rious, and especially
when the accused have held the higher magistracies. And in
regard to this arrangement there is one point deserving especial
commendation and record. Men who are on trial for their
lives at Rome, while sentence is in process of being voted,—if
even only one of the tribes whose votes are needed to ratify the
sentence has not voted,—have the privilege at Rome of openly
departing and condemning themselves to a voluntary exile.
Such men are safe at Naples or Praeneste or at Tibur, and
at other towns with which this arrangement has been duly
ratified on oath.
Again, it is the people who bestow offices on the deserving,
which are the most honourable rewards of virtue. It has also
the absolute power of passing or repealing laws; and, most
important of all, it is the people who deliberate on the question
of peace or war. And when provisional terms are made for
alliance, suspension of hostilities, or treaties, it is the people
who ratify them or the reverse.