It seems to you, O Attius, to be a scandalous thing that every one should not be bound by the same laws. In the first place, (suppose I do grant to you that it is a most scandalous thing,) it is an evil of this sort, that it is a proof that we have need to have the laws altered, not that we are not to obey the laws while they are in existence. In the next place, what senator has ever made this complaint, that when, by the kindness of the Roman people, he had attained a higher rank, he did not think he ought by that promotion to be put under more severe conditions of law? How many advantages are there, which we are without; how many troubles and annoyances are there which we undergo.—And all these things are compensated by the advantages of honour and dignity. Now apply these same conditions of life to the equestrian order, and to the other ranks of the state. They will not endure them; for they think that fewer inconveniences of the laws, and of the courts of justice, ought to be allotted to them, who have either never been able to mount to the higher ranks of the state, or have never tried.
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THE SPEECH OF M. T. CICERO IN DEFENCE OF AULUS CLUENTIUS HABITUS.
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