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30. [83]

I come now to that point to which my desire does not lead me, but good faith towards my client. For if I wished to accuse men, I should accuse those men rather by accusing whom I might become more important, which I have determined not to do, as long as the alternatives of accusing and defending are both open to me. For that man appears to me the most honourable who arrives at a higher rank by his own virtue, not he who rises by the distress and misfortunes of another. Let us cease for awhile to examine into these matters which are unimportant; let us inquire where the guilt is, and where it can be detected. By this time you will understand, O Erucius, by how many suspicious circumstances a real crime must be proved, although I shall not mention every thing, and shall touch on every thing slightly. And I would not do even that if it were not necessary, and it shall be a sign that I am doing it against my will, that I will not pursue the point further than the safety of Roscius and my own good faith requires. [84] You found no motive in Sextus Roscius; but I do find one in Titus Roscius For I have to do with you now, O Titus Roscius, since you are sitting there and openly professing yourself an enemy. We shall see about Capito afterwards, if he comes forward as a witness as I hear he is ready to do then he shall hear of other victories of his, which he does not suspect that I ever even heard. That Lucius Cassius, whom the Roman people used to consider a most impartial and able judge, used constantly to ask at trials, “to whom it had been any advantage?” The life of men is so directed that no one attempts to proceed to crime without some hope of advantage. [85] Those who were about to be tried avoided and dreaded him as an investigator and a judge; because, although he was afraid of truth, he yet seemed not so much inclined by nature to mercy, as drawn by circumstances to severity. I, although a man is presiding at this trial who is both brave against audacity, and very merciful to innocence, would yet willingly suffer myself to speak in behalf of Sextus Roscius either before that very acute judge himself, or before other judges like him, whose very name those who have to stand a trial shudder at even now.


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