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THE SECOND ORATION OF CICERO AGAINST CATILINE. Addressed to the PEOPLE. - Gaius Sallustius Crispus (Sallust), The Works of Sallust (Gordon’s Discourses, Cicero’s Orations against Catiline) 
The Works of Sallust, translated into English with Political Discourses upon that Author. To which is added, a translation of Cicero’s Four Orations against Catiline (London: R. Ware, 1744).
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THE SECOND ORATION OF CICERO AGAINST CATILINE. Addressed to the PEOPLE.
AT length, Citizens, we have freed ourselves from Catiline. However raging he be with desperate Designs, however breathing Cruelty and Vengeance, labouring to bring Perdition upon his native State, threatening you with Massacre, your City with Flames; yet we have driven him out of Rome; at least constrained him to go, or hastened his going, though by no other Power than that of Speech. He is departed; he is withdrawn; he has fled; he has rushed away.
We shall no longer have this mighty Monster, this prodigious Parricide, employed within our Walls in Schemes for public Destruction. We have, without Dispute, already conquered this Leader, this great Leader of our Tumults and Insurrections in Rome; since we shall not, now, see our Breasts daily exposed to his murdering Dagger: We shall not have him henceforth to alarm us in the Field of Elections, nor in the Place of public Business, nor in the Senate, nor, finally, in our private Dwellings. He was then deprived of his most formidable Situation, when he was forced out of the City. We shall thus be able to make regular War against the Enemy, openly in the Field, since he remains not now to obstruct us in the City.
Doubtless we confounded the Man, and gloriously defeated him; when, from his treasonable Devices in secret, we drove him hence into the avowed Practice of a public Robber. He has missed his Aim, of leaving Rome behind him in Ashes, the Citizens berest of their Lives, and the Consul murdered: He could not first brandish, as he intended, his Sword besmeared with my Blood; nay, he saw his Sword wrested out of his Hands: Judge, therefore, what infinite Mortification and Anguish must have astonished and overwhelmed him: He now lies prostrate and groveling, O Citizens; he perceives himself crushed and forlorn: Surely he looks back, often, and wishfully, to this City, and bewails to see it snatched from his ravening Jaws: Whilst the City, in her turn, seems to exult, that she has disgorged, and, finally, cast out, so pestilent a Citizen.
Now, if any one, possessed with a Spirit becoming every Roman, brings a Charge against me, in the Warmth of his Zeal, that I thus triumph and rejoice in the Style of Victory, for having rather forced away such a pestilent Enemy, than secured him in Bonds; know, Citizens, that such Blame is not imputable to me, but to the Temper of the Times. It has long since become a Duty to the Public to have doomed Catiline to the most exemplary Pains and Death; nay, this Duty was incumbent upon me, as what the primitive Institutions of our State, what the Severity of the Consular Power, what the injured Commonwealth, all at once require of me. But can you conjecture how many, how very many there were, all ready to disbelieve whatever Charges I had to produce against him? how many so silly, as not to conceive it probable? how many bent even to vindicate and defend him? how many mischievously disposed to espouse his Cause?
If, indeed, I had conceived, that, by sentencing him to die, I could have perfectly delivered you from the impending Peril, I should have long since so sentenced him, at the Peril not only of popular Censure, but even of my own Life. Now when I perceived, that tho’ I had even first convinced you all of his Guilt, yet, were I to order him to Execution, as he deserved, the Consequence would be such a Weight of Hate and Despite falling upon me, as to disable me from bringing his Associates to Judgment; I therefore directed all my Measures to this Point, that, when you once saw him an Enemy declared, you would then openly attack him. How formidable an Enemy I esteem him abroad, you may infer, my Countrymen, from hence, that I am sincerely concerned to see so small a Train of Followers accompanying him out of Rome: I wish from my Soul, that he had drawn forth with him his whole Force. I must own, he hath deprived us of Tongillus, (the Darling of his unnatural Passion, when yet a Boy) together with Publicius and Munatius; Men, whose long Reckonings, due at Brothels, could have involved the Commonwealth in no dangerous Insurrections. Behind him he hath left, what Men indeed! how oppressed with Debts! how puissant! how illustrious!
