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[3]

Why should I speak of him as a candidate for the consulship, who caused M. Marius, a man most beloved by the Roman people, to be beaten with vine-rods in the sight of that Roman people from one end of the City to the other—forced him up to the tomb—rent his frame with every kind of torture, and while he was still alive and breathing, cut off his head with his sword in his right hand, while he held the hairs on the crown of his head with his left, and carried off his head in his own hand with streams of blood flowing through his fingers ? 1 A man who afterwards lived with actors and gladiators on such terms that the former ministered to his lust, the latter to his crimes—who never approached a place so sacred or holy as not to leave there, even if no actual crime were committed, some suspicion of dishonour founded on his abandoned character—a man whose closest friends in the senate were the Curii and the Annii, in the auction rooms the Sapalae and Carvilii, in the equestrian order the Pompilii and Vettii—a man of such consummate impudence, such abandoned profligacy, in fine, such cunning and success in lasciviousness, that he corrupted young boys when almost in the bosoms of their parents? Why should I after this mention Africa to you, or the depositions of the witnesses? They are well known—read them again and again yourself. Nevertheless, I think that I should not omit to mention that he left that court in the first place as needy as some of the jurors were before the trial, and in the second place the object of such hatred, that another prosecution against him is called for every day. His position is such that he is more likely to be nervous even if you do nothing, than contemptuous if you start any proceedings.

What much better fortune in your canvass is yours than that which not long ago fell to the lot of another "new man", Gaius Caelius! 2 He had two men of the highest rank as competitors, but they were of such a character that their rank was the least of their recommendations—genius of the highest order, supreme modesty, very numerous public services, most excellent methods of conducting a canvass, and diligence in carrying them out. And yet Caelius, though much inferior in birth, and superior in hardly anything, beat one of them. Wherefore, if you do what your natural ability and studies, which you have always pursued, enable you to do, what the exigencies of your present position require, what you are capable of doing and are bound to do, you will not have a difficult struggle with competitors who are by no means so conspicuous for their birth as notorious for their vices. For what citizen can there be found so ill-affected as to wish by one vote to draw two daggers against the Republic?


1 M. Marius Gratidianus (Ascon. 84). These denunciations of Antonius and Catiline seem to be taken from the oration in toga candida.

2 Caelius, consul B.C. 94 with Cn. Domitius Ahenobarbus.

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