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[51] How much labour, and trouble, and money, do you suppose the Mamertines at the time of making this treaty would willingly have devoted to the object of preventing this bireme from being mentioned in it, if they could by any possibility have obtained such a favour from our ancestors? For when this heavy burden was imposed on the city, there was contained somehow or other in that treaty of alliance some badge, as it were, of slavery. That which then, when their services were recent, before the matter was finally determined, when the Roman people were in no difficulties, they could not obtain by treaty from our ancestors; that now, when they have done us no new service, after so many years,—now that it has been enforced every year by our right of sovereignty, and has been invariably observed—now, I say, when we are in great want of vessels, they have obtained from Caius Verres by bribery.

Oh! but this is all that they have gained, exemption from furnishing a ship! Have the Mamertines for the last three years furnished one sailor, one soldier, to serve either in fleet or in garrison, all the time you have been praetor?


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