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But I say nothing of the circumstances under which each of us was elected. I will allow that chance may have been the mistress of the Campus Martius. It is more to the purpose to say how we conducted ourselves in our respective consulships, than how we obtained them. [4]

I, on the first of January, delivered the senate and all virtuous citizens from the fear of an agrarian law and of extravagant largesses. I preserved the Campanian district, if it was not expedient that it should be divided; if it was expedient, I reserved it for more respectable authors of the division. I, in the case of Caius Rabirius, a man on his trial for high treason, supported and defended against envy the authority of the senate which had been interposed forty years before the time of my consulship. I, at the cost of incurring great enmity myself, but without any enmity falling on the senate, deprived some young men—virtuous and brave men indeed but still men in such a peculiar condition that if they had obtained magistracies they would have convulsed the constitution of the republic of the opportunity of canvassing the comitia. [5] By my patience and complaisant conduct I propitiated Antonius my colleague eager for a province, and cherishing many designs injurious to the republic. I in the public assembly renounced the province of Gaul, fully equipped and well appointed with an army and with funds by the authority of the senate, which I had taken in exchange from Antonius, because I thought it advantageous to the republic at that time that I should do so in spite of the outcry raised by the Roman people against my doing so. I ordered Lucius Catiline planning not obscurely, but openly, the slaughter of the senate and the destruction of the city, to depart from the city in order that you might be protected by our walls from his designs from which our laws were insufficient to defend us. I wrested from the nefarious hands of the conspirators the weapons which in the last month of my consulship were aimed at the throats of the citizens. I seized, and brought to light and extinguished the firebrands which were already kindled for the conflagration of the city.

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