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Quote of the day: Then for the first time she understood h
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Annals by Tacitus
Translated by Alfred John Church and William Jackson Brodribb
Book XV Chapter 21: Thrasea on laws (Cont.)[AD 62]
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"Formerly, it was not only a praetor or a consul, but private persons also, who were sent to inspect the provinces, and to report what they thought about each man's loyalty. And nations were timidly sensitive to the opinion of individuals. But now we court foreigners and flatter them, and just as there is a vote of thanks at any one's pleasure, so even more eagerly is a prosecution decided on. Well; let it be decided on, and let the provincials retain the right of showing their power in this fashion, but as for false praise which has been extorted by entreaties, let it be as much checked as fraud or tyranny. More faults are often committed, while we are trying to oblige than while we are giving offence. Nay, some virtues are actually hated; inflexible strictness, for example, and a temper proof against partiality. Consequently, our magistrates' early career is generally better than its close, which deteriorates, when we are anxiously seeking votes, like candidates. If such practices are stopped, our provinces will be ruled more equitably and more steadily. For as the dread of a charge of extortion has been a check to rapacity, so, by prohibiting the vote of thanks, will the pursuit of popularity be restrained." Olim quidem non modo praetor aut consul, sed privati etiam mittebantur, qui provincias viserent et quid de cuiusque obsequio videretur referrent, trepidabantque gentes de aestimatione singulorum: at nunc colimus externos et adulamur, et quo modo ad nutum alicuius grates, ita promptius accusatio decernitur. decernaturque et maneat provincialibus potentiam suam tali modo ostentandi: sed laus falsa et precibus expressa perinde cohibeatur quam malitia, quam crudelitas. plura saepe peccantur, dum demeremur quam dum offendimus. quaedam immo virtutes odio sunt, severitas obstinata, invictus adversum gratiam animus. inde initia magistratuum nostrorum meliora ferme et finis inclinat, dum in modum candidatorum suffragia conquirimus: quae si arceantur, aequalibus atque constantius provinciae regentur. nam ut metu repetundarum infracta