The opposition had a difficult task in resisting this proposal.
It could not rationally be denied, that the state-finances ought
after the erection of the provinces of Pontus and Syria to be
in a position to dispense with the moneys from the Campanian leases;
that it was unwarrantable to withhold one of the finest districts
of Italy, and one peculiarly fitted for small holdings,
from private enterprise; and, lastly, that it was as unjust as it
was ridiculous, after the extension of the franchise to all Italy,
still to withhold municipal rights from the township of Capua.
The whole proposal bore the stamp of moderation, honesty, and solidity,
with which a democratic party-character was very dexterously
combined; for in substance it amounted to the re-establishment
of the Capuan colony founded in the time of Marius and again
done away by Sulla.(6)