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Could I have such hardness of mind or such shamelessness of eye, as to be able in that city, the preserver of which the senate has so often unanimously decided that I am, to behold my house thrown down, not by my own private enemy, but by the common foe, and then again built up and placed in the sight of the whole city, that the weeping of the virtuous citizens might know no cessation? The house of Spurius Maelius, who aimed at the kingdom, was razed. What else ensued? The Roman people by the very name of Aequimaelium, which they gave the place, decided that what had happened to Maelius was deserved; the punishment inflicted on his folly was approved. The house of Spurius Cassius was destroyed for the same reason; and on the same spot was built the temple of Tellus. The house of Marcus Vaccus1 was in Vaccus's meadows, which was confiscated and destroyed in order that his crime might be kept alive in people's recollection by the name of the place. Marcus Manlius, when he had beaten back the attack of the Gauls from the Capitoline steep, was not content with the renown of his good deed; he was adjudged to have aimed at regal power, and on that account you see that his house was pulled down and the place covered with two groves. That therefore which our ancestors considered the greatest penalty which could be inflicted on wicked and infamous citizens, am I to undergo and to endure, so as to appear to posterity not to have been the extinguisher of conspiracy and wickedness, but its author and leader?

1 Vitruvius Vaccus (as Livy calls him) was the leader of the Fundani in the war between Rome and Privernum. He was taken prisoner in Privernum, and put to death. See Livy, lib. viii. c. 19, 20.

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