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[17] Wherefore, O Romans, wait now for the return of the ambassadors and devour your annoyance for a few days. And when they do return if they bring back peace, believe me that I have been desirous that they should if they bring back war, then allow me the praise of foresight. Ought I not to be provident for the welfare of my fellow-citizens? Ought I not day and night to think of your freedom and of the safety of the republic? For what do I not owe to you, O Romans, since you have preferred for all the honors of the state a man who is his own father to the most nobly born men in the republic? Am I ungrateful? Who is less so? I, who, after I had obtained those honors, have constantly labored in the forum with the same exertions as I used while striving for them. Am I inexperienced in state affairs? Who has had more practice than I, who have now for twenty years been waging war against impious citizens?

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