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When Catiline saw those, whom I have just above mentioned,1 assembled, though he had often discussed many points with them singly, yet thinking it would be to his purpose to address and exhort them in a body, retired with them into a private apartment of his house, where, when all witnesses were withdrawn, he harangued them to the following effect:

" If your courage and fidelity had not been sufficiently proved by me, this favorable opportunity2 would have occurred to no purpose; mighty hopes, absolute power, would in vain be within our grasp; nor should I, depending on irresolution or ficklemindedness, pursue contingencies instead of certainties. But as I have, on many remarkable occasions, experienced your bravery and attachment to me, I have ventured to engage in a most important and glorious enterprise. I am aware, too, that whatever advantages or evils affect you, the same affect me; and to have the same desires and the same aversions, is assuredly a firm bond of friendship.

"What I have been meditating you have already heard separately. But my ardor for action is daily more and more excited, when I consider what our future condition of life must be, unless we ourselves assert our claims to liberty.3 For since the government has fallen under the power and jurisdiction of a few, kings and princes4 have constantly been their tributaries; nations and states have paid them taxes; but all the rest of us, however brave and worthy, whether noble or plebeian, have been regarded as a mere mob, without interest or authority, and subject to those, to whom, if the state were in a sound condition, we should be a terror. Hence, all influence, power, honor, and wealth, are in their hands, or where they dispose of them; to us they have left only insults,5 dangers, persecutions, and poverty. To such indignities, O bravest of men, how long will you submit? Is it not better to die in a glorious attempt, than, after having been the sport of other men's insolence, to resign a wretched and degraded existence with ignominy?

"But success (I call gods and men to witness!) is in our own hands. Our years are fresh, our spirit is unbroken; among our oppressors, on the contrary, through age and wealth a general debility has been produced. We have therefore only to make a beginning; the course of events6 will accomplish the rest.

"Who in the world, indeed, that has the feelings of a man, can endure that they should have a superfluity of riches, to squander in building over seas7 and leveling mountains, and that means should be wanting to us even for the necessaries of life; that they should join together two houses or more, and and that we should not have a hearth to call our own ? They, though they purchase pictures, statues, and embossed plate ;8 though they pull down new buildings and erect others, and lavish and abuse their wealth in every possible method, yet can not, with the utmost efforts of caprice, exhaust it. But for us there is poverty at home, debts abroad; our present circumstances are bad, our prospects much worse; and what, in a word, have we left, but a miserable existence ?

"Will you not, then, awake to action? Behold that liberty, that liberty for which you have so often wished, with wealth, honor, and glory, are set before your eyes. All these prizes fortune offers to the victorious. Let the enterprise itself, then, let the opportunity, let your poverty, your dangers, and the glorious spoils of war, animate you far more than my words. Use me either as your leader or your fellow-soldier; neither my heart nor my hand shall be wanting to you. These objects I hope to effect, in concert with you, in the character of consul; unless, iudeed, my expectation deceives me, and you prefer to be slaves rather than masters."

1 XX. Just above mentioned] In c. 17.

2 Favorable opportunity] “Opportuna res.” See the latter part of c. 16.

3 Assert our claims to liberty] “Nosmet ipsi vindicamus in libertatem.” Unless we vindicate ourselves into liberty. See below,"En illa, illa, quam sæpe optâstis, libertas," etc.

4 Kings and princes] “Reges tetrarchæ.” Tetrarchs were properly those who had the government of the fourth part of the country; but at length, the signification of the word being extended, it was applied to any governors of any country who were possessed of supreme authority, and yet were not acknowledged as kings by the Romans. See Hirt. Bell. Alex. c. 67: Deiotarus, at that time tetrarch of almost all Gallogræcia, a supremacy which the other tetrarchs would not allow to be granted him either by the laws or by custom, but indisputably acknowledged as king of Armenia Minor by the senate," etc. Dietsch. "Cicero, Phil. II., speaks of Reges Tetrarchas Dynastasque. And Lucan has (vii. 46) Tretrarchæ regesque tenent, magnique tyranni." Wasse. Horace also says, “---- Modo reges atque tetrarchas,
Omnia magna loquens.
” I have, with Rose, rendered the word princes, as being the most eligible term.

5 Insults] “Repulsas.” Repulses in standing for office.

6 The course of events, etc.] “Cætera res expediet.”--" Of. Cic. Ep. Div. xiii. 26: explicare et expedire negotia." Gerlach.

7 Building over seas] See c. 13.

8 Embossed plate] “Toreumata.” The same as vasa cælata, sculptured vases, c. 11. Vessels ornamented in bas-relief; from τορεύειν, scuolere; see Bentley ad Hor. A. P., 441. "Perbona toreumata, in his pocula duo," etc. Cic. in Verr. iv. 18.

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