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20.

For what could you say? That I had been condemned?, Certainly not. That I had been expelled. How could you say that? And yet even that was not stated in your bill that I was to depart; there is a penalty for any one who received me, which every one disregarded; but there is no mention anywhere of driving me out. However, suppose there were,—what are we to say about the collecting of all the common artisans to pull down my house? what shall we say about your having your name cut on it? does that seem to you to be anything except a plundering of all my property? except that you could not by the Licinian law undertake the commission yourself. What are we to say about this very matter which you are now arguing before the priests; namely, that you consecrated my house, that you erected a memorial, that you dedicated a statue in my house, and that you did all these things by one little bit of a bill? Do all these things appear to be only one and the same business with the bill which you carried against me expressly by name? [52] It is just the same thing that you did when you also carried these different enactments in one law,—one, that the king of Cyprus, whose ancestors had always been allies and friends to this nation, should have all his goods sold by the public crier, and the other, that the exiles should be brought back to Byzantium. “Oh,” says he, “I employed the same person on both those matters.” What? Suppose you had given the same man a commission to get you an Asiatic coin in Asia, and from thence to proceed into Spain; and given him leave, after he had departed from Rome, to stand for the consulship, and, after he was made consul, to obtain Syria for his province; would that be all one measure, because you were mentioning only one man? [53] And if now the Roman people had been consulted about that business, and if you had not done everything by the instrumentality of slaves and robbers, was it impossible for the Roman people to approve of the part of the measure relating to the king of Cyprus, and to approve of that part which affected Byzantine exiles? What other force, what other meaning, I should like to know, has the Caecilian and Didian law, except this; that the people are not to be forced in consequence of many different things being joined in one complicated bill, either to accept what it disapproves of; or reject what it approves?

What shall we say if you carried the bill by violence? is it, nevertheless, a law? Or can anything appear to have been done rightfully which was notoriously done by violence? And if, at the very time of your getting this law passed, when the city was stormed, stones were not thrown, and men did not actually come to blows hand to hand, is that any proof that you were able to contrive that disgrace and ruin to the city without extreme violence?


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