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10. [24]

When you had produced in the assembly Lucius Vettius, who had confessed in the senate that he had been armed with the intention of putting Cnaeus Pompeius, that great and illustrious citizen, to death with his own hands; when you had produced him as a witness in the rostra, and placed him in that temple and place consecrated by the auspices; (in that place in which other tribunes of the people have been in the habit of bringing forward the chief men of the state, in order to sanction their authority by their presence, there you wished Vettius the informer to employ his tongue and voice in support of your wickedness and ambitious designs:)—did not Lucius Vettius say, in that assembly which you had convened, when questioned by you, that he had had those men for the originators and encouragers of, and accomplices in that wicked conduct, whom if the city had been deprived of, (and that was your real object at that time,) it could not have continued to stand?

You had endeavoured to murder Marcus Bibulus, as you were not contented with shutting him up in his house; you had stripped him of his consulship,1 you were anxious to deprive him of his country. You wished also to murder Lucius Lucullus, whose exploits you envied above measure, because, I suppose, you from your boyhood had had an eye yourself to the glory of a general; and Caius Curio, the unceasing enemy of all wicked men, the leader of the public council, a man of the greatest freedom in maintaining the common liberties of the citizens, with his son, the chief of the youth of Rome, and who had already shown more devotion to the cause of the republic than could have been expected from his age; [25] and Lucius Domitius, whose dignity and respectability of character, I suppose, blinded the eyes of Vatinius, and whom you hated at the moment on account of your common hatred of all virtuous men and whom you had long feared with reference to the future on account of the hopes which all men had conceived, and indeed do still entertain of him; and Lucius Lentulus, this man who is one of our judges now—the priest of Mars because he was at that time a competitor of your dear friend Gabinius—all these you wished to crush by means of the information of this same Vettius. But if Lentulus had then defeated that disgrace and pest of the republic, which he was prevented from doing by your wickedness, the republic would not have been defeated; moreover, you wished by means of the same information and the same accusation to involve his son in his father's ruin. You comprehended in the same information of Vettius and in the same body of criminals, Lucius Paullus, who was at the time quaestor in Macedonia. How good a citizen! how great a man! who had already banished by his laws two impious traitors to their country, domestic enemies; a man born for the salvation of the republic. [26] Why should I complain of your conduct to myself? When I ought rather to return you thanks, for having thought me deserving of not being separated from the number of gallant and virtuous citizens.

1 After the violent way in which Caesar's partisans had treated Bibulus, which has been alluded to in the preceding chapter, Bibulus complained to the senate the next day; but finding that assembly too completely intimidated to take any notice of it, he retired to his own house, and there shut himself up for the remaining eight months of the year of his consulship and determined to act no more in public except by means of edicts.

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