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[38] Well, what exploits did you perform in this command, with this army, and in this consular province? I ask, O conscript fathers, what exploits he performed. A man who, the moment he arrived—(I am not yet speaking of his acts of rapine, I am not yet speaking of the sums of money which he extorted, or seized, or levied, nor of his slaughter of our allies, nor of his murders of his own friends, nor of his perfidy, nor of his inhumanity, nor of his wicked actions: presently, if you choose to hear me, I will argue with him as with a thief, as with a robber of temples, as with an assassin; but for the present I am only going to compare my own fortune when stripped of everything, with that of that great commander when at the height of prosperity.) Who ever had any province with a fine army without sending some letters recounting his achievements, to the senate? But who ever had so important a province as that, with so splendid an army? who ever had Macedonia of all provinces—a land which has on its borders so many tribes of barbarians that the commanders in Macedonia have always had only just those boundaries of their province which were also the boundaries of their swords and javelins,—without sending such letters? Letters! why, not only several men who have had only praetorian authority have triumphed, but there is not one single instance of any man who had exercised consular authority in that province returning in health and vigour, without celebrating a triumph for his achievements performed in that command. It is quite a new thing; this which I am going to mention is newer still. This vulture of that province—(hear it, O ye gods) has been styled Imperator!

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