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[36]

For I cannot at all approve of those opinions which have been expressed by some most illustrious men, one of whom proposes to give the consuls the further Gaul and Syria, and the other inclines to the nearer Gaul. He who proposes the further Gaul, throws all those matters into confusion about which I have just been speaking, and shows at the same time that he is advocating a law which he affirms to be no law at all; and that he is taking away that part of the province to which no interruption can be given, but is not touching that part which has a defender. The effect of his conduct also is not to meddle with that which has been conferred by the people while at the same time he a senator is anxious to take away what has been given by the senate.

The other disregards all consideration of the Gallic war; he discharges the duty of a virtuous senator: though he thinks the law invalid, still he observes it; for he fixes beforehand a day for his successor to enter on his office.
* * * But it seems to me that nothing is more inconsistent with the dignity and principles of our ancestors than for the consul, who on the first of January is to have a province, to have it promised to him in this way, and not regularly decreed to him. Suppose he were during the whole of his consulship without a province, though even before he was elected a province was decreed to him, is he to cast lots for a province, or not?


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