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[7] Nor is it possible for me, knowing, as I do, that I have been made consul, not by the zeal of the powerful citizens, nor by the preponderating influence of a few men, but by the deliberate judgment of the Roman people, and that, too, in such a way as to be preferred to men of the very highest rank, to avoid, both in this magistracy and throughout my whole life, devoting myself to the interests of the people.

When, however, I speak of the interests of the people, I have great need of your wisdom in giving the proper meaning and interpretation to this expression. For there is a great error abroad, by reason of the treacherous pretences made by some people, who, though they oppose and hinder not only the advantage but even the safety of the people, still endeavour by their speeches to make men believe them zealous for the interests of the people.


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