To what destiny of mine, O conscript fathers, shall I say that it is owing, that
none for the last twenty years has been an enemy to the republic without at the
same time declaring war against me? Nor is there any necessity for naming any
particular person; you yourselves recollect instances in proof of my statement.
They have all hitherto suffered severer punishments than I could have wished for
them; but I marvel that you, O Antonius, do not fear the end of these men whose
conduct you are imitating. And in others I was less surprised at this. None of
those men of former times was a voluntary enemy to me; all of them were attacked
by me for the sake of the republic. But you, who have never been injured by me,
not even by a word, in order to appear more audacious than Catiline, more
frantic than Clodius, have of your own accord attacked me with
abuse, and have considered that your alienation from me would be a
recommendation of you to impious citizens.
What am I to think? that I have been despised?