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[34] Do you not see that I am destroying all your proceedings by the roots? that I am arguing, what is manifest, that you did nothing whatever according to law,—that you were not a tribune of the people at all? I say this, that you are a patrician. I say so before the priests; the augurs are present. I take my stand on the common public law. What, O priests is the law concerning adoption? Why that he may adopt children who is no longer able to have children himself, and who failed in having them when he was of an age to expect it. What reason, then, any one has for adopting children, what considerations of family or dignity are involved what principles of religion are concerned, are questions which are accustomed to be put to the college of priests. What if all these circumstances are found to exist in that adoption? The person who adopts him is twenty years old; a minor adopts a senator. Does he do so for the sake of having children? He is of an age to have them of his own. He has a wife; he has actually got children of his own. The father, then, will be disinheriting his own son.

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