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By this arrival of Publius Sestius, the attacks and attempts of the new tribunes of the people, who then, in the last days of my consulship, were endeavouring to give me trouble on account of the deeds which I had performed, and all the over violent designs of the conspiracy, were checked. [12] And after it was perceived that while Cato, as tribune of the people, a most fearless and excellent citizen, defended the republic, the senate and the Roman people by themselves, without any assistance from the military, could easily uphold both their own majesty and the dignity of those men who had defended the general safety at their own personal risk, Sestius with that army of his followed Antonius with the greatest possible rapidity. Here why need I mention by what conduct he stirred up the consul to act with energy? or how many motives for exertion he suggested to that man, desirous, perhaps, of victory, but still too much afraid of the common dangers and chances of warfare and of battle? That would be a very long story; but thus much I will say briefly. If the courage of Marcus Petreius had not been most admirable; if his virtue in state affairs had not been faultless; if his influence among the soldiers had not been overpowering; if his experience in military affairs had not been most surprising; and if, above all, Publius Sestius had not cooperated with him in exciting, encouraging, reproving, and spurring on Antonius,—winter would have overtaken them before the end of that war, and Catiline, when he had emerged from those frosts and snows of the Apennines, and, having the whole summer before him, had begun to plunder the roads of Italy and the folds of the shepherds, would never have been destroyed without enormous bloodshed, and most miserable devastation extending over the whole of Italy. [13]

These then were the feelings which Publius Sestius brought to his tribuneship that I may forbear to speak of his quaestorship,—and come at last to things nearer to ourselves. Although I must not omit to speak of that singular integrity of his in the province of which I lately saw traces in Macedonia, not lightly imprinted to celebrate something for a short time, but fixed in the everlasting recollection of that province. But, however, we will pass over all these things, though not with out turning back and fixing one last look upon them.

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