Whilst, therefore, we are furnished with such an Army, consisting of the Legions from Gaul, of Detachments from the Troops under Quintus Metellus in the Territory of Picenum, and of the Recruits daily raised for our Defence, I utterly despise all his Forces whatsoever; some of them antient Men, desperate and undone; some of them Debauchees from the Country; some vagabond Rustics; some Spendthrifts, and Runaways from their Creditors and Sureties: such who would rather follow this medley Host, than return and be just; such too, who, the Instant I present them with the Sight not only of our Army, but even of an Order from the Prætorian Tribunal, will shrink and fly.
I wish he had rather taken along with him for Soldiers many whom I still behold here at Rome, behold hurrying about the Forum, haunting the Court before the Senate, nay, some of them taking their Place in the Senate itself: I behold them besmeared with sweet Ointments, and glaring in all the Pride of the Senatorian Purple. If these continue here, remember my Warning! they, who thus live as Deserters from their Army, are more to be dreaded, than their Army itself. Another Consideration too renders them the more dreadful; for that they know me to be perfectly acquainted with all their secret Purposes, yet are not in the least dismayed. I behold their several Leaders, and Men of Trust; I perceive to whom it is that Apulia is assigned, to whom Etruria, to whom the Territory of Picenum, to whom the neighbouring District of Gaul; I behold the Men, who, for their Share, have besought the Direction of the Design to commit Rome to Massacre and Flames.
They are aware, that all their Deliberations, on the Night before last, were minutely recounted to me: I communicated them Yesterday to the Senate: Dread seized even Catiline, such Dread as drove him to fly. To what do these Associates trust? They are grievously deceived, if they presume, that I shall still persevere in the same Strain of Tenderness. My Views in it are now fully answered; namely, to have made it as clear to you as the Light of the Sun, that a Conspiracy is notoriously carried on against the Commonwealth; unless there be any, who imagine, that such as in all things imitate and resemble Catiline, concur not with the Designs of Catiline.
There now remains no room for gentle Dealings. Our Situation, as it is full of Danger, exacts Methods full of Severity. One Concession there is, which I will still make them; namely, To leave us, to go hence, and not suffer Catiline to pine in Wretchedness for their Company. I will direct them the Way: He went along the Aurelian Road: If they travel speedily, they will overtake him in the Evening.
Oh happy Roman State, if she had once finally purified herself from such a beneful Sink of Nuisances! Verily to me the Commonwealth seems to have derived Vigour and Refreshment from the Expulsion only of Catiline: For, indeed, what Instance of Wickedness and Enormity can be feigned or devised, that he hath not pursued? Where, where through all Italy, is there to be found one Poisoner, one infamous Fencer, one Robber, one Murderer, one Parricide, one Forger of Wills, one common Cheat, one Voluptuary, one extravagant Heir, one Adulterer, one Harlot, what one given to debauch Youth, what one Youth debauched, or what one abandoned Criminal whatsoever, who will not acknowledge, that he has lived in a Course of the highest Familiarity with Catiline? What one Assassination hath been committed for some Years past without him? What heinous Act of Lewdness, but by him?
I ask further, did ever mortal Man employ so many and such powerful Incentives as he, to gain and debauch young Men? He, who, with some of them, committed beastly Defilements, and bore withal such beastly Defilements from others? To many of them he promised Recompences for their Prostitution; to many the sudden Death of their Fathers, not only prompting, but even aiding them, in Person, to procure it. At present how incredibly soon hath he amassed together an immense Band of desperate and abandoned Men, not out of the City only, but also from the Country! For was it possible to find, not only in Rome, but in any one Corner of Italy, one Individual oppressed with Debts, whom Catiline hath not linked fast with him in this marvellous Bond of Treason? As a Proof of his various Talents in different Pursuits, there is not a Fencer in any of the public Schools, who, if he be but resolute in Mischief, avows not himself a close Intimate of Catiline; not a Retainer to the Stage, remarkably impudent and profligate, but proclaims himself Catiline’s Bosom Friend: Yet this very Catiline, however immersed in Habits of Lewdness and Cruelty, has been by these his Companions always extolled as a Man very hardy and brave, able to bear Hunger, Thirst, and Cold, with Want of Sleep and Rest; though they saw him wasting in Debauchery, and Acts of Violence, whatever Abilities he had for Affairs, whatever Genius for brave Actions.
