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[26] After that I was released from that great anxiety about my canvass, I began, with a mind much more unoccupied and much more at ease, to think of nothing and to do nothing except what related to this trial. I find, O judges, these plans formed and begun to be put in execution by them, to protract the matter, whatever steps it might be necessary to take in order to do so, so that the cause might be pleaded before Marcus Metellus as praetor. That by doing so they would have these advantages; firstly, that Marcus Metellus was most friendly to them; secondly, that not only would Hortensius be consul, but Quintus Metellus also: and listen while I show you how great a friend he is to them. For he gave him a token of his goodwill of such a sort, that he seemed to be giving it as a return for the suffrages 1 of the tribes which he had scoured to him.

1 “The order in which the centuries voted was decided by lot, and that which gave its vote first was called centuria praerogativa.”—Smith, Dict. Ant. p. 274, v. Comitia. “We also find the plural praerogativae, because they were of two kinds, juniorum and seniorum.”—Riddle's Dict. in v. Praerogativa.

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