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And as all this is the case, let us see what the censors are said to have decided respecting that corrupt tribunal. And first of all let us lay down this principle; whether a thing is so because the censors have stated it in their notes, or whether they made such a statement in their notes because it was the fact. If it is the case because they have so stated it, take care what you are doing; beware lest you are establishing for the future a king by power in the person of every one of our censors,—beware lest the note 1 of a censor may hereafter be able to cause as much distress to the citizens as that terrible proscription did,—beware lest we have reason to dread for the future that pen of the censor, whose point our ancestors blunted by many remedies, as much as that sword of the dictator.

1 In the twenty-ninth book of Livy, c. 37, an extraordinary instance is related of disagreement between the censors; for one of them, Caius Claudius Nero, degraded his colleague, Marcus Livius, and Livius in his turn degraded Caius Claudius.

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