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[22] “That is no insult which a worthy man does.” Now, in the first place, what is the meaning of “worthy?” For there are many men worthy of punishment, as he himself is. Does he mean what a man does who is invested with any dignity?1 if so, what insult can be greater? Moreover, what is the meaning of “doing an insult?” Who ever uses such an expression? Then comes, “Nor any fear which an enemy threatens.” What then? is fear usually threatened by a friend? Then came many similar sentences. Is it not better to be dumb, than to say what no one can understand? Now see why his tutor, exchanging pleas for plows, has had given to him in the public domain of the Roman people two thousand acres of land in the Leontine district, exempt from all taxes, for making a stupid man still stupider at the public expense.

1 It is quite impossible to give a proper idea of Cicero's meaning here. He is arguing on the word dignus, from which dignitas is derived. But we have no means of keeping up the play on the words in English.

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load focus Latin (Albert Clark, Albert Curtis Clark, 1918)
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