivable rapidity. And in order that you may thoroughly call to mind the atrocity of those times, listen to the letters, and stir up your memories to a contemplation of the time that is gone by. [The letters of Cicero, the consul, are read.]

1 It has been said before that decuriones was the name of the senators of a senate of a colony.

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