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TO THE RIGHT HONOURABLE
WILLIAM EARL OF DEVONSHIRE,
MY MOST HONOURED LORD.
MAY IT PLEASE YOUR LORDSHIP, It was the speech of the Roman people, to whom the name of king had been rendered odious, as well by the tyranny of the Tarquins as by the genius and decretals of that city; it was the speech, I
say, of the public, however pronounced from a private mouth, (if yet Cato the censor were no more than such): that all kings are to be reckoned amongst ravenous beasts. But what a beast of
prey was the Roman people ; whilst with its conquering eagles it erected its proud trophies so far and wide over the world, bringing the Africans, the Asiatics, the Macedonians, and the Achæans, with many other despoiled nations, into a specious bondage, with the pretence of preferring them to be denizens of Rome!
So that if Cato's saying were a wise one, it was every whit as wise, that of Pontius Telesinus; who flying about with open mouth through all the companies of his army in that famous encounter which he had with Sylla, cried out: that Rome herself, as well as Sylla, was to be razed; for that there would always be