19. But if you think these things trifling, though they are most important; and if you prefer the votes of these quiet citizens to those of the soldiers; at all events, you cannot think lightly of the beauty of the games exhibited by this man, and the magnificence of his theatrical spectacles; and these things were of great use to him in this last contest. For why need I tell you that the people and the great mass of ignorant men are exceedingly taken with games? It is not very strange. And that is a sufficient reason in this case; for the comitia are the comitia of the people and the multitude. If, then, the magnificence of games is a pleasure, to the people, it is no wonder that it was of great service to Lucius Murena with the people.  But if we ourselves, who, from our constant business, have but little time for amusement, and who are able to derive many pleasures of another sort from our business itself; are still pleased and interested by exhibitions of games, why should you marvel at the ignorant multitude being so?  Lucius Otho, 1 a brave man, and an intimate friend of mine, restored not only its dignity, but also its pleasure to the equestrian order; and, therefore, this law which relates to the games is the most acceptable of all laws, because by it that most honourable order of men is restored not only to its honours, but also to the enjoyment of its amusements. Games, then, believe me, are a great delight to men, even to those who are ashamed to own it, and not to those only who confess it as I found to be the case in my contest for the consulship; for we also had a theatrical representation as our competitor. But if I who, as aedile, had exhibited those shows of games, was yet influenced by the games exhibited by Antonius, do you not suppose that that very silver stage exhibited by this man, which you laugh at was a serious rival to you, who, as it happened, had never given any games at all?  But in truth, let us allow that these advantages are all equal,—let exertions displayed in the forum be allowed to be equal to military achievements,—let the votes of the quiet citizens be granted to be of equal weight with those of the I soldiers,—let it be of equal assistance to a man to have I exhibited the most magnificent games, and never to have exhibited any at all; what then? Do you think that in the praetorship itself there was no difference between your lot and that of my client Murena?
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THE ORATION OF M. T. CICERO IN DEFENCE OF L. MURENA, PROSECUTED FOR BRIBERY.
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