previous next

34.

“What need is there,” says he, “of an escort?” Are you asking me what is the need of that which we have always availed ourselves of? Men of the lower orders have only one opportunity of deserving kindness at the hands of our order, or of requiting services,—namely, this one attention of escorting us when we are candidates for offices. For it is neither possible, nor ought we or the Roman knights to require them to escort the candidates to whom they are attached for whole days together; but if our house is frequented by them, if we are sometimes escorted to the forum, if we are honoured by their attendance for the distance of one piazza, we then appear to be treated with all due observance and respect; and those are the attentions of our poorer friends who are not hindered by business, of whom numbers are not wont to desert virtuous and beneficent men. [71] Do not then, O Cato, deprive the lower class of men of this power of showing their dutiful feelings; allow these men, who hope for everything from us, to have something also themselves, which they may be able to give us. If they have nothing beyond their own vote, that is but little; since they have no interest which they can exert in the votes of others. They themselves, as they are accustomed to say, cannot plead for us, cannot go bail for us, cannot invite us to their houses; but they ask all these things of us, and do not think that they can requite the services which they receive from us by anything but by their attentions of this sort. Therefore they resisted the Fabian law, which regulated the number of an escort and the resolution of the senate, which was passed in the consulship of Lucius Caesar. For there is no punishment which can prevent the regard shown by the poorer classes for this description of attention. [72] “But spectacles were exhibited to the people by their tribes, and crowds of the common people were invited to dinner.” Although this, O judges, was not done by Murena at all, but done in accordance with all usage and precedent by his friends, still, being reminded of the fact, I recollect how many votes these investigations held in the senate have lost us, O Servius. For what time was there ever, either within our own recollection or that of our fathers, in which this, whether you call it ambition or liberality, did not exist to the extent of giving a place in the circus and in the forum to one's friends, and to the men of one's own tribe? The men of the poorer classes first, who had not yet obtained from those of their own tribe
***

[A considerable break in the text.]


Creative Commons License
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.

load focus Latin (Albert Clark, Albert Curtis Clark, 1908)
hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: