|This letter is cited by Sallust in his Bellum Catilinae (35). The following translation is from an unidentified edition.
Lucius Catiline to Quintus Catulus.
Your eminent integrity, known to me by experience, gives a pleasing confidence, in the midst of great perils, to my present recommendation. I have determined therefore, to make no formal defence with regard to my new course of conduct; yet I was resolved, though conscious of no guilt, to offer you some explanation, which, on my word of honour, you may receive as true. Provoked by injuries and indignities, since, being robbed of the fruit of my labour and exertion, I did not obtain the post of honour due to me, I have undertaken, according to my custom, the public cause of the distressed. Not but that I could have paid, out of my own property, the debts contracted on my own security; while the generosity of Orestilla, out of her own fortune and her daughter's, would discharge those incurred on the security of others. But because I saw unworthy men ennobled with honours, and myself proscribed on groundless suspicion, I have, for this very reason, adopted a course, amply justifiable in my present circumstances, for preserving what honour is left to me. When I was proceeding to write more, intelligence was brought that violence is preparing against me. I now commend and entrust Orestilla to your protection; entreating you, by your love for your own children, to defend her from injury.