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[20] Oh what a splendid interpreter of the law! what a fine authority on points of antiquity! what an admirable corrector and reformer of our state, to imagine that treaties impose such a penalty on those who are bound by them, as to make them all incapable of receiving our rewards and kindnesses! For what can possibly be said more ignorant than that it is requisite for the federate cities to ratify such a transaction? For that is not a right peculiar to federate cities, but to all free nations. But the whole of this, O judges, has at all times depended on this consideration, and on this intention,—that when the Roman people had ordered anything, if the allied peoples and the Latins had adopted and ratified it, and if the law which we had among ourselves was in this manner established among some people on a firm footing, then that people should be bound by the obligations of that law; not in such a manner as to detract in the least from our privileges, but that those nations might enjoy either that law which was established among us, or some other advantage and benefit.

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