6.  I assure you with the most real sincerity, O Romans, that I applied myself to the reading and understanding of this law with these feelings, that if I had thought it well adapted to your interests, and advantageous to them, I would have been a chief mover in and promoter of it. For the consulship has not, either by nature, or by any inherent difference of object, or by any instinctive hatred, any enmity against the tribuneship, though good and fearless consuls have often opposed seditious and worthless tribunes of the people, and though the power of the tribunes has sometimes opposed the capricious licentiousness of the consuls. It is not the dissimilarity of their powers, but the disunion of their minds, that creates dissension between them.  Therefore, I applied myself to the consideration of the law with these feelings, that I wished to find it calculated to promote your interests, and such an one as a consul who was really, not in word only, devoted to the people; might honestly and cheerfully advocate. And from the first clause of the proposed law to the last, O Romans, I find nothing else thought of, nothing else intended, nothing else aimed at, but to appoint ten kings of the treasury, of the revenues, of all the provinces, of the whole of the republic, of the kingdoms allied with us, of the free nations confederate with us—ten lords of the whole world, under the pretence and name of an agrarian law.  I do assert to you, O Romans, that by this beautiful agrarian law, by this law calculated solely for the good of the people, nothing whatever is given to you, everything is sacrificed to a few particular men; that lands are displayed before the eyes of the Roman people, liberty is taken away from them; that the fortunes of some private individuals are increased, the public wealth is exhausted; and lastly, which is the most scandalous thing of all, that by means of a tribune of the people, whom our ancestors designed to be the protector and guardian of liberty, kings are being established in the city. And when I have shown to you all the grounds for this statement, if they appear to you to be erroneous, I will yield to your authority, I will abandon my own opinion, but if you become aware that plots are laid against your liberty, under a pretence of liberality, then do not hesitate, now that you have a consul to assist you, to defend that liberty which was earned by the sweat and blood of your ancestors, and handed down to you, without any trouble on your part.
This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
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.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.
An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.