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The next point is one which is often asserted by the enemies of Milo, who say that the senate has decided that the slaughter by which Publius Clodius fell was contrary to the interests of the republic. But, in fact, the senate has approved, not merely by their votes, but even zealously. For how often has that cause been pleaded by us in the senate? with what great assent of the whole body? and that no silent nor concealed assent; for when in a very full senate were there ever four or five men found who did not espouse Milo's cause? Those lifeless assemblies of this nearly burnt1 tribune of the people show the fact; assemblies in which he daily used to try and bring my power into unpopularity, by saying that the senate did not pass its decrees according to what it thought itself, but as I chose.

And if, indeed, that ought to be called power, rather than a moderate influence in a righteous cause on account of great services done to the republic, or some popularity among the good on account of dutiful labours for its sake, let it be called so, as long as we employ it for the safety of the good in opposition to the madness of the wicked.

1 After Clodius's death, Munatius Plancus the tribune exposed his body on the rostrum and harangued the people against Milo, the populace carried the body into the senate house, and made a pyre of the seats to burn it, in doing which they burnt the senate house, and Plancus himself with difficulty escaped.

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load focus Notes (J. B. Greenough, G. L. Kittredge)
load focus Latin (Albert Clark, Albert Curtis Clark, 1918)
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