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[54] Scarcely had Cicero finished speaking when his friends broke forth in such tumultuous applause that for a long time nobody could be heard on the other side, until finally Piso came forward, when the senators, out of respect for him, became silent and even the Ciceronians restrained themselves. Then Piso said: " Our law, Conscript Fathers, requires that the accused shall himself hear the charge preferred against him and shall be judged after he has made his own defence; and for the truth of this I appeal to Cicero, our greatest orator. Since he hesitates to accuse Antony when present, but brings against him in his absence certain charges which he considers of the greatest gravity, and not open to doubt, I have come forward to show, in the fewest words, that these charges are false. He says that Antony converted the public money to his own use after Cæsar's death. The law declares such a person to be a thief, not a public enemy, and limits his punishment accordingly. After Brutus had killed Cæsar he accused the latter before the people of plundering the public money and leaving the treasury empty. Soon afterward Antony proposed a decree to investigate these matters and you adopted and confirmed his motion and promised a reward of one-tenth to informers, which reward we will double if anybody will prove that Antony had any part in the fraud. So much for the charge in reference to money.

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