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O that action, which careless men laugh at, but which graver citizens cannot hear of without the greatest indignation; has Publius Clodius, who removed religion even out of the house of the Pontifex Maximus,1 introduced it into mine? Do you, you who are the ministers of the religious ceremonies and sacrifices, admit this man to be an originator and regulator of public religion? O ye immortal gods! (for I wish you to hear these things), does Publius Clodius have the management of your sacred rites? Does he feel a reverent awe of your divine power? Is he a man who thinks that all human affairs are regulated by your providence? Is he not mocking the authority of all those eminent men who are here present? Is he not abusing your authority, O priests? Can any expression of religion escape or fall from that mouth? of religion, which with that same mouth you have most foully and shamefully violated, by accusing the senate of passing severe degrees about religion.

1 The Pontifex Maximus was Julius Caesar; and it was in his house that the mysteries of the Bona Dea were being celebrated when Clodius got access to it. On which account Caesar divorced his wife Pompeia.

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