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5. [9]

And, that you may understand the diversity of his pursuits and the variety of his designs, there was no one in any school of gladiators, at all inclined to audacity, who does not avow himself to be an intimate friend of Catiline,—no one on the stage, at all of a fickle and worthless disposition, who does not profess himself his companion. And he, trained in the practice of insult and wickedness, in enduring cold, and hunger, and thirst, and watching, was called a brave man by those fellows, while all the appliances of industry and instruments of virtue were devoted to lust and atrocity. [10]

But if his companions follow him,—if the infamous herd of desperate men depart from the city, O happy shall we be, fortunate will be the republic, illustrious will be the renown of my consulship. For theirs is no ordinary insolence,—no common and endurable audacity. They think of nothing but slaughter, conflagration, and rapine. They have dissipated their patrimonies, they have squandered their fortunes. Money has long failed them, and now credit begins to fail; but the same desires remain which they had in their time of abundance. But if in their drinking and gambling parties they were content with feasts and harlots, they would be in a hopeless state indeed; but yet they might be endured. But who can bear this,—that indolent men should plot against the bravest,—drunkards against the sober,—men asleep against men awake,—men lying at feasts, embracing abandoned women, languid with wine, crammed with food, crowned with chaplets, reeking with ointments, worn out with lust, belch out in their discourse the murder of all good men, and the conflagration of the city?

[11] But I am confident that some fate is hanging over these men; and that the punishment long since due to their iniquity, and worthlessness, and wickedness, and lust, is either visibly at hand or at least rapidly approaching. And if my consulship shall have removed, since it cannot cure them, it will have added, not some brief span, but many ages of existence to the republic. For there is no nation for us to fear,—no king who can make war on the Roman people. All foreign affairs are tranquilized, both by land and sea, by the valour of one man. Domestic war alone remains. The only plots against us are within our own walls,—the danger is within,—the enemy is within. We must war with luxury, with madness, with wickedness. For this war, O citizens, I offer myself as the general. I take on myself the enmity of profligate men. What can be cured, I will cure, by whatever means it may be possible. What must be cut away, I will not suffer to spread, to the ruin of the republic. Let them depart, or let them stay quiet; or if they remain in the city and in the same disposition as at present, let them expect what they deserve.

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load focus Notes (J. B. Greenough, G. L. Kittredge)
load focus Latin (Albert Clark, Albert Curtis Clark, 1908)
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