I say nothing of the republic, to which Sulla has always been most devoted. Did he wish these friends of his, being such men as they are, so attached to him, by whom his prosperity had been formerly adorned, by whom his adversity is now comforted and relieved, to perish miserably, in order that he himself might be at liberty to pass a most miserable and infamous existence in company with Lentulus, and Catiline, and Cethegus, with no other prospect for the future but a disgraceful death? That suspicion is not consistent,—it is, I say, utterly at variance with such habits, with such modesty, with such a life as his, with the man himself. That sprang up, a perfectly unexampled sort of barbarity; it was an incredible and amazing insanity. The foulness of that unheard of wickedness broke out on a sudden, taking its rise from the countless vices of profligate men accumulated ever since their youth.
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THE ORATION OF M. T. CICERO IN DEFENCE OF PUBLIUS SULLA.
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