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44. 'Ardeates' inquit, 'ueteres amici, noui etiam ciues mei, quando et uestrum beneficium ita tulit et fortuna hoc eguit mea, nemo uestrum condicionis meae oblitum me huc processisse putet; sed res ac periculum commune cogit quod quisque possit in re trepida praesidii in medium conferre. [2] et quando ego uobis pro tantis uestris in me meritis gratiam referam, si nunc cessauero? aut ubi usus erit mei uobis, si in bello non fuerit? hac arte in patria steti et inuictus bello, in pace ab ingratis ciuibus pulsus sum. [3] [p. 5067]uobis autem, Ardeates, fortuna oblata est et pro tantis populi Romani pristinis beneficiis quanta ipsi meministisnec enim exprobranda ea apud memores suntgratiae referendae et huic urbi decus ingens belli ex hoste communi pariendi. [4] qui effuso agmine aduentant gens est cui natura corpora animosque magna magis quam firma dederit; eo in certamen omne plus terroris quam uirium ferunt. [5] argumento sit clades Romana. patentem cepere urbem: ex arce Capitolioque iis exigua resistitur manu: iam obsidionis taedio uicti abscedunt uagique per agros palantur. [6] cibo uinoque raptim hausto repleti, ubi nox adpetit, prope riuos aquarum sine munimento, sine stationibus ac custodiis passim ferarum ritu sternuntur, nunc ab secundis rebus magis etiam solito incauti. [7] si uobis in animo est tueri moenia uestra nec pati haec omnia Galliam fieri, prima uigilia capite arma frequentes, me sequimini ad caedem, non ad pugnam. nisi uinctos somno uelut pecudes trucidandos tradidero, non recuso eundem Ardeae rerum mearum exitum quem Romae habui'.

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