This is what occurred to me to say on the subject of these two morning reflexions, which I said you ought to turn over in your mind every day as you went down to the forum: "I am a novus homo," "I am a candidate for the consulship." There remains the third, "This is Rome," a city made up of a combination of nations, in which many snares, much deception, many vices enter into every department of life: in which you have to put up with the arrogant pretensions, the wrong-headedness, the ill-will, the hauteur, the disagreeable temper and offensive manners of many. I well understand that it requires great prudence and skill for a man, living among social vices of every sort, so many and so serious, to avoid giving offence, causing scandal, or falling into traps, and in his single person to adapt himself to such a vast variety of character, speech, and feeling. Wherefore, I say again and again, go on persistently in the path you have begun: put yourself above rivalry in eloquence; it is by this that people at Rome are charmed and attracted, as well as deterred from obstructing a man's career or inflicting an injury upon him. And since the chief plague spot of our state is that it allows the prospect of a bribe to blind it to virtue and worth, be sure that you are fully aware of your own strength, that is, understand that you are the man capable of producing in the minds of your rivals the strongest fear of legal proceeding and legal peril. Let them know that they are watched and scrutinized by you : they will be in terror of your energy, as well as of your influence and power of speech, and above all of the affection of the equestrian order towards you. But though I wish you to hold out this before them, I do not wish you to make it appear that you are already meditating an action, but to use this terror so as to facilitate the gaining of your object: and, in a word, in this contest strain every nerve and use every faculty in such a way as to secure what we seek. I notice that there are no elections so deeply tainted with corruption, but that some centuries return men closely connected with them without receiving money. Therefore, if we are as vigilant as the greatness of our object demands, and rouse our well-wishers to put forth all their energies; and if we allot to men of influence and zeal in our service their several tasks; if we put before our rivals the threat of legal proceedings ; if we inspire their agents with fear, and by some means check the distributors, it is possible to secure either that there shall be no bribery or that it shall be ineffectual.

These are the points that I thought, not that I knew better than you, but that I could more easily than you—in the pressing state of your present engagements—collect together and send you written out. And although they are written in such terms as not to apply to all candidates for office, but to your special case and to your particular election, yet I should be glad if you would tell me of anything that should be corrected or entirely struck out, or that has been omitted. For I wish this little essay "on the duties of a candidate" to be regarded as complete in every respect.

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