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When in all the other countries liable to tribute, of Asia, of Macedonia, of Spain, of Gaul, of Africa, of Sicily, and in those parts of Italy also which are so liable; when in all these, I say, the farmer in every case has a right to claim and a power to distrain, but not to seize and take possession without the interference of the law, you established regulations respecting the most virtuous and honest and honourable class of men,—that is, respecting the cultivators of the soil,—which are contrary to all other laws. Which is the most just, for the collector to have to make his claim, or for the cultivator to have to recover what has been unlawfully seized? for them to go to trial when things are in their original state, or when one side is ruined? for him to be in possession of the property who has acquired it by hard labour, or him who has obtained it by bidding for it at an auction? What more? They who cultivate single acres, who never cease from personal labour, of which class there were a great number, and a vast multitude among the Sicilians before you came as praetor,—what are they to do? When they have given to Apronius all he has demanded, are they to leave their allotments? to leave their own household gods? to come to Syracuse, in order while you, forsooth, are praetor, to prosecute, by the equal law which they will find there, Apronius, the delight and joy of your life, in a suit for recovery of their property?

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load focus Notes (J. B. Greenough, G. L. Kittredge)
load focus Latin (Albert Clark, William Peterson, 1917)
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