On the Responses of the Haruspices
Cicero was critical of moves against the Republic. His warnings went unheeded.
"1. Yesterday, O conscript fathers, when I was greatly moved by the thoughts of your dignity, and of the great attendance of the Roman knights to whom a senate was given, I thought myself bound to check the shameless impudence of Publius Clodius, when he was hindering the cause of the publicans from being proceeded with by the most foolish possible questions, and was studying to save Publius Tullio the Syrian and was, even before your eyes selling himself to him to whom, indeed, he had already been entirely sold. Therefore I checked the man in his frenzy and exultation, the very moment that I gave him a hint of the danger of a public trial; and by two half-uttered words I bridled all the violence and ferocity of that gladiator. ...
But he, ignorant what sort of men the consuls were, pale and fuming with me burst on a sudden out of the senate house, with some broken and empty threats and with those denunciations with which he used to terrify us in the time of Piso and Gabinius. And when I began to press upon him, as he was departing, I received the greatest reward of my exertions by all of you rising up at the same time with me, and by all the publicans thronging round me to escort me. But that senseless man stopped on a sudden out of countenance, colourless, and voiceless; then he looked back; and, as soon as he beheld Cnaeus Lentulus... the consul, he fell down almost on the threshold of the senate house from the recollection, I imagine, of his dear friend Gabinius and from regret for Piso. And why need I speak at all of his unbridled and headlong fury? He cannot be wounded by me with more severe language than he was on the instant being crushed and overwhelmed at the very moment of his acting in that manner by Publius Servilius. And even if I were able to equal the extraordinary and almost divine energy and dignity of that man, still I cannot doubt that those weapons which out [sic] enemy hurled at him would appear less powerful and less sharp than those which the colleague of his father aimed at him."
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