“But unless you,” says he, “had undertaken his cause, he would never have resisted me, but would have fled without saying a word in his defence.” Even if I were to grant to you that Quintus Hortensius, being a man of such wisdom as he is, and that all these men of high character, rely not on their own judgment but on mine; if I were to grant to you, what no one can believe, that these men would not have countenanced Publius Sulla if I had not done so too; still, which is the king, he whom men, though perfectly innocent, cannot resist, or he who does not abandon men in misfortune? But here too, though you had not the least occasion for it, you took a fancy to be witty, when you called me Tarquin, and Numa, and the third foreign king of Rome. I won't say any more about the word king; but I should like to know why you called me a foreigner. For, if I am such, then it is not so marvellous that I should be a king,—because, as you say yourself, foreigners have before now been kings at Rome,—as that a foreigner should be a consul at Rome. “This is what I mean,” says he, “that you come from a municipal town.”
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THE ORATION OF M. T. CICERO IN DEFENCE OF PUBLIUS SULLA.
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