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[56]

These words follow: “That more honour must not he given to worthless citizens and rejected candidates.” Let us see who are the rejected candidates; for I will show you afterwards who are the worthless citizens. But still all men must allow that this expression suits that man above all other who is beyond all question the most worthless of all mortals. Who then, are the rejected candidates? Not, I imagine, they who some time or other have failed to attain some honour more by the fault of the city than by their own. For that is a thing which has frequently happened to many most excellent citizens and most honourable men. Those are the rejected candidates meant, whom, when they were proceeding to the most violent measures, when they were preparing exhibitions of gladiators contrary to the laws, when they were bribing in the most open manner, not only strangers, but even their own relations, their neighbours, the men of their own tribe, towns-people and countrymen, all rejected. We are warned not to confer any additional honours on these men. It ought to be a very acceptable admonition that they give us; but still the Roman people itself, of its own accord, without any warning on the part of the soothsayers, has provided against this evil.


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