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33. [89]

See, now, how wide is the distance between the counsels of our ancestors and the insane projects of these men. They chose Capua to be a refuge for our farmers,—a market for the country people,—a barn and granary for the Campanian district. These men, having expelled the farmers, have wasted and squandered your revenues, are raising this same Capua into the seat of a new republic, are preparing a vast mass to be an enemy to the old republic. But if our ancestors had thought that any one in such an illustrious empire, in such an admirable constitution as that of the Roman people, would have been like Marcus Brutus or Publius Rullus, (for these are the only two men whom we have hitherto seen, who have wished to transfer all this republic to Capua,) they would not, in truth, have left even the name of that city in existence. [90] But they thought, that in the case of Corinth and Carthage, even if they had taken away their senates and their magistrates, and deprived the citizens of the lands, still men would not be wanting who would restore those cities, and change the existing state of things in them before we could hear of it. But here, under the very eyes of the senate and Roman people, they thought that nothing could take place which might not be put down and extinguished before it had got to any head, or had assumed any definite shape. Nor did that matter deceive those men, endued as they were with divine wisdom and prudence. For after the consulship of Quintus Fulvius and Quintus Fabius, by whom, when they were consuls, Capua was defeated and taken, I will not say there has been nothing done, but nothing has been even imagined in that city against this republic.

Many wars have been waged since that time with kings,—with Philip, and Antiochus, and Perses, and Pseudophilippus, and Aristonicus, and Mithridates, and others. Many terrible wars have existed beside-—the Carthaginian, the Corinthian, and the Numantian wars. There have been also many domestic seditions, which I pass over. There have been wars with our allies,—the Fregellan war, the Marsic war; in all which domestic and foreign wars Capua has not only not been any hindrance to us, but has afforded us most seasonable assistance, in providing the means of war, in equipping our armies, and receiving them in their houses and homes. There were no men in the city, who, by evil-disposed assemblies, by turbulent resolutions of the senate, or by unjust exertions of authority, threw the republic into confusion, and sought pretexts for revolution. [91] For no one had any power of summoning an assembly, or of convening any public council. Men were not carried away by any desire for renown, because where there are no honours publicly conferred, there there can be no covetous desire of reputation. They were not quarreling with one another out of rivalry or out of ambition; for they had nothing left to quarrel about,—they had nothing which they could seek for in opposition to one another,—they had no room for dissensions. Therefore, it was in accordance with a deliberate system, and with real wisdom, that our ancestors changed the natural arrogance and intolerable ferocity of the Campanians into a thoroughly inactive and lazy tranquillity. And by this means they avoided the reproach of cruelty, because they did not destroy from off the face of Italy a most beautiful city; and they provided well for the future, in that, having cut out all the sinews of the city, they left the city itself enfeebled and disabled.

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