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When a most powerful and noble tribune of the people, Marcus Drusus, proposed one formula of inquiry affecting the equestrian order,—“If any one had taken money on account of a judicial decision,”—the Roman knights openly resisted it. Why? Did they wish to be allowed to act in such a manner? Far from it. They thought this cause of receiving money not only shameful, but actually impious. But they argued in this way: that those men only ought to be made liable to the operation of any law, who of their own judgment submitted to such conditions of life. “The highest rank,” say they, “in the state is a great pleasure; and the curule chair, and the fasces, and supreme command, and a province, and priesthoods, and triumphs, and even the fact of having an image to keep alive the recollection of one with posterity.

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