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[119] And, as this is the case, do you dare to say that you sold the tenths at a high price, when it is evident that you sold the property and fortunes of the cultivators, not for the cake of the Roman people, but with a view to your own gain. As if any steward, from a farm which had been used to produce ten thousand sesterces, having cut down and sold the trees, having taken away the buildings and the stock, and having driven off all the cattle, sent his master twenty thousand sesterces instead of ten, and made a hundred thousand more for himself. At first the master, not knowing the injury that had been done to him, would be glad, and be delighted with his steward, because he had got so much more profit out of the farm; but afterwards, when he heard that all those things on which the profit and cultivation of his farm depends have been removed and sold, he would punish his steward with the greatest severity, and think himself very ill used. So also, the Roman people, when it hears that Caius Verres has sold the tenths for more than that most innocent man, Caius Sacerdos, whom he succeeded, thinks that it has got a good steward and guardian over its lands and crops; but when it finds out that he has sold all the stock of the cultivators, all the resources of the revenue, and has destroyed all the hopes of their posterity by his avarice,—that he has devastated and drained the allotments and the Lands subject to tribute,—that he has made himself most enormous gain and booty,—it will perceive that it has been shamefully treated, and will think that man worthy of the severest punishment.

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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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