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25. [56]

I am aware, O judges, that in a cause that is so plain and so little liable to any doubt, many more arguments have been adduced and more men of great experience have spoken than the case at all required. But that has been done, not in order by our speaking to prove to you a matter which required proof so little, but in order to check the hostile disposition of all spiteful, and wicked, and envious men, whom the prosecutor has sought to inflame, hoping that some of the reports current among men who grieve over the prosperity of another might reach your ears, and have their effect on the result of this trial; and on that account you saw aspersions scattered about with great art in every part of his speech; especially with respect to the riches of Lucius Cornelius, which do not deserve to be brought into odium, and which, whatever their amount may be, are such as to seem to have been rather acquired by care than by any illicit or unfair means; and with respect to his luxury, which he attacked, not by bringing any definite charge of licentiousness against him, but by mere general abuse. Then, too, he attacked him about his farm at Tusculum, which he recollected had belonged to Quintus Metellus, and to Lucius Crassus; but he was not aware that Crassus had bought it of a man who was a freedman, Sotericus Marcius by name; that it had come to Metellus as part of the property of Venonius Vindicius; and also, he did not know that lands do not belong to any particular family, that they are accustomed to pass by sale to strangers, often even to the very lowest people, not being protected by the laws like guardianships. [57] It has been imputed to him also that he has become one of the tribe Crustumina, a privilege which he obtained by means of the law concerning bribery, and which is less invidious than the advantages acquired by those men who, by the assistance of the laws, obtain the power of delivering their opinion as praetor, and of wearing the praetexta. And then, too, the adoption of Theophanus was discussed; by means of which Cornelius gained nothing beyond being confirmed in his possession of the inheritances of his own relations.

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