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[35] What? why should all the sacred rites of the Clodian family perish, as far as it depends on you? And that must have been the idea of all the priests when you were adopted. Unless, perchance, the question was put to you in this way,—whether you were intending to disturb the republic by seditions, and whether you wished to be adopted with that object, not in order to become that man's son, but only in order to be made a tribune of the people, and by that means utterly to overthrow the state? You answered, I presume, that your object was only to be made a tribune. That appeared to the priests to be a sufficient reason. They approved of it. No questions were asked about the age of the man who was adopting you; as was done in the case of Cnaeus Aufidius and Marcus Pupius, each of whom, within our recollection, when extremely old, adopted as sons, the one Orestes, and the other Piso. And these adoptions, like others, more than I can count, were followed by the inheritance of the name and property and sacred rites of the family. You are not Fonteius, as you ought to be, nor the heir of your new father; nor, though you have lost your right to the sacred ceremonies of your own family, have you availed yourself of those which belong to you by adoption. And so, having thrown the ceremonies of religion into confusion,—having polluted both families, both the one which you have abandoned and the one which you have entered,—having violated the legitimate practices of the Romans with respect to guardianships and inheritances, you have been made, contrary to all the requirements of religion, the son of that man of whom you were old enough to be the father.

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