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 "Why should we pay taxes when we have no part in the honors, the commands, the state-craft, for which you contend against each other with such harmful results? 'Because this is a time of war,' do you say? When have there not been wars, and when have taxes ever been imposed on women, who are exempted by their sex among all mankind? Our mothers once for all rose superior to their sex and made contributions when you were in danger of losing the whole empire and the city itself through the conflict with the Carthaginians. But then they contributed voluntarily, not from their landed property, their fields, their dowries, or their houses, without which life is not possible to free women, but only from their own jewellery, and not according to fixed valuation, not under fear of informers or accusers, not by force and violence, but what they themselves were willing to give. Who now causes you alarm for the empire or the country? Let war with the Gauls or the Parthians come, and we shall not be inferior to our mothers in zeal for the common safety; but for civil wars may we never contribute, nor ever assist you against each other. We did not contribute to Cæsar or to Pompey. Neither Marius nor Cinna imposed taxes upon us. Nor did Sulla, who held despotic power in the state, do so, whereas you say that you are reëstablishing the commonwealth."1
1 "Hortensia, the daughter of Q. Hortensius, when the matrons of Rome were burdened with a heavy tax by the triumvirs and no man dared undertake their defence, pleaded the cause of the women before the triumvirs with firmness and success. By the faithful reproduction of her father's eloquence she succeeded in getting the greater part of the pecuniary impost remitted. Quintus Hortensius lived again in his female line. He breathed once more in the words of his daughter. If his male descendants had been willing to follow this vigorous example, the eloquence of Hortensius, so great a heritage, would not have been reduced to a single pleading of a woman." (Valerius Maximus, viii. 3, 3.)
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