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After Pompey, however, was sent to the maritime and Mithridatic wars, the power of the people was diminished, and the influence of the few increased. These few kept all public offices, the administration of the provinces, and every thing else, in their own hands; they themselves lived free from harm,1 in flourishing circumstances, and without apprehension; overawing others, at the same time, with threats of impeachment,2 so that, when in office, they might be less inclined to inflame the people. But as soon as a prospect of change, in this dubious state of affairs, had presented itself, the old spirit of contention awakened their passions; and had Catiline, in his first battle, come off victorious, or left the struggle undecided, great distress and calamity must certainly have fallen upon the state, nor would those, who might at last have gained the ascendency, have been allowed to enjoy it long, for some superior power would have wrested dominion and liberty from them when weary and exhausted.

There were some, however, unconnected with the conspiracy, who set out to join Catiline at an early period of his proceedings. Among these was Aulus Fulvius, the son of a senator, whom, being arrested on his journey, his father ordered to be put to death.3 In Rome, at the same time, Lentulus, in pursuance of Catiline's directions, was endeavoring to gain over, by his own agency or that of others, all whom he thought adapted, either by principles or circumstances, to promote an insurrection; and not citizens only, but every description of men who could be of any service in war.

1 XXXIX. Free from harm] “Innoxii.” In a passive sense.

2 Overawing others -- with threats of impeachment] “Cæteros judiciis errere.” “"Accusationibus et judiciorum periculis."” Bernouf.

3 His father ordered to be put to death] “Parens necari jussit.” "His father put him to death, not by order of the consuls, but by his own private authority; nor was he the only one who, at the same period, exercised similar power." Dion. Cass., lib. xxxvii. The father observed on the occasion that, " he had begotten him, not for Catiline against his country, but for his country against Catiline." Val. Max., v. 8. The Roman laws allowed fathers absolute control over the lives of their children.

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