That is indeed in my opinion a just and genuine triumph,
when men who have deserved well of the republic receive public testimony to
their merits from the unanimous consent of the senate. For if, at a time of
general rejoicing on the part of the Roman people, they addressed their
congratulations to one individual, that is a great proof of their opinion of
him; if they gave him thanks, that is a greater still; if they did both, then
nothing more honorable to him can be possibly imagined.
Are you saying all this of yourself? some one will ask. It is indeed against my
will that I do so; but my indignation at injustice makes me boastful, contrary
to my usual habit. Is it not sufficient that thanks should not be given to men
who have well earned them, by men who are ignorant of the very nature of virtue?
And shall accusations and odium be attempted to be excited against those men who
devote all their thoughts to insuring the safety of the republic?