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[4]

Having thus set forth what advantages you have and might have to set against your "newness," I think I ought now to say a word on the importance of what you are trying for. You are seeking the consulship, an office of which no one thinks you unworthy, but of which there are many who will be jealous. For, while by birth of equestrian rank, 1 you are seeking the highest rank in the state, and yet one which, though the highest, reflects much greater splendour on a man of courage eloquence and pure life than on others. Don't suppose that those who have already held that office are blind to the political position you will occupy, when once you have obtained the same. I suspect, however, that those who, though born of consular families, have not attained the position of their ancestors will unless they happen to he strongly attached to you feel 'some' jealousy. Even "new men" who have been praetors I think, unless under great obligations to you, will not like to be surpassed by you in official rank. Lastly, in the populace itself, I am sure it will occur to you how many are envious, how many, from the precedents of recent years, are averse to "new men." It must also needs be that some are angry with you in consequence of the causes which you have pleaded. Nay, carefully consider this also, whether, seeing that you have devoted yourself with such fervour to the promotion of Pompey's glory you can suppose certain men to be your friends on that account. 2 Wherefore, seeing that you are seeking the highest place in the state, and at the same time that there do exist sentiments opposed to you, you must positively employ every method and all your vigilance, labour, and attention to business.


1 Cicero, of course, was now a senator, but he was the first of his family who had been so. The others who came forward for the consulship were two patricians, P. Sulpicius Galba, L. Sergius Catilina; four plebeians. C. Antonius, L. Cassius Longinus, whom Asconius calls nobiles, i.e., members of families who had held curule office; and Q. Cornificius and C. Licinius Sacerdos, whose families had only recently risen to this position, tantum non primi ex familiis suis magistratum adepti erant (Asc.).

2 He hints, I think, at Caesar, who Supported Antonius and Catiline and also the Luculli, who were opponents of Pompey.

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