38.  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?  And will the dignity of the Roman people, O priests, be able to support this stain of infamy and inconsistency, while the senate live, while you are the chief man of the public council, if the house of Marcus Tullius Cicero appears joined with the house of Fulvius Flaccus by the memory of a punishment publicly inflicted? Marcus Flaccus because he had acted with Caius Gracchus in a manner opposed to the safety of the republic, was put to death by the sentence of the senate, and his house was destroyed and confiscated, and on the spot Quintus Catulus some time after erected a portico out of the spoils of the Cimbri. But that firebrand and fury of his country, when, under those great generals Piso and Gabinius, he had taken the city, and occupied, and was in entire possession of it, destroyed the memorials of a most illustrious man who was dead, and united my house with the house of Marcus Flaccus, in order that he, after he had crushed the senate, might inflict on him whom the conscript fathers had pronounced to be the saviour of his country, the same punishment which the senate had inflicted on the destroyer of the constitution.
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THE SPEECH OF M. T. CICERO FOR HIS HOUSE. ADDRESSED TO THE PRIESTS
THE SPEECH OF M. T. CICERO AGAINST PUBLIUS VATINIUS; CALLED ALSO, THE EXAMINATION OF PUBLIUS VATINIUS.
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