What? may I not speak of the other
misfortunes of the republic?—At all events it is in my power, and it
always will be in my power, to uphold my own dignity and to despise death. Let
me have only the power to come into this house, and I will never shrink from the
danger or declaring my opinion!
And, O conscript fathers, would that I had been able to be present on the first
of August; not that I should have been able to do any good, but to prevent any
one saying that not no senator of consular rank (as was the case then) was found
worthy of that honour and worthy of the republic. And this circumstance indeed
gives me great pain, that men who have enjoyed the most honourable distinctions
which the Roman people can confer; did not second Lucius Piso, the proposer of
an excellent opinion. Is it for this that the Roman people made us consuls,
that, being placed on the loftiest and most honourable step of
dignity, we should consider the republic of no importance? Not only did no
single man of consular dignity indicate his agreement with Lucius Piso by his
voice, but they did not venture even to look as if they agreed with him.