But nevertheless this path and this system of undertaking public affairs was formerly more formidable, as in many particulars the desire of the multitude and the whim of the people were at variance with the interests of the republic. A law for the establishment of the ballot was brought forward by Lucius Cassius. The people thought that its liberties were at stake; the chief men of the state dissented, and in a matter affecting the safety of the nobles, they feared the rashness of the multitude, and the licentiousness of the ballot. Tiberius Gracchus brought forward an Agrarian law. It was very acceptable to the people; the fortunes of the poorer classes appeared likely to be established by it. The nobles strove against it, because they saw that discord was excited by it; and because, as the object of it was to deprive the wealthy men of their ancient possessions, they thought that by it the republic was being deprived of its defenders. Caius Gracchus brought forward a law respecting corn. It was a very pleasing proposal to the common people at Rome; for food was to be supplied to them in abundance without any trouble. The good resisted it because they thought that its effect would be to lead the common people away from industry to idleness, and because the treasury was likely to be drained by such a measure.
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Table of Contents:
THE SPEECH OF M. T. CICERO IN DEFENCE OF PUBLIUS SESTIUS.
THE SPEECH OF M. T. CICERO AGAINST PUBLIUS VATINIUS; CALLED ALSO, THE EXAMINATION OF PUBLIUS VATINIUS.
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