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When these men, surrounded with numberless evils, but without any resources or hopes of good, had heard this address, though they thought it much for their advantage to disturb the public tranquillity, yet most of them called on Catiline to state on what terms they were to engage in the contest; what benefits they were to expect from taking up arms; and what support and encouragement they had, and in what quarters.1 Catiline then promised them the abolition of their debts;2 a proscription of the wealthy citizens;3 offices, sacerdotal dignities, plunder, and all other gratifications which war, and the license of conquerors, can afford. He added that Piso was in Hither Spain, and Publius Sittius Nucerinus with an army in Mauritania, both of whom were privy to his plans; that Caius Antonius, whom he hoped to have for a colleague, was canvassing for the consulship, a man with whom he was intimate, and who was involved in all manner of embarrassments; and that, in conjunction with him, he himself, when consul, would commence operations. He, moreover, assailed all the respectable citizens with reproaches, commended each of his associates by name, reminded one of his poverty, another of his ruling passion,4 several others of their danger or disgrace, and many of the spoils which they had obtained by the victory of Sylla. When he saw their spirits sufficiently elevated, he charged them to attend to his interest at the election of consuls, and dismissed the assembly.

1 XXI. What support or encouragement they had, and in what quarters] “Quid ubique opis aut spei haberent;” i.e. “quid opis aut spei, et ubi, haberent.” So c. 27, init. Quem ubique opportunum credebat, i.e., says Cortius, "quem, et ubi illum, opportunum credebat."

2 Abolition of their debts] “Tabulas novas.” Debts were registered on tablets; and, when the debts were paid, the score was effaced, and the tablets were ready to be used as new. See Ernesti's Clav. in Cic. sub voce.

3 Proscription of the wealthy citizens] “Proscriptionem locupletium.” The practice of proscription was commenced by Sylla, who posted up, in public places of the city, the names of those whom he doomed to death, offering rewards to such as should bring him their heads. Their money and estates he divided among his adherents, and Catiline excited his adherents with hopes of similar plunder.

4 Another of his ruling passion] “Admonebat--alium cupiditatis secæ.” Rose renders this passage, " Some he put in mind of their poverty, others of their amours." De Brosses renders it, "Il remontre à l'un sa pauvreté, à l'autre son ambition." Ruling passion, however, seems to be the proper sense of cupiditatis; as it is said, in c. 14, " As the passions of each, according to his years, appeared excited, he furnished mistresses to some, bought horses and dogs for others," etc.

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