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[51] How did I prove that he had committed robbery in the contract for those pillars? Chiefly, I think, by this fact, that he had put forth an unjust and unprecedented law. For who ever attempted to change all the rights of people, and the customs of all men, getting great blame for so doing, except for some gain? I will proceed and carry this matter further. You sold the tenths according to an unjust law, in order to sell them for more money. Why, when the tenths were now knocked down and sold,—when nothing could now be added to their sum total, but much might be to your own gains,—why did new edicts appear, made on a sudden and to meet an emergency? For I say, that in your third year you issued edicts, that a collector might summon a man before the court anywhere he liked; that the cultivator might not remove his corn from the threshing-floor, before he had settled the claims of the collector; that they should have the tenths delivered at the water-side before the first of August. All these edicts, I say, you issued after the tenths had been sold. But if you had issued them for the sake of the republic, notice would have been given of them at the time of selling; because you were acting with a view to your own interest, you, being prompted by your love of gain and by the emergency, repaired the omission which had unintentionally occurred.

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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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