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22. [58]

There is also another profitable exception made in the former chapter according to which everything is to be sold. An exception which comprehends those lands which are protected by treaty. He heard that this matter was often agitated in the senate, not by me, but by others, and sometimes also in this place; that king Hiempsal was in possession of lands on the sea coast, which Publius Africanus adjudged to the Roman people; and yet afterwards express provision was made respecting them in a treaty, by Caius Cotta, when consul. But, because you did not order this treaty to be made, Hiempsal is in fear lest it may not be considered firm and properly ratified. What? What sort of proceeding is this? Your decision is not waited for; the whole treaty is excepted. It is approved by Rullus. As it limits the power of sale to be given to the decemvirs, I am glad of it; as it protects the interests of a king who is our friend, I find no fault with it; but my opinion is that the exception was not made for nothing; [59] for there is constantly fluttering before those men's eyes Juba, the king's son, whose purse is every bit as long as his hair.

Even now there scarcely appears to be any place capable of containing such vast heaps of money. He increases the sums, he adds to them, he keeps on accumulating. “To whomsoever gold or silver comes, from spoils, from money given for crowns, if it has neither been paid into the public treasury, nor spent in any monument.” Of that treasure he orders a return to be made to the decemvirs, and the treasure is to be paid over to them. By this case you see that an investigation even into the conduct of the most illustrious men, who have carried on the wars of the Roman people, and that judicial examinations into charges of peculation or extortion, are transferred to the decemvirs. They will have a power of deciding what is the value of the spoils which have been gained by each individual, what return he has made, and what he has left. But this law is laid down for all your generals for the future, that, whoever leaves his province, must make a return to these same decemvirs, of how much booty, and spoils, and gold given for the purpose of crowns he has. [60] But here this admirable man excepts Cnaeus Pompeius, whom he is so fond of. Whence does this affection so sudden and previously unknown originate? for he is excluded from the honour of the decemvirate almost by name; his power of deciding judicially, of giving laws, or of making any formal inquiry respecting the lands which have been taken by his your, is taken from him; decemvirs are sent not only into his province but into his very camp, with military authority, with immense sums of money, with unlimited power, and with a right of deciding on everything. His rights as a general, which have hitherto always been most jealously preserved to every general are for the first time taken from him. But he is excepted as the only one who is not bound to make a return of his booty. Does it seem that the real object of this clause is to do honour to the man, or to excite a feeling of unpopularity against him?

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