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[19] Was I, forsooth, anxious to lean on the counsel or protection of that piece of senseless cattle, of that bit of rotten flesh? was I likely to seek for any support or ornament for myself from that contemptible carcass? I suppose I was looking for a consul, I say, but one (that I was not likely to find in that hog) who might uphold the cause of the republic with his dignity and wisdom, not one who like a stock or like a trunk of a tree, if he only stood upright, might maintain the title of consul. For as the whole of my cause was the cause of a consul and of the senate, I had need of the assistance of the consul and senate; one of which sources of aid was even turned by you when you were consuls to my injury; the other was entirely suspended, if not abolished in the republic.

But if you ask what were my intentions; I would not have yielded, and the republic should still have retained me in its embrace, if I had only had to contend with contemptible gladiators,1 and with you, and with your colleague. For the cause of that most admirable man Quintus Metellus was a wholly different one; a citizen whom, in my opinion, I consider equal in glory to the immortal gods;

1 The Latin is bustuarius; literally, one who fights at the funeral pile in honour of the dead.

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