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31. [67]

About this time a little later than he himself would approve, Cnaeus Pompeius, greatly against the will of those men who by their own contrivances and by false alarms had turned away the inclination of that most virtuous and gallant man from the defence of my safety, awakened again that habit which he had of devotion to the cause of the good government of the republic, which had been, I will not say lulled asleep, but a little checked and blasted by some sort of suspicion. That man, who by his virtuous valour had subdued the most wicked of citizens, and the most active of foreign enemies, and the mightiest nations, and kings, and savage and hitherto unheard-of tribes, and a countless host of pirates, and also the slaves; who, having put a happy end to every war by land and sea, had made the boundaries of the empire of the Roman people co-equal with the extent of the world; would not allow that republic to be overturned by the wickedness of a few men, which, he himself had repeatedly saved, not only by his counsels, but even by his own blood; he came to the succour of the public cause; he resisted the remainder of those men's measures by his authority; he addressed to the authorities complaints as to what had already happened. [68] Some inclination towards a better state of things appeared to arise. The senate, in a full house, passed a decree respecting my return, on the first of June, without a single dissenting voice, on the motion of Lucius Ninnius, whose good faith and virtue never wavered in my cause. Somebody of the name of Ligus, some obscure fellow, some contemptible addition to my enemies, interposed his veto. The affair and our cause were now in such a state that we seemed to look up, and to be coming to life again. Whoever had had the slightest participation in the wickedness of Clodius as connected with my sufferings, wherever he came, or in whatever trial he appeared, was sure to be condemned. Not a man was found who would admit that he had given a vote against me. My brother had departed from Asia, with every appearance of mourning, but with far deeper grief at his heart. As he came towards the city, the whole city went forth to meet him with tears and groans. The senate was speaking with unusual freedom. The Roman knights were constantly meeting. That excellent man Piso, my son-in-law,1 who was not allowed time to receive the reward of his affection, either from me or from the Roman people, kept beseeching his relation to give him back his father-in-law. The senate refused to entertain any proposition whatever till the consuls had made a motion concerning me.

1 He was dead.

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