You had taken from the senate the power of decreeing provinces to the different magistrates, and the decision as to what general was to be appointed to a command, and the management of the treasury; things which the Roman people never coveted for itself, as it never endeavoured to deprive the republic of the direction of the supreme council.1 Come, some of these things have been also done by others; it has seldom happened, but still it has happened, that the people has selected a general. Who ever heard that lieutenants have been appointed without a resolution of the senate to authorize it? No one before you. Immediately after you, Clodius did the same thing, in the case of those two pestilences of the republic; and, on this account, you deserve to be punished with still greater misfortunes; because you have injured the republic, not only by your deed, but also by your example; and because you are not only infamous yourself, but you have also wished to teach others to be so too. Do you not know that, on all these accounts, you have been branded with the unfavourable judgment of those most strict men, the Sabines, of those brave tribes, the Marsi and the Peligni, people of the same tribe as yourself, and that there is no other instance, since the foundation of Rome, of any man of the Sergian tribe having lost the votes of that tribe?
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THE SPEECH OF M. T. CICERO AGAINST PUBLIUS VATINIUS; CALLED ALSO, THE EXAMINATION OF PUBLIUS VATINIUS.
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