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[23] What? do you think that the consulship consists in being attended by lictors and in wearing the toga praetexta? ornaments which, while you were consul you wished to belong also to Sextus Clodius. And do you, O you dog of Clodius's, think that the consulship consists wholly in the possession of these insignia? A consul ought to be a consul in courage, in wisdom, in good faith, in dignity, in vigilance, in prudence, in performing all the labours and duties of the consulship, and above all things—as, indeed, the name of the magistracy itself points out—in consulting the interests of the republic. Am I to think that man a consul who thought that the senate had no existence in the republic? and am I to account him a consul, who takes no heed of that great council without which, even in the time of the kingly power, the kings could not have any existence at Rome? But I pass over all those points. When a levy of slaves was being held in the forum; when arms were in open daylight being carried to the temple of Castor; and when that temple, having its doors thrown down and its steps torn up, was occupied by the remnant of the conspirators, and by the man who had once been a pretended accuser of Catiline, but who now was seeking to be his avenger; when Roman knights were being banished; when virtuous men were being driven with stones out of the forum; when the senate were prevented not only from assisting the republic, but even from mourning over it; when that citizen, whom this venerable body, with the assent of Italy and all the nations of the earth, had styled the saviour of his country, was being driven away without a trial, in a manner contrary to all law, contrary to all precedent, by slaves and an armed mob;—I will not say, with your assistance (though I might say that with truth), but certainly without your lifting up your voice against it;—will any one believe that there were any consuls at all at to me at that time?

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