1. The two things which have the greatest influence in a state,—namely, the greatest interest, and eloquence, are both making against us at the present moment; and while I am awed 1 by the one, O Caius Aquillius, I am in fear of the other:—I am somewhat awed, apprehending that the eloquence of Quinctius Hortensius may embarrass me in speaking; but I am in no slight fear lest the interest of Sextus Naevius may injure Publius Quinctius.  And yet it would not seem so disastrous for us that these things should exist in the highest degree in the other party, if they existed also to a moderate extent in us; but the fact is, that I, who have neither sufficient experience nor much ability, am brought into comparison with a most eloquent advocate; and that Publius Quinctius, who has but small influence, no riches, and few friends, is contending with a most influential adversary.  And, moreover, we have this additional disadvantage, that Marcus Junius, who has several times pleaded this cause before you, O Aquillius, a man practised in the conduct of other causes also, and much and frequently concerned in this particular one, is at this moment absent, being engaged on his new commission; 2 and so they have had recourse to me, who, even if I had all other requisite qualifications in ever so high a degree, have certainly scarcely had time enough to be able to understand so important a business, having so many points of dispute involved in it  so that also, which has been used to be an assistance to me in other causes, is wanting to me in this one; for in proportion to my want of ability, have I endeavoured to make amends for that want by industry, and unless time and space be given to one, it cannot be seen how great his industry is. But the greater our disadvantages, O Caius Aquillius, are, with so much the more favourable a disposition ought you, and those who are your colleagues in this trial, to listen to our words, that the truth, though weakened by many disadvantages, may be at last reestablished by the equity of such men as you.  But if you, being the judge, shall appear to be no protection to a desolate and helpless condition against power and influence; if before this tribunal the cause is found to depend on interest, not on truth; then indeed there is nothing any longer holy and uncontaminated in the state—no hope that the firmness and virtue of the judge may counterbalance the lowly condition of any one. But undoubtedly before you and your colleagues truth will prevail, or else, if it be driven from this place by power and influence, it will not be able to find any place where it can stand.
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The speech of M. T. Cicero as the advocate of P. Quinctius.
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