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12. [29]

And since you so despise the property of others, and boast in a most intolerable manner of your own riches, I desire you to answer me, whether you, while tribune of the people, made any treaties with foreign states, or kings, or tetrarchs? whether you got any money out of the treasury by your laws? whether you did not at that time deprive people of the most valuable part of their privileges? whether it was Caesar or the farmers of the revenue that you were robbing? And as this is the case, I ask you whether, having been a most miserably poor man, you did not become an exceedingly rich one that very year in which a most stringent law was passed about extortion and peculation? So that all men may see that you trampled not only on the acts of us whom you call tyrants, but even on the laws of your own most intimate friend; before whom you are in the habit of employing hard words against us, who are very friendly to him, while you abuse him in the most insulting manner every time that you say that he is in the least degree connected with you.

[30] And I wish also to know this from you, with what design or with what intention you attended at the banquet given by Quintus Arrius, an intimate friend of mine, in a black robe? who you ever saw do such a thing before? who you ever heard of having done such a thing? What precedent had you for such conduct, or what custom can you plead for it? You will say that you did not approve of those supplications. Very well. Suppose that those supplications were inexcusable. Do you not see that I am not questioning you at all with respect to the occurrence of that year, nor of those circumstances in which you may appear to be concerned in common with any eminent men; but only about your own peculiar acts of wickedness? Grant that the supplication was informal. Still, tell me, who ever went to a banquet in a mourning garment? For by such conduct the banquet itself is turned into a funeral feast; though the proper intention of a banquet is to be a scene of enjoyment and compliment.


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