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6.

[13]

Since, then, you have now heard what this judicial procedure is, and with what intention it was established, now listen, while I briefly explain to you the case itself, and its attendant circumstances. [14]

Marcus Tullius had a farm, inherited from his father, in the territory of Thurium, O judges, which he was never sorry to have, till he got a neighbor who preferred extending the boundaries of his estate by arms, to defending them by law. For Publius Fabius lately purchased a farm of Caius Claudius, a senator,—a farm bordering on that of Marcus Tullius,—dear enough, for nearly half as much again (though in a wretched state of cultivation, and with all the buildings burnt down) as Claudius himself had given for it when it was in a good and highly ornamented condition, though he had paid an extravagant price for it.
***** [15] I will add this also, which is very important to the matter. When the commander-in-chief died, though he wished to invest a sum of money, got I know not how, in a farm, he did not so invest it, but he squandered it. I do not very greatly wonder that, hampered as he was by his own folly, he wished to extricate himself how he could. But this I cannot marvel at sufficiently, this I am indignant at, that he strives to remedy his own folly at the expense of his neighbours, and that he endeavoured to pacify his own ill-temper by the injury of Tullius.

There is in that farm a field of two hundred acres, which is called the Popilian field, O judges, which had always belonged to Marcus Tullius, and which even his father had possessed. That new neighbour of his, full of wicked hope, and the more confident because Marcus Tullius was away, began to wish for this field, as it appeared to him to lie very conveniently for him, and to be a convenient addition to his own farm. And at first, because he repented of the whole business and of his purchase, he advertised the farm for sale. But he had had a partner in the purchase, Cnaeus Acerronius a most excellent man. He was at Rome, when on a sudden messengers came to Marcus Tullius from his villa, to say that Publius Fabius had advertised that neighbouring farm of his for sale, offering a much larger quantity of land than he and Cnaeus Acerronius had lately purchased. [17] He applies to the man. He, arrogantly enough, answers just what he chooses. And he had not yet pointed out the boundaries. Tullius sends letters to his agent and to his bailiff, to go to the procurator of Caius Claudius, in order that he might point out the boundaries to purchasers in their presence. But he
***** refused to do this. He pointed out the boundaries to Acerronius while they were absent; but still he did not give them up this Popilian field. Acerronius excused himself from the whole business as well as he could, and as soon as he could; and he immediately revoked any agreement which he had with Fabius, (for he preferred losing his money to losing his character,)


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