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[50]

I recollected, O judges, that that godlike man, sprung from the same district as myself, for the preservation of this empire, Caius Marius, in extreme old age, when he had escaped from violence little short of a pitched battle, first of all hid his aged body up to his neck in the marshes and from thence crossed over in a very little boat to the most desolate regions of Africa, avoiding all harbours and all inhabited countries. And he preserved his own life, that he might not fall unavenged, for the most uncertain hopes, but still for his country. Should not I, who (as many men in the senate said during my absence) had the safety of the republic bound up with my life, and who on that account was by the public order of the senate, recommended by the letters of the consuls to the protection of foreign nations,—should not I, I say, have been betraying the republic if I had neglected the preservation of my own life? In the city now since I have been restored there lives in my person an example of the public good faith, an instance of its being worth men's while to defend the republic. And if this example is preserved for ever who is there who can fail to see that this city will be immortal?


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