You see now, O conscript fathers, that the money which is to belong to the decemvirs is collected and heaped together from every possible source, and by every imaginable expedient. The unpopularity arising from their possession of this large sum is to be diminished, for it shall be spent in the purchase of lands. Exceedingly well. Who then is to buy those lands? These same decemvirs. You, O Rullus— for I say nothing of the rest of them,—are to buy whatever you like; to sell whatever you like, to buy or sell at whatever price you please. For that admirable man takes care not to buy of any one against his will. As if we did not understand that to buy of a man against his will is an injurious thing to do; but to buy of one who has no objection, is profitable. How much land (to say nothing of other people) will your father-in-law sell you? and, if I have formed a proper estimate of the fairness of his disposition, will have no objection to sell you? The rest will do the same willingly; they will be glad to exchange the unpopularity attaching to the possession of land for money; to receive whatever they demand, and to part with what they can scarcely retain.
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THE THIRD SPEECH OF M. T. CICERO IN OPPOSITION TO PUBLIUS SERVILIUS RULLUS, A TRIBUNE OF THE PEOPLE, CONCERNING THE AGRARIAN LAW. DELIVERED TO THE PEOPLE.
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