39 Wherefore, since your authority has summoned me,since the Roman people his recalled me,since the republic has begged me to return,since almost all Italy has brought me back in triumph on its shoulders, I will take care, O conscript fathers, now that those things have been restored to me, the restoration of which did not depend on myself, not to appear wanting in those qualities with which I can provide myself; I will take care, now that I have recovered those things which I had lost, never to lose my virtue and loyal attachment to you.
1 I take the terms of this law from Middleton's Life, from which indeed, I have abridged this argument; which is in some degree the argument of the three following speeches.
2 "The Aelia lex and Rufia lex were passed about the end of the sixth century of the city, and gave all magistrates the obnuntiatio, or power of preventing or dissolving the comitia by observing the omens, and declaring them to be unfavourable."Smith, Dict. Ant. p. 560, v. Lex.
3 The Circus Flaminius was outside the walls of the city, and the assembly was held there to allow Caesar to be present, who, being now invested with a military command, could not come into the city.
4 This was Titus Annius Milo, by which last name he is best known to us. He was tribune, and finding it impossible to bring Clodius to justice in the legal way, resolved to deal with him according to his own fashion, and bought a troop of gladiators, at the head of whom he had daily skirmishes with him in the streets.
5 "A Privilegium signified an enactment that had for its object a single person, which is indicated by the form of the word privae res, being the same as singulae res. It might be beneficial to the party to whom it referred, or not; but it is generally used by Cicero in the unfavourable sense."Smith, Dict. Ant. p. 500, v. Lex. "In the time of the republic it was not allowed to pass or to propose such a law."Riddle, v. Privilegium. But I do not know his authority for such a statement.
6 He means Julius Caesar, who had the command in Gaul as proconsul for five years.
7 "Clodius not only restored the old collegia or guilds, but formed some new ones of the very dregs of the city, and of the slaves; and this is alluded to in several of the subsequent orations."Manut.