Such is the Man! and were all his Partizans to follow him, would but this guilty and implacable Herd relinquish the City; O how happy should we all be! how fortunate the Commonwealth! what deathless Glory crowning my Consulship!
For, surely, the vicious Sallies and Passions of Men are no longer confined to any Bounds or Restraint, but are grown too monstrous for human Nature to produce, or, indeed, to bear. They breathe nothing but domestic Slaughter, public Conflagration, universal Havock and Spoil. Some have lavished their Estates, others their Money, all sacrificed to Sensuality and Riot. First their Means failed them; anon their Credit: Yet still the same Spirit of Debauchery and Waste, which possessed them during Affluence, prompts them in Poverty.
In truth, though, during the Course of their Intoxication with Wine and Gaming, they had only pursued Objects of Lewdness, and voluptuous Repasts, they would even then have been lost to all Hope, yet still to have been borne withal: But it is beyond all bearing, that the Sons of Sloth and Voluptuousness should be thus devising deadly Snares against the Warlike and Brave; the Rash and Foolish against the Sagacious and Wary; Drunkards against the Sober; Sluggards against the most Vigilant: that such as they, whilst resigned to Banquets, lolling in the Arms of Harlots, enervated by Wine, surfeited by Gluttony, effeminately decked with Flowers, recking with sweet Ointments, and utterly enfeebled with impure Pleasures, dare yet loudly bellow their Threats, to butcher all worthy Citizens, and to commit the City itself to Flames.
Over them, I firmly trust, there hangs some terrible Fate: I trust, that the direful Vengeance so long due to their flagitious Dealings, to their Perfidiousness, their Barbarities, their sensual Pursuits, is actually falling upon them; at least, just about to fall. Now, if, by my Consular Power, I can exterminate these Men, whom by it I cannot cure, I shall not only save the Commonwealth for a short Period, but prolong it for many Ages. No Nation now subsists, that we need to dread, no Monarch able to attack the Roman People. Abroad universal Tranquillity is established by Sea and Land, all through the Valour and Conduct of one Man: Only intestine Commotions remain to be quelled: A Conspiracy against the State subsists in the Bowels of the State; within our own Walls Ruin threatens us; within our Walls the Enemy assails us. It is against domestic Riot, against lawless Phrensy, against civil Violence, and Outrages, that we must arm.
In this War I present myself to you, Citizens, for your Leader: I frankly undertake to incur all the Enmity and Rage of desperate Traitors. Whatever is possible to be cured, I will employ any Means to cure; whatever must be cut off, shall be cut off, rather than suffered to spread, to the utter Extinction of the State.
Upon the Whole, therefore, let them either leave us, or cease to annoy us: Or, if they will needs remain in this City, and breathe the same hostile Spirit, let them prepare to suffer the Doom which they deserve.
I know, Citizens, there are those who allege, that Catiline hath been, by me alone, driven into Banishment. My Answer is; Were I able, by Words only, to procure such an Event, I would banish these very Persons, who make such Declarations. Probable, indeed! that Catiline, in his Nature so very shy and over-modest, could not resist the Language of the Consul; but, as soon as, by it, he heard himself ordered to depart into Exile, instantly obeyed and departed! How suits this, O Citizens, with what happened but Yesterday; when, having, with great Difficulty, escaped being murdered in my own House, I assembled the Senate in the Temple of Jupiter the Guardian, and there laid open the whole Conspiracy? Upon Catiline’s Entrance, what one Senator deigned to speak to him? What one Senator to salute him? Which of them all did not behold him, not only as a Member of the State altogether desperate and forlorn, but rather as a raging and implacable Enemy and Parricide? Nay, the several Senators of principal Dignity, quitting their Seats where he advanced, lest all the Benches round him empty.
