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[8]

Wherefore see that you have the votes of all the centuries secured to you by the number and variety of your friends. The first and most obvious thing is that you should embrace the Roman senators and knights, and the active and popular men of all the other orders. There are many city men of good business habits, there are many freedmen engaged in the forum who are popular and energetic: these men try with all your might both personally and by common friends, as far as you can, to make eager in your behalf; seek them out, send agents to them, shew them that they are putting you under the greatest obligation. After that review the entire city, all colleges, districts, neighbourhoods. If you attach to yourself the leading men of these, you will by their means easily keep a hold upon the multitude. When you have done that, take care to have in your mind a chart of all Italy laid out according to the tribe of each town, and ]earn it by heart, so that you may not allow any municipium, colony, prefecture, or, in a word, any spot in Italy to exist, in which you have not a sufficient foothold. Inquire also for and trace out individuals in every region, inform yourself about them, seek them out, strengthen their resolution, secure that in their own neighbourhoods they shall canvass for you, and be as it were candidates in your interest. They will wish for you as a friend, if they once see that their friendship is an object with you. Make sure that they do understand this by directing your speech specially to this point. Men of country towns, or from the country, think themselves in the position of friends if we of the city know them by name : if, however, they think that they are besides securing some protection for themselves, they do not let slip the opportunity of being obliging. Of such people others in town, and above all your rivals, don't so much as know the existence : you know about them and will easily recognize them, without which friendship is impossible. Nor is such recognition enough (though it is a great thing) unless some hope of material advantage and active friendship follows, for your object is not to be looked upon as a mere "nomenclator," but as a sincere friend also. So when you have both got the favour of these same men in the centuries, who from the means they have taken to secure their personal objects enjoy most popularity among their fellow tribesmen; and have made those all desirous of your success who have influence in any section of their tribe, owing to considerations attaching to their municipality or neighbourhood or college, then you may allow yourself to entertain the highest hopes.

Again, the centuries of the knights appear to me capable of being won over, if you are careful, with considerably more ease. Let your first care be to acquaint yourself with the knights ; for they are comparatively few : then make advances to them, for it is much easier to gain the friendship of young men at their time of life. Then again, you have on your side the best of the rising generation, and the most devoted to learning. Moreover, as the equestrian order is yours, they will follow the example of that order, if only you take the trouble to confirm the support of those centuries, not only by the general good affection of the order, but also by the friendships of individuals. Finally, the hearty zeal of the young in canvassing for votes, appearing at various places, bringing intelligence, and being in attendance on you in public are surprisingly important as well as creditable.


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