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We are speaking, then, of this law which appears to have been legally brought forward, while yet every one that has had anything to do with any part of it, either by hand, voice, vote, or by sharing in the plunder, wherever he has been, has come off rejected and convicted.

What shall we say if the proscription is framed in such terms that it repels itself? For it is, “Because Marcus Tullius has forged a decree of the senate.” If, then, he did forge a decree of the senate, the law was proposed; but if he did not forge one, no proposition has been made at all. Does it or does it not appear sufficiently decided by the senate that I did not falsely allege the authority of that order, but that I, of all the men that have ever lived since the foundation of the city, have been the most diligent in my obedience to the senate? In how many ways do I not prove that that which you call a law is no law at all? What shall we say if you brought many different matters before the people at one and the same time? Do you still think that what Marcus Drusus, that admirable man, could not obtain in most of his laws,—that what Marcus Scaurus and Lucius Crassus, men of consular rank, could not obtain, you can obtain through the agency of the Decurii and Clodii, the ministers of all your debaucheries and crimes?

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