It was then that I, that very impetuous Consul, who, by just uttering a Word, force Roman Citizens into Banishment, examined Catiline, whether or not he had held a Meeting, the preceding Night, at the House of Marcus Lecca? As he, who, of all Men, is the most hardened in Boldness and Front, hitherto answered nothing, (for his guilty Conscience smote him) I proceeded to disclose the Particulars of my Discovery; to disclose where-ever else he had been that Night, whatever else he had transacted, with what was reserved for the Night following: To all this I added, how minute a Plan had been drawn, and then exhibited, for conducting the War in all its Parts. When he still paused, struck dumb, indeed, with Conviction, I asked him, what retarded him from proceeding to the Place, where he had so long purposed to go, when he had, already, to my Knowlege, conveyed thither before him Quantities of Arms, nay, Rods and Axes, nay, Trumpets and Ensigns of War, and even that silver Eagle, to which he had assigned a Sanctuary in his House, a Sanctuary, where he constantly consecrated all his barbarous Exploits?
Was it I, who forced this Man into Banishment? a Man whom I saw already invading us at the Head of an Army? But if he be truly an Exile, then I must own, that it is only Manlius, a small Centurion, who has encamped the Forces in the Territory of Fesulæ; it is this Centurion, who, acting for himself, hath, in his own Name, declared War against the Roman People; that these Forces by no means await the Arrival of Catiline to assume the supreme Command; for that he, they say, thus thrust out as an Exile, will retire to Marseilles, without entering that Camp.
O the miserable Terms, not only of administring the State, but even of saving it from Perdition! If Catiline, by seeing himself quite entangled and disabled by my Counsels, by my unwearied Efforts, by my constantly exposing my Life, had been seized by sudden Dread, changed his Purpose, forsaken his Followers, dropped all his Schemes of War, and even now, at last, deserting his usual Pursuits of Arms and Outrages, had chosen to retire into Banishment; what would be the Cry, and common Construction, then? Not that he was bereft by me of all Means of advancing his desperate Enterprize, nor overcome with Astonishment and Dismay, by my Vigour and Vigilance, nor driven by Force from all his Machinations, and even from all his Hopes: On the contrary, it would be asserted, That, only by the Threats and Violence of the Consul, he was cast into Banishment, altogether innocent, because not formally convicted, and condemned: Yes, there will be these, who, if he should yet take this Course, will consider him as a Man not justly punished, but unjustly persecuted; and me, not as a vigilant Consul, but as a barbarous Tyrant.
It is an abundant Recompence to me, Citizens, for exposing myself to a Torrent of Reproach so groundless and injurious, if, by it, I can rescue You from the Calamity of so tragical and detestable a War. Let it be reported, that I drove him hence: I agree to it, on condition, that he withdraw into Banishment. But, thither, believe me, he intends not to go. I shall never petition the Gods to case me of popular Reproach, at the Price of any Surprize to you, Citizens, from the Tidings of Catiline’s furiously advancing to assail you at the Head of a hostile Army. Yet, within Three Days, this is what you will see: So that what I dread at present most, is, that, in a short time, I shall be rather upbraided for suffering, than for forcing, him to depart.
Now, since there are such Men, who, because he withdrew, alledge, that I obliged him to withdraw; what would the same Men say, if he had been doomed to die? The Truth is, they who are loudest in averring, that Catiline is proceeding to Marseilles, do not so much lament his going, as fear that he will go: And, of all these Men professing this great Compassion for him, there is not one, who has so much real Compassion, as not to wish, that his Progress may be rather to Manlius, than to Marseilles. Such, too, is the Spirit of the Man, that, tho’ he had never before entertained a Thought of what he now pursues, yet, rather than live an Exile, he would prefer the Fate of being slain as a Traitor and Robber. As Things are, since nothing hath hitherto befallen him, inconsistent with his own Schemes and Pursuits, except that we survive his Departure from Rome, let us rather wish, that he may go into Banishment, than complain, that he is gone.
But why do I bestow so much Discourse upon one Enemy? such an Enemy too, as owns himself to be one? nay, an Enemy whom I fear not; since our City-Walls now stand, as I ever wished they might, between us and him? Concerning the rest, who dissemble their Enmity, who still continue in Rome, and are interspersed amongst us, do we attempt to say nothing? These are such, upon whom, truly, I aim not so much to take Vengeance, as to recover them from their Disaffection, if, by any Remedy whatsoever, it could be accomplished; and, finally, to reconcile them to the Commonwealth: Neither can I conceive, why it should not be accomplished, if they will listen to what I say. I therefore proceed, first, To represent to you, Citizens, of what different Sorts of Men these Forces consist: Next, I shall offer to each Sort some Cure; such as my Reasoning, my Counsel, and Persuasion, is able to recommend.
