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[25] Is there any city, not only in our provinces, but in the most distant nations, either so powerful, or so free, or so savage and uncivilized? is there any king, who would not invite a Senator of the Roman people to his house and to his home? An honour which is paid not only to the man, but in the first place to the Roman people, by whose indulgence we have risen to this order, and secondly to the authority of this order; and unless that is respected among our allies, where will be the name and dignity of the empire among foreign nations? The Mamertines did not give me any public invitation—when I say me, that is a trifle, but when they did not invite a Senator of the Roman people, they withheld an honour due not to the man but to his order. For to Tullius himself, the most splendid and magnificent house of Cnaeus Pompeius Basilicus was opened; with whom he would have lodged even if he had been invited by you. There was also the most honourable house of the Percennii, who are now also called Pompeius; where Lucius my brother lodged and was received by them with the greatest eagerness. A Senator of the Roman people, as far as depended on you as a body, lay in your town, and passed the night in the public streets. No other city ever did such a thing. “Yes,” say you, “for you were instituting a prosecution against our friend.” Will you put your own interpretation on what private business I have of my own, by diminishing the honour due to the Senate?

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load focus Notes (J. B. Greenough, G. L. Kittredge)
load focus Latin (Albert Clark, William Peterson, 1917)
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