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9. [22]

Everything which I am saying about Plancius, I say having experienced the truth of it in my own case. For we of Arpinum are near neighbours of the people of Atina. It is a neighbourhood to be praised, and even to be loved, retaining the old-fashioned habits of kindness for one another: one not tainted with ill-nature, nor accustomed to falsehood, not insincere, nor treacherous, nor learned in the suburban, or shall I say, the city artifices of dissimulation. There was not one citizen of Arpinum who was not anxious for Plancius, not one citizen of Sora, or of Casinum, or of Aquinum. The whole of that most celebrated district, the territory of Venafrum, and Allifae, in short, the whole of that rugged mountainous faithful simple district, a district cherishing its own native citizens, thought that it was honoured itself in his honour, that its own consequence was increased by his dignity. And from those same municipalities Roman knights are now present here, having been sent by the public authority, commissioned to bear evidence in his favour; nor is their anxiety in his behalf now inferior to the zeal which they displayed then. For, in truth, it is a more terrible thing to be stripped of one's goods than not to attain a dignity.

[23] Therefore, although the other qualifications, O Laterensis, those which your ancestors bequeathed to you, were more conspicuous in you than in him; yet, on the other hand, Plancius had an advantage over you not only in the zeal of his municipality, but in that of his whole neighbourhood. Unless, indeed, the neighbourhood of Tusculum to Lavicum, or Gabii, or Bovillae was any use to you; municipal towns in which you can now hardly find a single citizen to bear a part in the Latin holidays. I will add, if you like, that which you consider is even an objection to him, that his father is a farmer of the revenues. And who is there who does not know what a great assistance that body of men is to any one in seeking for any honour? For the flower of the Roman knights, the ornament of the state, the great bulwark of the republic is all comprehended in that body. [24] Who is there, then, who can deny that that body showed extraordinary zeal in aiding Plancius in his contest for honour? And it was very natural that they should, because his father is a man who has for a long time been the head of the company of farmers; and because he was exceedingly beloved by his fellows of that company; and because he canvassed them with the greatest diligence; and because he was entreating them in favour of his son; and because it was notorious that Plancius himself had both in his quaestorship and tribuneship done many kindnesses to that body; and because in promoting him they thought that they were promoting themselves, and consulting the welfare and dignity of their children.

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