And now that this is settled, the approach to the contest for this dignity, which was the second part of the accusation, is more easy to me. I see that there is in you, O Servius Sulpicius, the greatest dignity of birth, of integrity, of industry, and of all the other accomplishments which a man ought to rely on when he offers himself as a candidate for the consulship. I know that all those qualities are equal in Lucius Murena, and so equal that he can neither be surpassed in worth by you, nor can himself surpass you in worth. You have spoken slightingly of the family of Lucius Murena, you have extolled your own; but if you dwell on this topic so as to allow no one to be considered as born of a good family, unless he be a patrician, you will compel the common people again to secede to the Aventine Hill. 1 But if there are honourable and considerable families among the plebeians,—both the great-grandfather of Lucius Murena, and his grand-father, were praetors; and his father, when he had triumphed most splendidly and honourably for exploits performed in his praetorship, left the steps towards the acquisition of the consulship more easy, because that honour which was due to the father was demanded by the son.
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THE ORATION OF M. T. CICERO IN DEFENCE OF L. MURENA, PROSECUTED FOR BRIBERY.
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