The first Class is of those, who, under great Debts, are yet Masters of greater Possessions; but Possessions, of which they are so inordinately fond, as on no Account to diminish them. This Class, as they are abundantly wealthy, bear the Face of more honourable Debtors than the rest; but, in their Principles and Conduct, are, doubtless, the most shameless of all. Art thou, indeed, furnished with large Demesnes? Thou with many Villas? Thou abounding in Money? Thou in numerous Slaves and Attendants? Art Thou covered with Splendor? Dost Thou riot in the Affluence of all Things? Yet, dost Thou hesitate to pare off any Portion of thy Affluence, thence to retrieve thy plighted Faith, and to purchase Esteem? What, indeed, hast thou in View? Is it War? How! Dost Thou conclude, that, during universal Uproar and Desolation, Thy Possessions will escape, as if they were sacred and inviolable? Dost Thou hope for new Regulations about Debts and Usury? They deceive themselves, who expect such from Catiline. It is by my Interest and Procurement, that new Regulations will be proposed: But mine will be limited Regulations, and attended with public Auctions; since they, who have Possessions, can never be secured by any other means whatsoever. If they would have consented to it sooner, and not, through extreme Blindness, struggled, absurdly, with the Usurers, about the Rents of their mortgaged Lands, the State would have been happy in many richer, as well as in many better Members. However, from all this Class of Men, in my Opinion, very little Danger is to be apprehended: For they may be either weaned from their present Bent and Impressions; or, if they persist, they seem, to me, rather qualified to assault their Country with Imprecations, than with Arms.
A second Sort is composed of such, who, however oppressed with Debts, aspire to supreme Rule, and will needs sway the State: They conjecture, that, during the Convulsions of the Commonwealth, they shall be able to obtain such public Dignities, as they despair of in its Calm. Upon these, and, indeed, upon all the rest, this Principle is, chiefly and singly, to be over and over inculcated, that they must for ever despair of thus gaining what they labour after; first, Because I am always in their Way; I, who incessantly watch over the Commonwealth; I, who am ever present to assist her; I, who am ever ready to provide for her in every Exigency. Next, All worthy Men are combined to oppose them; a mighty Multitude, all of undaunted Resolution, all firmly united! We abound too in military Forces. Finally, The immortal Deities will not fail powerfully to aid this invincible People, this Empire, so glorious and renowned, this City, so fair and flourishing beyond all others, against an Attempt so destructive and bloody.
But what would it avail them, if they gained what they pursue with such headlong Fury? Do these Men hope, that, in the Ruins of Rome, and in the Massacre of the Citizens, they shall find their black and inhuman Wishes accomplished? such Wishes, as they had ever fostered? Find themselves raised to Consular, or Dictatorial, and even to Royal Sway? They perceive not, that they are earnest for a Thing, which, if obtained, they would be forced to surrender to some upstart Fugitive or Fencer.
The third Class is that of Men, indeed, stricken in Years, but trained in War, and still robust: Manlius himself is one of them; he, whose Place Catiline has now assumed. These are Men derived from the Colonies founded by Sylla at Fesulæ; Colonies, which I really think to have been filled with the best Citizens, and bravest Men: These are, however, such Members of those Colonies, as, being transported with sudden and unexpected Riches, fell into all Courses of Vanity and Extravagance: Whilst, from a Persuasion, that their Wealth and Happiness would never end, they raised fine Mansions, rioted in their Villas, in the Luxury of Litters, in mighty Trains of Slaves, in magnificent Banquets, in gay Equipages, and Splendor, they became involved in Debts, so mighty, and so many, that no possible Method is left to discharge them; unless they can recal Sylia from the Mansions of the Dead. These, too, have tempted over to their Party some starving and beggarly Rustics, by the Hopes of a common Share, when the late Course of public Rapine shall be revived. I, indeed, Citizens, range both Sorts under the same Class of Thieves and Plunderers. This Admonition, however, I will give them, To drop their outrageous Views, with all Dreams of future Proscriptions and Dictatorships: Since, such is the Horror of those terrible Times, still cleaving to the Hearts of Citizens, that, in my Opinion, even the Beasts of the Field would not endure, much less would Men, the same Outrages repeated.
