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7.

And what was most infamous not only to see, but even to hear of, armed men, robbers, assassins were stationed in the temple of Concord; the temple was turned into a prison; the doors of the temple were closed, and the conscript fathers delivered their opinions while robbers were standing among the benches of the senators. [19] And if I did not come to a senate-house in this state, he, on the first of September, said that he would send carpenters and pull down my house. It was an important affair, I suppose, that was to be discussed. He made some motion about a supplication. I attended the day after. He himself did not come. I delivered my opinion about the republic, not indeed with quite so much freedom as usual, but still with more than the threats of personal danger to myself made perhaps advisable. But that violent and furious man (for Lucius Piso had done the same thing with great credit thirty days before) threatened me with his enmity, and ordered me to attend the senate on the nineteenth of September. In the meantime he spent the whole of the intervening seventeen days in the villa of Scipio, at Tibur, declaiming against me to make himself thirsty. For this is his usual object in declaiming. [20] When the day arrived on which he had ordered me to attend, then he came with a regular army in battle array to the temple of Concord, and out of his impure mouth vomited forth an oration against me in my absence. On which day, if my friends had not prevented me from attending the senate as I was anxious to do, he would have begun a massacre by the slaughter of me. For that was what he had resolved to do. And when once he had dyed his sword in blood, nothing would have made him leave off but pure fatigue and satiety. In truth, his brother, Lucius. Antonius, was present, an Asiatic gladiator, who had fought as a mirmillo,1 at Mylasa; he was thirsting for my blood, and had shed much of his own in that gladiatorial combat. He was now valuing our property in his mind, taking notice of our possessions in the city and in the country; his indigence united with his covetousness was threatening all our fortunes; he was distributing our lands to whomsoever and in whatever shares he pleased; no private individual could get access to him, or find any means to propitiate him, and induce him to act with justice. Every former propraetor had just so much property as Antonius left him after the division of his estate. [21] And although all these proceedings can not be ratified, if you annul his laws, still I think that they ought all to be separately taken note of, article by article; and that we ought formally to decide that the appointment of septemvirs was null and void; and that nothing is ratified which is said to have been done by them.

1 The mirmillo was the gladiator who fought with the retiarius; he wore a Gallic helmet with a fish for a crest.

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