But as Caius Gracchus surpassed every one in all these particulars, how great do you suppose must be the distance which is interposed between him and you? But Gracchus would rather have died a thousand times by the most painful of deaths, than have allowed the executioner to stand in that assembly—a man whom the laws of the censors considered ought not only to be ejected out of the forum, but even to be deprived of the sight of the sky, of the breath of the atmosphere, and of a home in the city. This man dares to call himself a friend of the people, and me an enemy to your interests; when he has hunted out all the cruelties of punishments and of harsh language, not only as supplied by your recollection, and by that of your fathers, but from all the records of our annals, and all the histories of the kings; and I, with all my power, and all my ingenuity, and all my eloquence, and all my energy, have opposed and resisted his cruelty. Unless, perhaps, you are fond of such a condition of existence as even slaves would not be able by any possibility to bear, if they had not the hope of liberty held out to them.
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THE SPEECH OF M. T. CICERO IN DEFENCE OF CAIUS RABIRIUS, ACCUSED OF TREASON.
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