Grant this licence to a tribune of the people, and then for a moment contemplate in your minds the youth of the city, and especially those men who seem now to be anxiously coveting the tribunitian power. There will be found, by Jove! whole colleges of tribunes of the people, if this law is once established, and they will all conspire against the property of all the richest men, when a booty so especially popular and the hope of great acquisitions is thus held out to them. But what vote is it that this skillful and experienced law-giver has carried? “May you be willing and may you command that Marcus Tullius be interdicted from water and fire.” A cruel vote, a nefarious vote, one not to be endured even in the case of the very wickedest citizen, without a trial. He did not propose a vote, “That he be interdicted.” What then? “That he has been interdicted.” O horrible, O prodigious, O what wickedness! Did Clodius frame this law, more infamous than even his own tongue?—that it has been interdicted to a person to whom it has not been interdicted? My good friend Sextus, by your leave, tell me now, since you are a logician and are devoted to this science, is it possible for a proposition to be made to the people, or to be established by any form of words, or to be confirmed by any votes, making that to have been done which has not been done?
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THE SPEECH OF M. T. CICERO FOR HIS HOUSE. ADDRESSED TO THE PRIESTS
THE SPEECH OF M. T. CICERO AGAINST PUBLIUS VATINIUS; CALLED ALSO, THE EXAMINATION OF PUBLIUS VATINIUS.
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