Many such cases occur to me at present, and still more to you, I am quite sure. But not to dwell on too many such points, and not to wander too far from where we set out, let us consider this very interdict which is now before the court; for by that very document you will understand, that if we determine that the law depends on its precise words, we shall lose all the advantage of this interdict, while we wish to be very acute and clever. “Whence you, or your household, or your agent . . . ” Suppose your steward by himself had driven me away, your household would not, as I suppose, have driven me away, but only a member of your household. Would you then have a right to say that you had made the necessary restitution? No doubt; for what can be more easy than to prove to all those who understood the Latin language, that the name of a household does not apply to one single slave? But suppose you have not even one slave besides the one who drove me away; then you would cry out, “If I have a household, I will admit that you were driven away by my household.” Nor is there any doubt, that, if we are influenced in our decisions by the mere letter of the law, and not by the facts, we must understand a household to consist of many slaves, and we must admit that one slave is not a household.
This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
THE ORATION OF M. T. CICERO IN BEHALF OF AULUS CAECINA.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.
An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.