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[81] Or this I ask, O judges, if on that day that family of Clodius had done what it wished,—if Publius Sestius, who was left for dead had really been slain, would you have had recourse to arms? Would you have roused yourselves up to the courage of your fathers and to the valour of your ancestors? Would you at last have endeavoured to wrest the republic out of the hands of that deadly robber? Or would you even then have remained quiet and dawdled, and been afraid, when you saw the republic overwhelmed and taken possession of by the most impious assassins and by slaves? If then you would have avenged his death, if you had any idea of continuing free men, and of retaining the constitution, do you think that you ought to hesitate as to what you ought to say, and feel, and think, and decide as to his virtue now that he is alive?


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