Why do you not define them, nor name them, so that at least the Roman people may be able to consider what its own interests are-what is desirable for it—how much trust it thinks it desirable to repose in you in the matter of buying and selling things ? I do define Italy, says he. It is a district sufficiently marked out. Indeed, how little difference does it make whether you are led down to the roots of the Massic Hill, or into some other part of Italy, or somewhere else! Come, you do not define the exact spot. What do you mean? Do you mean the nature of the land? But, says he, the law does say, “which can be ploughed or cultivated.” Which can be ploughed or cultivated, he says; not, which has been ploughed or cultivated. Is this now a law, or is it an advertisement of some sale of Neratius 1; in whose descriptions people used to find such sentences as these:—“Two hundred acres in which an olive garden may be made. Three hundred acres where vines can be planted.” Is this what you are going to buy with all your countless sums of money,—something which can be ploughed up or cultivated? Why, what soil is there so thin and miserable that it cannot be broken up by a plough? or what is there which is such a complete bed of stones that the skill of an agriculturist cannot get something out of it? Oh but, says he, I cannot name any lands positively, because I touch none against the will of the owner. This also is much more profitable than if one took land from a man against his will. For a calculation of gain will be entered into with reference to your money, and then only will land be sold when the sale is advantageous to both buyer and seller.
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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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