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[50] I forget for the present all the injuries which you have done me, O Clodia; I banish all recollection of my own distress; I put out of consideration your cruel conduct to my relations when I was absent. You are at liberty to suppose that what I have just said was not said about you. But I ask you yourself, since the accusers say that they derived the idea of this charge from you, and that they have you yourself as a witness of its truth; I ask you, I say, if there be any woman of the sort that I have just described, a woman unlike you, a woman of the habits and profession of a harlot, does it appear an act of extraordinary baseness, or extraordinary wickedness, for a young man to have had some connection with her? If you are not such a woman,—and I would much rather believe that you are not—then, what is it that they impute to Caelius? If they try to make you out to be such a woman, then why need we fear such an accusation for ourselves, if you confess that it applies to you, and despise it? Give us then a path to and a plan for our defence. For either your modesty will supply us with the defence, that nothing has been done by Marcus Caelius with any undue wantonness; or else your impudence will give both him and every one else very great facilities for defending themselves.


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