In other things, the predominancy
of custom is everywhere visible; insomuch as a man would wonder, to hear men profess, protest, engage, give great words, and then do, just as they have done before; as if they were dead images, and engines moved only by the wheels of custom.
The former, in which the people voted by centuries, was so arranged as to give a superiority to the patrician interest; in the latter, in which numbers prevailed, the plebian interest had an entire predominancy
. And yet these two legislatures coexisted for ages, and the Roman republic attained to the utmost height of human greatness.
From this a general rule is drawn which never or rarely fails: that he who is the cause of another becoming powerful is ruined; because that predominancy
has been brought about either by astuteness or else by force, and both are distrusted by him who has been raised to power.