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[14] And that tribuneship has already been spoken of by Quintus Hortensius in such a way that his speech not only appears to contain a complete defence to every count of the accusation, but would even be worth recollecting as laying down admirable rules for the principles and system on which a man ought to proceed in discharging the duties of a public office. But still since the entire tribuneship of Publius Sestius did nothing but uphold my name and my cause, I think it necessary for me, O judges, if not to discuss the whole matter with precision at all events to speak of it in a tone of lamentation.

And if while speaking on this subject I were inclined to inveigh against some men with something like severity, who would not make allowance for my attacking those men with some freedom of expression by whose wickedness and frenzy I had myself been injured? But I will proceed with moderation, and I will be guided rather by what is suitable to the present time than to my indignation. If there be any people who secretly are vexed at my safety, let them conceal themselves; if there be any who have at any time done anything against me and who now are silent and quiet, let us also forget it; if there be any who are puffed up to behave insolently, and who still wish to attack me, we will bear with them as far as they can be borne with, nor shall my language offend any one except those who so put themselves in my way that I shall appear not to have attacked them, but to have run accidentally against them.

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