Many reasons can be alleged why it was necessary that this decision should be given; but I will meet your expectation half-way, O judges. For although I am listened to by you in such a way, that I am persuaded no one was ever listened to more kindly or more attentively, still your silent expectation has been for some time calling me in another direction, and seeming to chide me thus:—“What then? Do you deny that that sentence was procured by corruption?” I do not deny that, but I say that the corruption was not practiced by my client. By whom, then, was it practiced? I think, in the first place, if it had been uncertain what was likely to be the result of that trial, that still it would have been more probable that he would have recourse to corruption, who was afraid of being himself convicted, than he who was only afraid of another man being acquitted. In the second place, as it was doubtful to no one what decision must inevitably be given, that he would employ such means, who for any reason distrusted his case, rather than he who had every possible reason to feel confidence in his. Lastly, that at all events, he who had twice failed before those judges must have been the corrupter, rather than he who had twice established his case to their satisfaction.
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THE SPEECH OF M. T. CICERO IN DEFENCE OF AULUS CLUENTIUS HABITUS.
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