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[42]

When I saw all this (for there was no secret about it), that the senate, without which the constitution could not stand, was entirely abolished out of the city; that the consuls whose duty it was to be the leaders of the public counsels, had so managed matters that by their means the great public council was entirely destroyed; that those men who had the greatest influence were held up to every assembly, (falsely indeed, but still in a way calculated to strike my friends with great fear,) as the great approvers of my ruin; that assemblies were held every day in opposition to me; that no one ever uttered a word in defence of me or of the republic that the standards of the legions were believed to be unfurled against your lives and properties, (falsely indeed, but still they were believed to be so,) that the veteran troops of the conspirators, and that ill-omened army of Catiline, once routed and defeated, was now recruited under a new leader and under the existing unexpected chances of circumstances;—when I saw all these things, what was I to do, O judges?


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