The fourth is a Class strangely various and dissimilar; Sons of Sedition and Despair; all long undone; all doomed never to recover; Men, who, partly through Idleness, partly through ill Management, partly, too, by Profusion, are crushed with old and immoderate Debts; Men worried with judicial Process and Decrees, their Persons threatened with Durance, their Effects condemned to Sale, and all said to be repairing, in great Numbers, both from Rome, and the Country, to the same Camp. These I consider not as brave Soldiers, but rather as impotent Fugitives from Debts and Justice. Such Men, since they cannot support Life, let them agree to fall; but so, as their Fall disturb not the State, nor even their next Neighbours. For I cannot conceive, when they cannot subsist with Honesty, why they will lose their Lives with Infamy; or fansy it less painful to perish with many, than to perish by themselves.
The fifth is a Band filled with Parricides, with Murderers; in truth, with Criminals of every Kind and Degree. These are such as I urge not to return from Catiline: For, besides that nothing can wrest them from him, it is fit, that they perish in the Exercise of their public Felony; since they are so many, that the Prisons cannot hold them.
The last Sort, not only in Course, but even in Character and Demeanour, are Catiline’s peculiar Train; a Troop of his own raising; nay, nurtured in his Bosom, and even enured to his fond Embraces; such as you see with their Locks curiously sprinkled, and combed; some soft and beardless; some with Beards nicely trimmed; all arrayed in long flowing Vests; not in Robes, but in Veils; Soldiers these, who bestow the Labour of their Lives, all their Fatigue and Watchings, upon nightly Banquets, always prolonged till Day!
With this Herd are mixed all Gamesters, all Adulterers, all Pathics, all the Prostitute and Lewd. These Boys, so blithe and engaging, of a Frame so lovely and tender, have not been confined to the common Instructions, how to love, and be beloved; how to dance, and how to sing: They are formed to higher Strains; to wield the Assassins Knife, and to administer Poison with Address. Now, be assured, that these evil Instruments, unless they all retire from us, nay, unless they all perish, will prove a Seminary of Catilines in the State, though Catiline himself should perish.
In the mean time, what Course do these Wretches mean to take? To carry their Harlots along with them to the Camp? Indeed, how can they suffer themselves to be bereft of them? especially during these cold Winter Nights? Yet how will they themselves bear the Rigours of the Apennine Mountains, the keen Frosts, and mighty Snows there? Unless they imagine themselves qualified more easily to support the Fierceness of Winter, because they have learned to dance naked at their nocturnal Banquetings.
O what a formidable War we have to apprehend, when Catiline is to have for his Guard such a Prætorian Band, all chosen out of Brothels, and taken from the Arms of Harlots!
Strait apply yourselves, therefore, Citizens, to array your powerful Forces, your several Armies, against this hopeful and renowned Host of Catiline. First, direct your Two Consuls, direct the Leaders of your Troops, to encounter that traiterous Fencer, already sunk and maimed: Then lead forth the Flower and Strength of all Italy against the cast-away and impotent Crew, his Followers; for, to defeat all his Crouds of Rustics, our Colonies and municipal Cities will furnish abundant Force. Your other Resources of Strength, your other Marks of Superiority and Grandeur, your many Guards, and Means of Defence, it becomes me not to set in Opposition to the Wants and Weakness of that detestable Robber.
But, were we to omit to mention all the Advantages, which he wants, and in which we, by enjoying them, surpass him, namely, the Senate, the Roman Knights, the City of Rome, and the Roman People, the Treasury, the public Revenue, all Italy, all the Provinces, and all foreign Nations; I say, were we to drop this whole Detail, and try both Parties by the particular Merits of each, by this alone we may perceive, how low and forlorn they lie. On one Side Modesty struggles against Insolence on the other: Here is chaste Behaviour; there all Pollution: Here strict Faith; there Treachery: Here Mercy; there Cruelty: Here Fortitude; there Fury: Here Honour; there Infamy: Here Restraint; there unbridled Passion: In short, Justice, Moderation, Magnanimity, Prudence, all in a Contest with Iniquity, with Debauchery, with Effeminacy, with Rashness; that is, every Virtue with every Vice. To conclude, it is a Quarrel between Wealth and Penury, right Reason and Phrensy; sound Sense and Extravagance; lastly, between sure Hope, and Fortunes utterly desperate. This is a Conflict, this a Battle, of such a Kind, where, though the Ardour of Men should cool, would not the immortal Deities impower all these divine Virtues to triumph over such a detestable Train of Vices?
