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23. [61]

Cnaeus Pompeius will make a present of this to Rullus. He has no desire to avail himself of that kindness of the law, and of the good-nature of the decemvirs. For if it be just for generals not to devote their spoils and booty either to monuments of the immortal gods, or to the decorations of the city,—but if they are to carry it all to the decemvirs as their masters,—then Pompeius wishes for nothing particular for himself; nothing. He wishes to live under the common law, under the same law as the rest. If it be unjust, O Romans—if it be shameful, if it be intolerable for these decemvirs to be appointed as comptrollers of all the money collected by every body, and as plunderers not only of foreign kings and citizens of foreign nations, but of even our own generals, then they do not seem to me to have excepted Pompeius for the sake of doing him honour, but to be afraid that he may not be able to put up with the same insult as the rest. [62] But as Pompeius's feelings will be these, that he will think it becomes him to bear whatever seems fitting to you; on the other hand, if there be anything which you cannot bear, he will take care that you are not long compelled to bear it against your will. But the law makes a provision that, “if any money is received from any new source of revenue after our consulship, the decemvirs are to be allowed to use it.” Moreover, he sees that the new sources of revenue will be those which Pompeius has added to the republic. And so, he lets off his spoils, but thinks that it is right for him to reap the benefit of all the revenues acquired by his valour. Let then, O Romans, all the money which there is in the world conic into the hands of the dictators; let nothing be omitted; let every city, every district, every kingdom, and lastly even your own revenues be sold by them; let the spoils won by your generals be added to the heap. You see now what enormous, what incredible riches are sought to be acquired by your decemvirs by such extensive sales, by so many decisions which they have the power to make, and by such unlimited authority over everything.

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