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[64] But, that which I have made up my mind that I ought not to say, yet you can still form an idea of in your minds. This one thing at all events I appear to myself to be able to say with the greatest truth,—that in former times when this republic had the Luscini, the Calatini, the Acidini, men adorned not only with the honours conferred on them by the people, and by their own great exploits, but also by the patience with which they endured poverty; and then also when the Catos, and the Phili, and Laelii lived, men whose wisdom and moderation you had obtained a thorough knowledge of in public, and private, and forensic, and domestic affairs; still such a charge as this was entrusted to no one, so as to allow the same man to be both judge and seller, and to be so for five years over the whole world, and also to have power to alienate the lands of the Roman people from which their revenues are derived; and when by these means he had amassed a vast sum of money according to his own pleasure, without any witness, then he was to buy whatever he pleased from any one he pleased.

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