This marriage subsisted with all respectability and all concord; when on a sudden there arose the nefarious lust of an abandoned woman, united not only with infamy but even with impiety. For Sassia, the mother of this Habitus, (for she shall be called his mother by me, just for the name's sake, although she behaves towards him with the hatred and cruelty of an enemy,)—she shall, I say, be called his mother; nor will I even so speak of her wickedness and barbarity as to forget the name to which nature entitles her; (for the more lovable and amiable the name of mother is, the more will you think the extraordinary wickedness of that mother, who for these many years has been wishing her son dead, and who wishes it now more than ever, worthy of all possible hatred.) She, then, the mother of Habitus, being charmed in a most impious matter with love for that young man, Melinus, her own son-in-law, at first restrained her desires as she could, but she did not do that long. Presently, she began to get so furious in her insane passion, she began to be so hurried away by her lust, that neither modesty, nor chastity, nor piety, nor the disgrace to her family, nor the opinion of men, nor the indignation of her son, nor the grief of her daughter, could recall her from her desires.
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THE SPEECH OF M. T. CICERO IN DEFENCE OF AULUS CLUENTIUS HABITUS.
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