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41. [88]

That gladiator saw that he could not be a match for such wisdom as that of Milo, if he proceeded according to ordinary usage. He resorted to arms, to firebrands, to daily slaughter, to conflagration and plunder, with his army. He began to attack his house, to meet him on his journeys, to provoke him by violence, to try and alarm him. He had but little effect on a man of consummate wisdom and consummate firmness; but although indignation of mind, and an innate love of liberty, and prompt and excellent valour, encouraged that gallant man to break down and repel violence by violence, especially now that violence was so repeatedly offered, still so great was the moderation of the man, and so excessive his prudence, that he restrained his indignation, and would not avenge himself by the same conduct as that by which he had been provoked; but he resolved rather to entangle in the toils of the law that fellow who was exulting and dancing in triumph over all the murders which he had committed in the republic. [89] He came down to the court to accuse him. Who ever did so, so peculiarly for the sake of the republic? having no private enmity of his own to urge him on, having no reward in prospect being persuaded by no entreaty on the part of any one, nor even by any general expectation that he was going to take such a step. The fellow's courage was shaken. For when such a man as Milo was the prosecutor, he had no hope of such an infamous tribunal as his former one. See now the praetor, the consul, and the tribune of the people, propose new edicts of a new sort: “That no one be brought before the court as a defendant; that no one be summoned before the judges; that no investigations take place; that no one be allowed to make any mention to any one, of judges, or courts of justice.” What was a man to do who was born for virtue, and dignity, and glory, when the violence of wicked men was fortified in this way, by the destruction of all laws and courts of justice? Was tribune of the people to place his life at the mercy of a private individual? was a most virtuous man to hold his life at the will of a most thoroughly wicked one? or, was he to abandon the cause which he had undertaken? was he to keep at home? He thought it would be a base thing to be defeated, or to be frightened from his purpose. In truth, he thought it for the advantage of the republic, since he was not able to employ the laws against him, that he should not show any fear of his violence, with respect either to personal peril to himself, or to the danger of the republic.

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