Under these Circumstances, Citizens, be it your Care, as I have before said to you, to watch and defend your several Dwellings. For the City in general, I have taken all due Precautions, all proper Measures, by guarding her effectually, without leaving you subject to any Commotion or Alarm. As I have sent to acquaint all the Colonies, and municipal Cities, with Catiline’s sudden Departure from hence in the Night, their Inhabitants will easily defend them. I shall, by my Authority, secure the Gladiators from moving; a Force upon which he has reckoned as the most powerful, and most surely attached to him; though they be, in reality, better affected than some of the Patricians. Quintus Metellus, whom, in View of Catiline’s withdrawing, I dispatched before him into the Territory of Picenum, and Limits of Gaul, will either at once crush the Traitor, or, at least, frustrate all his Motions and Attempts. In order to concert, and hasten, and execute further Measures, I am now going to take the Advice of the Senate, whom you perceive to be called together.
Concerning his Accomplices, who remain in the City, and were by him left in it, on purpose to bring Perdition upon it, and upon you all, though they be Enemies, yet, as they are born Citizens, my Intention is, kindly to advise and warn them, again and again. The Purpose of my Lenity past, though, to some, it may seem rather Remissness, was, whilst the Plot was yet dark, to await a full Disclosure. It is now time to consider, what I never can forget, that is, my Country; that I am chief Magistrate of these Citizens; and that I must either live with them, or die with them. If there be any, who want to retire from amongst us, they are free to take their own Course: There is not a single Guard at the Gates to obstruct them; not a Man lying in wait upon the Road to surprise them: But if any, staying here, try to raise any Commotion whatsoever in the City, the Moment I detect them, not only in actual Practices against their Country, but even in any Design to disturb it, they shall effectually feel, that Rome is supplied with Consuls full of Vigilance; with admirable Magistrates in general, with a magnanimous Senate, with Store, too, of Arms, nay, with Irons and Dungeons, such as are derived to us from our Ancestors, who instituted them for taking Vengeance on notorious Criminals and Traitors.
Moreover, Citizens, the Whole shall be so conducted, that, in executing the highest Counsels of State, not the least popular Consternation shall happen; in quelling the most terrible Conspiracy, no Sort of Uproar ensue; nay, a Civil War, the most powerful, and most cruel, that has been known within the Memory of Men, shall be extinguished, by me alone, without once putting off my Civil Robe: I will quell it, Citizens, in such a manner, that not even a single guilty Man in Rome shall incur the Penalty of his Treason, if there be any Possibility of preventing it. If, by their own daring and open Insolence, if, by the Dangers threatening my Country, I am driven to forego this Gentleness of Temper, thus much, surely, I shall bring to pass, that not an innocent Man shall perish; an Exemption scarce to be hoped in a domestic War so widely extended, and so closely conducted! So that, by the Execution of a few guilty Men, you may still be all secure.
These are Things, O Citizens, which I engage not to you to accomplish from a Confidence in my own Wisdom, or, indeed, in any human Counsel whatever, but only in the propitious Purposes of the immortal Deities, manifested to me by many and sure Presages: It is by them that I am inspired with such high Assurance, by them with this my Determination. They are not now at a Distance, as formerly they were wont, aiding us against Enemies foreign and remote; they are, at this very time, in Rome, by their own divine Presence and Aid, defending their own Temples; as also the Dwellings of the City: It is to them, Citizens, that you ought to pay your Veneration, and your Vows; to them address your Complaints and Petitions; that, since, by their own Decree, this City should be thus of all others the fairest, the most flourishing, and the most puissant, they will defend her against certain of her abandoned Citizens, execrably combined to destroy her, even when she had, every-where, routed and subdued all the Armies of her Enemies both by Land and by Sea.