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[9] What alarm and what misfortune, then must you think all nations are threatened with by this law, when decemvirs are sent all over the world with supreme power,—men of the greatest avarice, and with an insatiable desire for every sort of property? whose arrival will be grievous, whose forces will be formidable, whose judicial and arbitrary power will be absolutely intolerable. For they will have the power of deciding whatever they please to be public property, and of selling whatever they decide to be such. Even that very thing which conscientious men will not do, namely, taking money to abstain from selling, is to be made lawful for them to do by the express provisions of the law. From this provision what plunderings, what bargainings, what a regular auction of all law and of every one's fortunes must inevitably arise!

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