Translated with the sanction of the author by William Purdie Dickson
Catalina Proceed to Etruria
On the following day (8 Nov.) Cicero convoked the senate. Even now Catilina ventured to appear and to attempt a defence against the indignant attacks of the consul, who unveiled before his face the events of the last few days; but men no longer listened to him, and in the neighbourhood of the place where he sat the benches became empty. He left the sitting, and proceeded, as he would doubtless have done even apart from this incident, in accordance with the agreement, to Etruria. Here he proclaimed himself consul, and assumed an attitude of waiting, in order to put his troops in motion against the capital on the first announcement of the outbreak of the insurrection there.
The government declared the two leaders Catilina and Manlius, as well as those of their comrades who should not have laid down their arms by a certain day, to be outlaws, and called out new levies; but at the head of the army destined against Catilina was placed the consul Gaius Antonius, who was notoriously implicated in the conspiracy, and with whose character it was wholly a matter of accident whether he would lead his troops against Catilina or over to his side. They seemed to have directly laid their plans towards converting this Antonius into a second Lepidus. As little were steps taken against the leaders of the conspiracy who had remained behind in the capital, although every one pointed the finger at them and the insurrection in the capital was far from being abandoned by the conspirators--on the contrary the plan of it had been settled by Catilina himself before his departure from Rome.
A tribune was to give the signal by calling an assembly of the people; in the following night Cethegus was to despatch the consul Cicero; Gabinius and Statilius were to set the city simultaneously on fire at twelve places; and a communication was to be established as speedily as possible with the army of Catilina, which should have meanwhile advanced. Had the urgent representations of Cethegus borne fruit and had Lentulus, who after Catilina's departure was placed at the head of the conspirators, resolved on rapidly striking a blow, the conspiracy might even now have been successful. But the conspirators were just as incapable and as cowardly as their opponents; weeks elapsed and the matter came to no decisive issue.
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