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In so populous and so corrupt a city, Catiline, as it was very easy to do, kept about him, like a body-guard, crowds of the unprincipled and desperate. For all those shameless, libertine, and profligate characters, who had dissipated their patrimonies by gaming,1 luxury, and sensuality; all who had contracted heavy debts, to purchase immunity for their crimes or offenses; all assassins2 or sacrilegious persons from every quarter, convicted or dreading conviction for their evil deeds; all, besides, whom their tongue or their hand maintained by perjury or civil bloodshed; all, in fine, whom wickedness, poverty, or a guilty conscience disquieted, were the associates and intimate friends of Catiline. And if any one, as yet of unblemished character, fell into his society, he was presently rendered, by daily intercourse and temptation, similar and equal to the rest. But it was the young whose acquaintance he chiefly courted; as their minds, ductile and unsettled from their age, were easily insnared by his stratagems. For as the passions of each, according to his years, appeared excited, he furnished mistresses to some, bought horses and dogs for others, and spared, in a word, neither his purse nor his character, if he could but make them his devoted and trustworthy supporters. There were some, I know, who thought that the youth, who frequented the house of Catiline, were guilty of crimes against nature; but this report arose rather from other causes than from any evidence of the fact.3

1 XIV. Gaming] “Manu.Gerlach, Dietsch, Kritzius, and all the recent editors, agree to interpret manu by gaming.

2 Assassins] “Parricidæ.” "Not only he who had killed his father was called a parricide, but he who had killed any man; as is evident from a law of Numa Pompilius: If any one unlawfully and knowingly bring a free man to death, let him be a parricide." Festus sub voce Parrici.

3 Than from any evidence of the fact] “Quàm quòd cuiquam id compertum foret.

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