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FABRICIUS LUSCINUS was a man of great renown and great achievements. Publius Cornelius Rufinus was, to be sure, a man energetic in action, a good warrior, and a master of military tactics, but thievish and keen for money. This man Fabricius neither respected nor treated as a friend, but hated him because of his character. Yet when consuls were to be chosen at a highly critical period for the State, and that Rufinus was a candidate while his competitors were without military experience and untrustworthy, Fabricius used every effort to have the office given to Rufinus. 1 When many men expressed surprise at his attitude, in wishing an avaricious man, towards whom he felt bitter personal enmity, to be elected consul, he said: “I would rather be robbed by a fellow-citizen than sold 2 by the enemy.”

This Rufinus afterwards, when he had been dictator and twice consul, Fabricius in his censorship expelled from the senate 3 on the charge of extravagance, because he possessed ten pounds weight of silver plate. That remark of Fabricius about Rufinus I gave above in the form in which it appears in most historians; but Marcus Cicero, in the second book of the De Oratore, says 4 that it was not made by Fabricius to others, but to Rufinus himself, when he was thanking Fabricius because he had been elected consul through his help.

1 This was in 290 B.C. at the beginning of the last Samnite war. Rufinus was consul again in 277 B. C.

2 That is, sold into slavery by a victorious foe.

3 In 275 B.C.

4 §268.

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