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[53] And, therefore, among the people so disparaged your pretensions, you must not think that there were none who had taken offence at the intrepid spirit which you then displayed; who were able, perhaps, to keep you, incautious as you were, from arriving at that rank, but will never be able to move you when you are on your guard and watchful against them.

Have these arguments had any influence with you? “Have you any doubt,” says he, “that a coalition was entered into against me, when you see that Plancius and Plotius gained the votes of the majority of the tribes?” But could they have acted in concert if the tribes did not give their votes in concert? But some of the tribes gave almost the very same number of votes for each of them. Yes, when at the preceding comitia those two had been already almost elected and declared. Although even that fact would not necessarily involve any suspicion of a coalition. For our ancestors would never have established a rule of casting lots for the aedileship, if they had not seen that it was possible that the competitors should have had an equal number of votes.

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