If I were in Catiline’s shoes while he was being criticized by the great master of rhetoric, Cicero and his daunting words, I would have tried to get in a few daunting words of my own in order to try to undermine Cicero.
Often times in life you are faced with situations where people can be quite rude. Whenever I am in a situation with rude people I try to remember one of my favorite phrases- “kill’em with kindness.”
My immediate reaction towards Cicero might have been something foolish- something Cicero could have predicted and wanted- but I believe that if I had been given a bit of time to think my situation through I would have reasoned with myself and found it to be more profitable to me if I ‘killed Cicero with kindness’.
I might have said some sort of ‘thank you’ to Cicero, and said that I appreciated his consideration for me and for our city. I would have told him that I love my city meaning that I don’t want any harm to come to it and that my affection towards the city is the reason behind my revolt. I would then shower him with more benevolent and polite words, such as please and thank you, and give him, along with other city officials, pleasurable gifts.
I am sure that my charming actions would leave Cicero dumb struck. Like it is famously said- ‘please and thank you are the magic words.’