|Do not fly Iberia
Translated by Wilmer Cave Wright
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|This is what I [Note 1] remember to have said at the time, and the god [Note 2] bore witness to the truth of my words -- would that he had not! -- when he forsook your suburb which for so long he had protected, and again during that time of storm and stress when he turned in the wrong direction the minds of those who were then in power and forced their hands. But I acted foolishly in making myself odious to you. For I ought to have remained silent as, I think, did many of those who came here with me, and I ought not to have been meddlesome or found fault. But I poured down all these reproaches on your heads to no purpose, owing to my headlong temper and a ridiculous desire to flatter, -- for it surely is not to be believed that out of goodwill towards you I spoke those words to you then; but I was, I think, hunting after a reputation for piety towards the gods and for sincere good-will towards you, which is, I think, the most absurd form of flattery. Therefore you treat me justly when you defend yourselves against those criticisms of mine and choose a different place for making your defence. For I abused you under the god's statue near his altar and the footprints of the holy image, in the presence of few witnesses; but you abused me in the market-place, in the presence of the whole populace, and with the help of citizens who were capable of composing such pleasant witticisms as yours. For you must be well aware that all of you, those who uttered the sayings about me and those who listened to them, are equally responsible; and he who listened with pleasure to those slanders, since he had an equal share of the pleasure, though he took less trouble than the speaker, must share the blame.