For, what could happen more shameful to any human being, what more miserable or more bitter to a man; what disgrace could happen so heavy, what disaster can be imagined so intolerable? If fortune deprived any one of money, or if the injustice of another took it from him, still while his reputation is unimpeached, honour easily makes amends for poverty. And some men, though stained with ignominy, or convicted in discreditable trials, still enjoy their wealth; are not forced to dance attendance (which is the most wretched of all states) on the power of another; and in their distresses they are relieved by this support and comfort; but he whose goods have been sold, who has seen not merely his ample estates, but even his necessary food and clothing put up under the hammer, with great disgrace to himself; he is not only erased from the list of men, but he is removed out of sight, if possible, even beneath the dead. An honourable 1 death forsooth often sets off even a base life, but a dishonoured life leaves no room to hope for even an honourable death.
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The speech of M. T. Cicero as the advocate of P. Quinctius.
1 Most of the commentators consider this passage corrupt, and propose various emendations of it. I have however thought it safer to adhere to the text of the MSS. as it stands in Orellius.
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