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Cossutianus made a beginning, and then Marcellus in more violent tones exclaimed that the whole commonwealth was at stake. "It is," he said, "the stubbornness of inferiors which lessens the clemency of our ruler. We senators have hitherto been too lenient in allowing him to be mocked with impunity by Thrasea throwing off allegiance, by his son-in-law Helvidius Priscus indulging similar frenzies, by Paconius Agrippinus, the inheritor of his father's hatred towards emperors, and by Curtius Montanus, the habitual composer of abominable verses. I miss the presence of an ex-consul in the Senate, of a priest when we offer our vows, of a citizen when we swear obedience, unless indeed, in defiance of the manners and rites of our ancestors, Thrasea has openly assumed the part of a traitor and an enemy. In a word, let the man, wont to act the senator and to screen those who disparage the prince, come among us; let him propose any reform or change he may desire. We shall more readily endure his censure of details than we can now bear the silence by which he condemns everything. Is it the peace throughout the world or victories won without loss to our armies which vex him? A man who grieves at the country's prosperity, who treats our public places, theatres and temples as if they were a desert, and who is ever threatening us with exile, let us not enable such an one to gratify his perverse vanity. To him the decrees of this house, the offices of State, the city of Rome seem as nothing. Let him sever his life from a country all love for which he has long lost and the very sight of which he has now put from him."

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