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34. [92]

These designs of our ancestors seemed, as I have said before, blamable in the eyes of Marcus Brutus and Publius Rullus. Nor, O Publius Rullus, do those omens and auspices encountered by Marcus Brutus deter you from similar madness. For both he who led a colony to Capua
**** and they who took upon themselves the magistracy there, and who had any share in the conducting a colony to that spot, and in the honours to be had there, or in the offices to be enjoyed there, have all suffered the most terrible punishments allotted to the wicked. And since I have made mention of Brutus and that time, I will also relate what I saw myself when I had arrived at Capua,—when the colony had been just established there by Lucius Considius and Sextus Saltius the praetors, (as they called themselves,) that you may understand how much pride the situation itself inspires its inhabitants with; so great that it was very intelligible and visible when the colony had only been settled there a few days. [93] For in the first place, as I said, though similar officers in the other colonies are called duumvirs, these men chose to call themselves praetors. But if their first year of office inspired them with such desires as that, do not you suppose that in a few years they would be likely to take a fancy to the name of consuls? In the next place, they were preceded by lictors, not with staves, but with two faces, just as lictors go before the praetors here. The greater victims were placed in the forum, which, after they had been approved by the college of priests, were sacrificed at the voice of the crier, and the music of a flute-player, by the praetors from their tribunal, as they are at Rome by us who are consuls. After that, the conscript fathers were summoned. But after this, it was almost more than one could endure, to see the countenance of Considius. The man whom we had seen at Rome shriveled and wasted away, in a contemptible and abject condition, when we saw him at Capua with Campanian haughtiness and royal pride, we seemed to be looking at the Magii, and Blossii and Jubelii. [94] And now, in what alarm all the common people were! In the Alban and Seplasian road, what crowds assembled, of men inquiring what edict the praetor had issued? where he was supping? what he had said? And we who had come to Capua from Rome, were not called guests, but foreigners and strangers.

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