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The senate decreed at the same time that thanks should be given to those men who had come up from all parts of Italy for the sake of my safety; and that they should be requested to come again when the consideration of the subject was renewed. [130] And there was such a rivalry between all people to show their zeal for my safety, that the very men to whom entreaties were addressed in my behalf by that senate, did also themselves address entreaties to the senate respecting me; and, accordingly, in all those transactions but one man alone was found who openly dissented from this earnest unanimity of all good men, so that even Quintus Metellus, the consul, who had been in a very great degree an enemy to me in the violent party contests which had arisen about political affairs, himself, made a motion in favour of my safety. And when he, being roused up by the exceeding authority of Publius Servilius, and also by a certain energy which gave weight to his eloquence, when he had invoked all the Metelli from the shades below, and had diverted the thoughts of his relation from the piratical attempts of Clodius to the dignity of that family by which they were connected together; and when he had brought him back to the recollection of their great domestic example and to the fate (shall I call it glorious, or melancholy?) of that great man Metellus Numidicus; then, I say, that illustrious man,—that genuine Metellus wept, and gave himself up from that moment to Publius Servilius even before he had come to the end of his speech. Nor could he, as a man of the same illustrious family, withstand that godlike dignity of eloquence so pregnant with the virtues of old time, and, though I was absent, he still became reconciled to me from that moment. [131]

And certainly, if it be the case that illustrious men retain any sense or feeling after death, then he did a thing which was most acceptable to all the Metelli, and, above all, to that bravest of men and best of citizens, his own brother, the companion of all my labours, and dangers, and counsels.

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