1. . . . . That which was then openly sought, is now endeavoured to be effected secretly by mines. For the decemvirs will say, what indeed is said by many, and has often been said,—that after the consulship of those men, all that kingdom became the property of the Roman people, by the bequest of the king Alexander. Will you then give Alexandria 1 to those men when they ask for it in an underhand way, whom you resisted when they openly fought against you? Which, in the name of the immortal gods, do these things seem to you,—the designs of sober men, or the dreams of drunken ones? the serious thoughts of wise men, or the frantic wishes of madmen?  See, now, in the second chapter of this law, how that profligate debauchee is disturbing the republic,—how he is ruining and dissipating the possessions left us by our ancestors; so as to be not less a spendthrift in the patrimony of the Roman people than in his own. He is advertising for sale by his law all the revenues, for the decemvirs to sell them; that is to say, he is advertising an auction of the property of the state. He wants lands to be bought, in order to be distributed; he is seeking money. No doubt he will devise something, and bring it forward; for in the preceding chapters the dignity of the Roman people was attacked; the name of our dominion was held up as an object of common hatred to all the nations of the earth; cities which were at peace with us, lands belonging to the allies, the ranks of kings in alliance with us, were all made a present of to the decemvirs; and now they want actual ready money paid down to them.  I am waiting to see what this vigilant and clever tribune is contriving. Let the Scantian 2 wood, says he, be sold. Did you then find this wood mentioned among the possessions that were left, or in the pasture lands of the lessors? If there is anything which you have hunted out, and discovered, brought to light out of darkness, although it is not just, still use that, since it is convenient, and since you yourself were the person to bring it forward. But shall you sell the Scantian wood while we are consuls, and while this senate is in existence? Shall you touch any of the revenues? Shall you take away from the Roman people that which is their strength in time of war, their ornament in time of peace? But then indeed, I shall think myself a lazier consul than those fearless men who filled this office in the times of our ancestors; because the revenues which were acquired by the Roman people when they were consuls, will be considered not able to be preserved when I am consul.
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THE THIRD SPEECH OF M. T. CICERO IN OPPOSITION TO PUBLIUS SERVILIUS RULLUS, A TRIBUNE OF THE PEOPLE, CONCERNING THE AGRARIAN LAW. DELIVERED TO THE PEOPLE.
1 Alexander, king of Egypt, had died at Tyre in the consulship of Cotta and Torquatus, two years before, and had bequeathed Alexandria and Egypt to the Roman people, and in consequence many people advocated the course of claiming that inheritance, and depriving Ptolemy the king of Egypt. The subject will be mentioned again in the next oration.
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