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[88] Furthermore, can hatred and shame be expedient for any government? For government ought to be founded upon fair fame and the loyalty of allies.

On this point I often disagreed even with my1 friend Cato; it seemed to me that he was too rigorous in his watchful care over the claims of the treasury and the revenues; he refused everything that the farmers of the revenue asked for and much that the allies desired; whereas, as I insisted, it was our duty to be generous to the allies and to treat the publicans as we were accustomed individually to treat our tenants—and all the more, because harmony between the orders was essential to the welfare of the republic.2 Curio, too, was wrong, when he3 pleaded that the demands of the people beyond the Po were just, but never failed to add, “Let expediency prevail.” He ought rather to have proved that the claims were not just, because they were not expedient for the republic, than to have admitted that they were just, when, as he maintained, they were not expedient.

1 (3) Cato and the publicans,

2 The publicans, farmers of the revenue, were the moneyed men of the times, and belonged to the equestrian order. They purchased from the senate the farming of the revenues and then sublet their contract to the collectors. Sometimes they found that they had agreed to pay too high a rate and petitioned the senate to release them from their contract or reduce their obligations, as on this occasion (B.C. 61). The opposition of Cato and others strained the relations between the senate, who had control of the business, and the equestrian order, driving many of the equites over to Caesar's side. Complete harmony between the senate and the knights, as Cicero says, was the only thing that could have saved Rome from the popular party and Caesar.

3 (4) Curio and the colonies.

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