And who are the men who will possess it? In the first place they are active men, prepared for deeds of violence, willing for sedition, who, the very moment the decemvirs clap their hands, may be armed against the citizens and ready for slaughter. In the next place, you will see the whole district of Campania distributed among a few men already rich in wealth and power. Meanwhile you, who have received from your ancestors those most beautiful homes, if I may so say, of your revenues, which they won by their arms, will not have left to you one single clod of earth of all your paternal hereditary possessions. And there will be this difference between your diligence and that or private individuals, that when Publius Lentulus, while he was chief of the senate, had been sent into those parts by our ancestors, in order to purchase at the public expense those lands, being private property, which projected into the public domain in Campania, he is said to have reported that he had not been able to purchase a certain man's estate for money; and that he who had refused to sell it, had given this reason why he could not possibly be induced to sell it, that, though he had many farms, this was the only farm from which he never had had any bad news.
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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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