Ac multum etiam novitatem tuam adiuvat quod eius modi nobiles tecum petunt ut nemo sit qui audeat dicere plus illis nobilitatem quam tibi virtutem prodesse oportere. nam P. Galbam et L. Cassium summo loco natos quis est qui petere consulatum putet? vides igitur amplissimis ex familiis homines, quod sine nervis sint, tibi pares non esse. at Antonius et Catilina molesti sunt. immo homini navo, industrio, innocenti, diserto, gratioso apud eos qui res iudicant, optandi competitores ambo a pueritia sicarii, ambo libidinosi, ambo egentes. eorum alterius bona proscripta vidimus, vocem denique audivimus iurantis se Romae iudicio aequo cum homine Graeco certare non posse, ex senatu eiectum scimus optimorum censorum existimatione, in praetura competitorem habuimus amico Sabidio et Panthera, cum ad tabulam quos poneret non haberet (quo iam in magistratu amicam quam domi palam haberet de machinis emit); in petitione autem consulatus caupones omnes compilare per turpissimam legationem maluit quam adesse et populo Romano supplicare.
(Quintus Tullius Cicero, Commentariolum Petitionis 7-8)
Another great help for your status as a “new man” is that your noble competitors are persons of whom nobody would venture to say that they should get more from their rank than you from your moral excellence. Who would think that Publius Galba and Lucius Cassius, high-born as they are, are candidates for the consulship? So you see that men of the greatest families are not equal to you, because they lack vigour. Or are Antonius and Catiline supposed to be the trouble? On the contrary, two assassins from boyhood, both libertines, both paupers, are just the competitors to be prayed for by a man of energy, industry, and blameless life, an eloquent speaker, with influence among those who judge in the law courts. Of those two, we have seen the one sold up by legal process; we have heard him declare on oath that he cannot compete in fair trial in Rome against a Greek; we know he was expelled from the Senate by the decision of admirable censors. He was a fellow candidate of ours for the praetorship, when Sabidius and Panthera were his only friends, when he had no slaves left to auction off (already in office he bought from the stands in the slave market a girl friend to keep openly at home). In consular candidature, rather than present himself to solicit the votes of the Roman people, he preferred a most wicked mission abroad, where he plundered all the innkeepers. (tr. David Roy Shackleton Bailey)