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[114] The father gives to his daughter: you forbid it. The laws allow it: yet you interpose your authority. He gives to her of his own property in such a manner as not to infringe any law. What do you find to blame in that? Nothing, I think. But I allow you to do so. Forbid it if you can; if you can find any one to listen to you; if any one can possibly obey your order. Will you take away their will from the dead,—their property from the living,—their rights from all men? Would not the Roman people have avenged itself by force if it had not reserved you for this occasion and for this trial? Since the establishment of the praetorian power, we have always adopted this principle,—that if no will was produced, then possession was given to that person who would have had the best right to be the heir, if the deceased had died intestate. Why this is the most righteous principle it is easy to show; but in a matter so established by precedent it is sufficient to point out that all men had previously laid down the law in this way, and that this was the ancient and customary edict.


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