Which course, then, was more expedient for
Fabricius, who was to our city what Aristides was to
Athens, or for our senate, who never divorced expediency from honour—to contend against the enemy
with the sword or with poison? If supremacy is to
be sought for the sake of glory, crime should be excluded, for there can be no glory in crime; but if it
is power for its own sake that is sought, whatever
the price, it cannot be expedient if it is linked with
That well-known measure, therefore, introduced1
by Philippus, the son of Quintus, was not expedient.
With the authority of the senate, Lucius Sulla had
exempted from taxation certain states upon receipt
of a lump sum of money from them. Philippus
proposed that they should again be reduced to the
condition of tributary states, without repayment on
our part of the money that they had paid for their
exemption. And the senate accepted his proposal.
Shame upon our government! The pirates' sense of
honour is higher than the senate's. “But,” someone will say, “the revenues were increased, and
therefore it was expedient.” How long will people
venture to say that a thing that is not morally right
can be expedient?