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Catiline, in his youth, had been guilty of many criminal connections, with a virgin of noble birth,1 with a priestess of Vesta,2 and of many other offenses of this nature, in defiance alike of law and religion. At last, when he was smitten with a passion for Aurelia Orestilla,3 in whom no good man, at any time of her life, commended any thing but her beauty, it is confidently believed that because she hesitated to marry him, from the dread of having a grown-up step-son,4 he cleared the house for their nuptials by putting his son to death. And this crime appears to me to have been the chief cause of hurrying forward the conspiracy. For his guilty mind, at peace with neither gods nor men, found no comfort either waking or sleeping; so effectually did conscience desolate his tortured spirit.5 His complexion, in consequence, was pale, his eyes haggard, his walk sometimes quick and sometimes slow, and distraction was plainly apparent in every feature and look.

1 XV. With a virgin of noble birth] “Cum virgine nobili.” Who this was is not known. The name may have been suppressed from respect to her family. If what is found in a fragment of Cicero be true, Catiline had an illicit connection with some female, and afterward married the daughter who was the fruit of the connection: Ex eodem stupro et uxorem et filiam invenisti; Orat. in Tog. Cand. (Oration xvi., Ernesti's edit.) On which words Asconius Pedianus makes this comment: "Dicitur Catilinam adulterium commisisse cum quæ ei postea socrus fuit, et ex eo stupro duxisse uxorem, cùm filia ejus esset. Hæc Lucceius quoque Catilinæ objecit in orationibus, quas in eum scripsit. Nomina harum mulierum nondum inveni." Plutarch, too (Life of Cicero, c. 10), says that Catiline was accused of having corrupted his own daughter.

2 With a priestess of Vesta] “Cum sacerdote Vestæ.” This priestess of Vesta was Fabia Terentia, sister to Terentia, Cicero's wife, whom Sallust, after she was divorced by Cicero, married. Clodius accused her, but she was acquitted, either because she was thought innocent, or because the interest of Catulus and others, who exerted themselves in her favor, procured her acquittal. See Orosius, vi. 3; the Oration of Cicero, quoted in the preceding note; and Asconius's commentary on it.

3 Aurelia Orestilla] See c. 35. She was the sister or daughter, as De Brosses thinks, of Cneius Aurelius Orestis, who had been prætor, A.U.C. 677.

4 A grown-up step-son] “Privignum adultâ ætate.” A son of Catiline's by a former marriage.

5 Desolate his tortured spirit] “Mentem exciteam vastabat.” "Conscience desolates the mind, when it deprives it of its proper power and tranquillity, and introduces into it perpetual disquietude." Cortius. Many editions have vexabat.

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