For laws are silent when arms are raised, and do not expect themselves to be waited for, when he who waits will have to suffer an undeserved penalty before he can exact a merited punishment. The law very wisely, and in a manner silently, gives a man a right to defend himself, and does not merely forbid a man to be slain, but forbids any one to leave a weapon about him with the object of slaying a man; so that as the object and not the weapon itself, is made the subject of the inquiry, the man who had used a weapon with the object of defending himself would be decided not to have had his weapon about him with the object of killing a man. Let, then, this principle remembered by you in this trial, O judges; for I do not doubt that I shall make good my defence before you, if you only remember—what you cannot forget—that a plotter against one may be lawfully slain.
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THE SPEECH OF M. T. CICERO AGAINST PUBLIUS VATINIUS; CALLED ALSO, THE EXAMINATION OF PUBLIUS VATINIUS.
THE SPEECH OF M. T. CICERO IN DEFENCE OF TITUS ANNIUS MILO.
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