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But who is there who is ignorant of what a triumphant return mine was? how the people of Brundusium held out to me on my arrival the right hand, as it were, of all Italy, and of my country herself; and when the same day, the fifth of August, was the day of my arrival, and also the birthday of my dearest daughter, whom I then beheld for the first time after our long regret for one another, and our mourning; and was also the day consecrated as the day of the foundation of that very colony of Brundusium; and also the anniversary of the dedication of the temple of Salus, as you know. And when I had been received into the joyful house of those most excellent and learned men, Laenius Flaccus and his father and brother which had received me with tears the year before when I was leaving Italy and had defended me not without risk and danger to itself; and when along my whole road all the cities of Italy seemed to be keeping the days of my arrival as days of festivity and the roads themselves were filled with a multitude of deputies sent from all quarters, and there was a vast throng of men crowding towards the city, full of exultation and congratulation to me; and my whole path up from the gate of the city, my ascent to the Capitol and my return to my house, was of such a nature, that amid my excessive joy I grieved also that so grateful a city should be so miserable and so ill-treated. [132]

You now, then have an answer to the question which you put to me—who were the best men? They are not a race, as you termed them, an expression which I recognised at once, for it was one invented by that man by whom above all others, Publius Sestius sees himself opposed,—by that man who has wished the whole of this race of Romans destroyed and slaughtered,—who has constantly reproached and constantly attacked Caius Caesar, a very mild-tempered man and very averse to bloodshed, asserting that he, as long as that race lived, would never be free from anxiety. He gained nothing by his attacks on the whole body, but he never ceased to urge the point against me. He attacked me first of all by the instrumentality of the informer Vettius, to whom he put questions in the assembly, concerning me, and concerning the most illustrious men in the state. But while doing this, he joined those citizens in the same danger with me, bringing forward the same accusations against them, so as to deserve great gratitude from me for connecting me with the most honourable and bravest of men.

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