7.  What will you say, if, besides, I defend the act of the people, O Laterensis, and prove that Cnaeus Plancius did not creep by underhand means to that honour, but that he arrived at it by the regular course which has at all times been open to men born in this equestrian rank of ours; can I, by this argument expunge from your speech the comparison between you two, which cannot be handled without an appearance of insult, and can I thus bring you at last to the merits of the case itself and of your accusation? If, because he is the son of a Roman knight he ought to have been inferior to you, all the rest who were candidates at the same time with you were the sons of Roman knights. I say no more: but this I do wonder at, why you should be angry with this man above all the rest who was the furthest removed from you. In truth, if, at any time, as is sometimes the case, I am pushed about in the crowd, I do not find fault with that man who is on the very crown of the Via Sacra, when I am pushed up against the arch of Fabius; but with him who was against me and pushes me. But you are not angry with Quintus Pedius, a very gallant man; nor with Aulus Plotius,1 whom I see here, a most accomplished citizen, and my own intimate friend; but you think yourself defeated by him who has also defeated them, rather than by those who were nearest yourself in the number of votes, and who therefore pressed more immediately on you.  But, nevertheless, you compare yourself with Plancius, in the first place as to your race and family, in which he is beaten by you. For why should not I confess what cannot he denied? But he is not more inferior to you in this respect than I was to my competitors, both on other occasions, and when I was a candidate for the consulship. But beware lest these very particulars for which you look down upon him may have told in his favour. For let us make the comparison in this way—You are descended from a consular family on both sides. Have you any doubt then that all those who favour the nobility of birth, who think that the finest of all things, who are influenced by the images and great names of your ancestors, all voted for you as aedile. I myself have not a doubt of it. But if the number of those who are thus devoted to high birth is not very large, is that our fault? In truth, let us go back to the head and origin of each of your families.
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Table of Contents:
THE SPEECH OF M. T. CICERO IN DEFENCE OF CNAEUS PLANCIUS.
THE SPEECH OF M. T. CICERO AGAINST PUBLIUS VATINIUS; CALLED ALSO, THE EXAMINATION OF PUBLIUS VATINIUS.
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