All men shunned him with contempt and hatred,—all men avoided him as some inhuman and mischievous beast or pestilence. Still, audacious, infamous, guilty as he was, Habitus, O judges, would never have accused him, if he had been able to avoid doing so without danger to his own life. Oppianicus was his enemy; still he was his step-father: his mother was cruel to him and hated him; still she was his mother. Lastly, no one was ever so disinclined to prosecutions as Cluentius was by nature, by disposition, and by the constant habits of his life. But as he had this alternative set before him, either to accuse hint, as he was bound to do by justice and piety, or else to be miserably and wickedly murdered himself, he preferred accusing him any way he could, to dying in that miserable manner.
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THE SPEECH OF M. T. CICERO IN DEFENCE OF AULUS CLUENTIUS HABITUS.
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