Is there any terror in absolute power? they will endure it;—is there any expense entailed by the arrival of such men? they will bear it;—are any presents exacted from them? they will not refuse them. But what a business is that, O Romans, when a decemvir, who either has come to some city after being expected, as a guest, or unexpectedly, as a master, pronounces that very place to which he has come, that identical hospitable house in which he is received, to be the public property of the Roman people? How great will be the misery of the people if he says that it is so! How great will be his own private gain, if he says that it is not! And the same men who desire all this, are accustomed sometimes to complain that every land and every sea has been put under the power of Cnaeus Pompeius. But are these two cases, the one, of many things being entrusted to a man, the other, of everything being sacrificed to him, at all similar? Is there any resemblance between a man's being appointed as chief manager of a business requiring toil and labour, and a man's having the chief share in booty and gain allotted to him? in a man's being sent to deliver allies, and a man's being sent to oppress them? Lastly, if there be airy extraordinary honour in question, does it make no difference whether the Roman people confers that honour on any one it chooses, or whether he impudently filches it from the Roman people by an underhand trick of law?
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THE THIRD SPEECH OF M. T. CICERO IN OPPOSITION TO PUBLIUS SERVILIUS RULLUS, A TRIBUNE OF THE PEOPLE, CONCERNING THE AGRARIAN LAW. DELIVERED TO THE PEOPLE.
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