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[123] Once, O priests, give an opening for such religious acts as this, and you will very soon find no escape at all for any one's property. If a priest has laid his hand on a door-post, and has transferred expressions intended for the honour of the immortal gods to the injury of the citizens, will the holy name of religion avail to procure the ratification of such an injury, and yet will it not avail if a tribune of the people consecrates the goods of any citizen with a form of words no less ancient and almost equally solemn? But Caius Atinius, within the recollection of our fathers, consecrated the property of Quintus Metellus, who, as censor, had expelled him from the senate (your grandfather, O Quintus Metellus, and yours, O Publius Servilius, and your great-grandfather, O Publius Scipio;) placing a little brazier on the rostra and summoning a flute-player to assist him. What then? Did that frenzy of a tribune of the people, derived from some precedents of extreme antiquity, do any injury to Quintus Metellus, that great and most illustrious man?


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