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10. [25]

Do you then, O you patron of all treaties and federate states, lay down this as the condition of the people of Gades, your fellow-citizens, that what is lawful for those nations which we have subdued with our arms, and reduced under our dominion, having the people of Gades for our assistants while doing so, namely, that if the Roman people shall permit it, they may have the rights of citizenship conferred on them by the senate or by our generals,—is not to be lawful for the men of Gades themselves?

Suppose they had determined by their own decrees or laws that no one of their fellow citizens should enter the camp of a general of the Roman people, that no one should incur any personal risk or danger of his life in defence of our empire, that we should not be allowed to avail ourselves of the assistance of the people of Gades whenever we chose, and that in his private capacity no individual, being eminent for courage and valour, should dare to struggle to his own personal danger, in defence of our empire; we should naturally be very indignant at that, at the resources of the Roman people being diminished, at the courage of brave men being damped, and at our being deprived of the aid afforded us by the zeal of nations unconnected with us in our behalf, and by the valour of foreign peoples.

[26] But it makes no difference, O judges, whether the federate states enact these laws that no one shall be permitted to leave those states for the purpose of sharing in the dangers of our wars, or that those things cannot possibly be ratified which we have given to their citizens on account of their virtue. For we should not any the more have the advantage of these men for our assistants if we once take away all the rewards of virtue, than we should if we were to make it absolutely unlawful for them to meddle at all in our laws. In truth, as, ever since the original birth of man, there have been but few men found, who, without any hope of reward, have been willing to expose their lives to the weapons of the enemy even for the sake of their own country, do you suppose that there will be any one who will expose himself to dangers in the defence of a republic with which he has not any connection, when not only no reward is held out to him, but when all reward for such conduct is prohibited from being bestowed?


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