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[140]

And let no one on account of what has happened to me, or perhaps to one or two others besides, fear to adopt this plan of life. One man in this state whom I can mention, a man who had done great services to the republic, Lucius Opimius, did fall in a most shameful manner. And if his grave is a deserted one on the shore of Dyrrachium, he has a most superb monument in our forum. And the Roman people itself at all times delivered him from danger, though he was exceedingly unpopular with the mob on account of the death of Caius Gracchus; and it was a storm coming from another quarter—from an iniquitous judicial derision which crushed that illustrious citizen. But the other men who have done good service to the state have either if for a while they have been stricken by any sudden violence or tempest of popular odium, been restored again and recalled by the people of its own accord, or else they have passed their whole lives without any such injuries or attacks. But they who have disregarded the wisdom of the senate, and the authority of good men, and the established rules of our ancestors, and have sought to become agreeable to an ignorant and excited multitude, have nearly all suffered just retribution and made atonement to the republic either by instant death, or shameful exile.


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