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[30] I have, indeed, O Caius Caesar, pleaded many causes with you, while your pursuit of honours detained you in the forum; but certainly I never pleaded in this way, “Pardon my client, O judges; he has erred, he has tripped, he did not think.
* * If ever hereafter
* *” This is the sort of way in which he pleads with a parent; to judges one says, “He never did it, he never thought of it the witnesses are false, the accusation is false.” Say, O Caesar, that you are sitting as judge on the conduct of Ligarius. Ask me in what garrisons he was. I make no reply. I do not even adduce these arguments, which, perhaps, might have weight even with a judge,—“He went as a lieutenant before the war broke out; he was left there in time of peace; he was overtaken by the war; in the war itself he was not cruel; he was in disposition and zeal wholly yours.” This is the way in which men are in the habit of pleading before a judge. But I am addressing a parent. “I have erred; I have acted rashly; I repent; I flee to your clemency; I beg pardon for my fault; I entreat you to pardon me.” If no one has gained such indulgence from you, it is an arrogant address.


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