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Wherefore, let them take care that it is not considered a most unjust and intolerable thing, that their authority in matters affecting the dignity of Cnaeus Pompeius should hitherto have been constantly approved of by you, but that your judgment, and the authority of the Roman people in the case of the same man, should be disregarded by them. Especially when the Roman people can now, of its own right, defend its own authority with respect to this man against all who dispute it,—because, when those very same men objected, you chose him alone of all men to appoint to the management of the war against the pirates. [64] If you did this at random, and had but little regard for the interests of the republic, then they are right to endeavour to guide your party spirit by their wisdom; but if you at that time showed more foresight in the affairs of the state than they did; if you, in spite of their resistance, by yourselves conferred dignity on the empire, safety on the whole world; then at last let those noble men confess that both they and all other men must obey the authority of the universal Roman people. And in this Asiatic and royal war, not only is that military valour required, which exists in a singular degree in Cnaeus Pompeius, but many other great virtues of mind are also demanded. It is difficult for your commander-in-chief in Asia, Cilicia, Syria, and all the kingdoms of the inland nations, to behave in such a manner as to think of nothing else but the enemy and glory. Then, even if there be some men moderate and addicted to the practice of modesty and self-government, still, such is the multitude of covetous and licentious men, that no one thinks that these are such men. It is difficult to tell you, O Romans, how great our unpopularity is among foreign nations, on account of the injurious and licentious behaviour of those whom we have of late years sent among them with military command. [65] For, in all those countries which are now under our dominion, what temple do you think has had a sufficiently holy reputation, what city has been sufficiently sacred, what private house has been sufficiently closed and fortified, to be safe from them? They seek out wealthy and splendid cities to find presence for making war on them for the sake of plundering them. [66] I would willingly argue this with those most eminent and illustrious men, Quintus Catulus and Quintus Hortensius; for they know the distresses of the allies, they see their calamities, they hear their complaints. Do you think that you are sending an army in defence of your allies against their enemies, or rather, under presence of the existence of enemies, against your allies and friends themselves? What city is there in Asia which can stand the ferocity and arrogance, I will not say of the, army, of a commander-in-chief, or of a lieutenant, but of even the brigade of one single military tribune?

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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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