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[137] This, believe me, is the only path to praise, and dignity and honour,—to be praised and beloved by men who are wise and good, and endowed with good dispositions by nature; to become acquainted with the constitution of the state, as it has been most wisely established by our ancestors, who, when they could no longer endure the power of a king, created annual magistrates on the principle of making the senate the perpetual supreme council of the republic, and of allowing men to be elected into that body by the whole people, and of opening the road to that supreme order to the industry and virtue of all the citizens. They established the senate as the guardian, and president, and protector of the republic; they chose the magistrates to depend on the authority of this order, and to be as it were the ministers of this most dignified council; and they contrived that the senate itself should be strengthened by the high respectability of those ranks which came nearest to it, and so be able to defend and promote the liberties and interests of the common people.

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