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[16] This foul and savage brute, hampered as he was by the auspices, tied down by the precedents of our ancestors, fettered by the bonds of holy laws, was on a sudden released by the consul,1 who, as I imagine, was either won over by entreaties, or, as many people thought, influenced by hostility to me, and to at all events was ignorant and unsuspicious of the impending crimes and misfortunes. And that tribune of the people, if he was successful in his design of throwing the republic into confusion, did not owe it to any energy of his own. For what energy could there be in the life of a man maddened by the infamy of his brother, by his own adultery with his sister, and by every sort of unheard-of licentiousness?

1 There is great reason to think that there is some corruption here.

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    • E. T. Merrill, Commentary on Catullus, 79
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