And as I did not only suspect these things, but clearly saw them, (for indeed there was no secret made of what was being done,) I said in the senate that I would in this magistracy prove a consul devoted to the interests of the people. For what is there so advantageous to the people as peace? in which not only the animals to whom nature has given sense, but even the houses and fields appear to me to rejoice. What is so advantageous to the people as liberty? which is sought out and preferred to everything, not only by men, but even by the beasts. What is so advantageous to the people as tranquillity? which is so delightful a thing, that both you and your ancestors, and every brave man, thinks it worth his while to encounter the greatest labours, in order at length to enjoy tranquillity, particularly if he be a man in command, or a man of high rank. And we, therefore, are bound to give great praise and to show great gratitude to our ancestors, because it is owing to their labours that we are able to enjoy tranquillity without risk. How then can I avoid being devoted to the interests of the people, O Romans, when I see all these things,—our peace abroad, and the liberty which belongs to the Roman race and Roman name, and our domestic tranquillity, and everything, in short, which is considered by you as valuable or honourable, entrusted to the good faith, and, as it were, to the protection of my consulship?
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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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