It was his present task so to thunder with his eloquence that he should turn these bitter enemies into seeming friends to drive Catiline from out of the midst of them, so that it should seem that he had been expelled by those who were in truth his brother-conspirators; and this it was that he did.
It is true, that a year before, previous to Cicero’s elevation to the chief magistracy, and previous to the murder of Piso by his own adherents on his way to Spain, the designs of Catiline had been suspected dangerous; and, as such, had contributed to the election of his rival; his own faction succeeding only in carrying in Antonius, the second and least dreaded of their candidates.
Catiline will certainly be a candidate, if you can imagine a jury finding that the sun does not shine at noon. As for Aufidius and Palicanus, I don't think you will expect to hear from me about them. Of the candidates for this year's election Cæsar is considered certain. Thermus is looked upon as the rival of Silanus.
Let us for once act with vigour and decision, and doom these convicted traitors to the death they deserve." The decree of death was carried to immediate execution. In the meantime, Catiline had raised a force numbering two legions, but not more than a quarter of them were properly armed. He remained in the hills, refusing to give battle to Antonius.
"Troup, of all men, reproaching me for keeping a vow he once was ready to annihilate me for having broken. That offence was insignificant to the crime of supinely permitting our Catiline to accomplish his designs." "If I could agree with you, I should be the last to counsel indifference; no, not if your life were the forfeit. But I never believed in Burr's talent for conspiracy.
"And a son’s life to every father!" said Catiline with a fierce sneer. "I had a son once, I remember. You wished to enter an empty house on the day of your marriage feast. I do not think you found him in your way! Besides, for honor—if I read Lucia’s eyes rightly, there is not much of that to emperil."
XVII. But he soon got into fresh trouble, being named amongst the accomplices of Catiline, both before Novius Niger the quaestor, by Lucius Vettius the informer, and in the senate by Quintus Curius; to whom a reward had been voted, for having first discovered the designs of the conspirators. Curius affirmed that he had received his information from Catiline.
"Thine!" cried the unhappy youth, starting back, as if he had received a blow; "thine, Catiline!" "Aye!" he replied, in a hoarse voice, looking into the very eyes of Paul. "I am the slayer of the slave, and regret only that I slew him without torture. Know you whose slave he was, by any chance?"
Catiline, seizing a strong club, then mounted the ladder against the cross on the right hand. "Strike," said Faustus, "so as to kill him." Then Catiline smote the penitent thief heavily over each of the thighs and then across the shoulder bone. As the blow fell the man's head fell forward and he gave up the ghost. "There," said Catiline, "he wakes no more."
Catiline was a profligate before he became a conspirator, and Doria greatly erred when he thought he had no cause to fear a voluptuary like Fiesco. On the whole, it is very often remarked that an evil spirit dwells in a sick body. In diseases this sympathy is still more striking.