4.  Of such important and such atrocious actions, I am aware that I can neither speak with sufficient propriety, nor complain with sufficient dignity, nor cry out against with sufficient freedom. For my want of capacity is a hindrance to my speaking with propriety; my age, to my speaking with dignity; the times themselves are an obstacle to my speaking with freedom. To this is added great fear, which both nature and my modesty cause me, and your dignity, and the violence of our adversaries, and the danger of Sextus Roscius. On which account, I beg and entreat of you, O judges, to hear what I have to say with attention, and with your favourable construction.  Relying on your integrity and wisdom, I have undertaken a greater burden than, I am well aware, I am able to bear. If you, in some degree, lighten this burden, O judges, I will bear it as well as I can with zeal and industry. But if, as I do not expect, I am abandoned by you, still I will not fail in courage, and I will bear what I have undertaken as well as I can. But if I cannot support it, I had rather be overwhelmed by the weight of my duty, than either through treachery betray, or through weakness of mind desert, that which has been once honestly entrusted to me.  I also, above all things, entreat you, O Marcus Fannius, to show yourself at this present time both to us and to the Roman people the same man that you formerly showed yourself to the Roman people when you before presided at the trial in this same cause. 1
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THE ORATION FOR SEXTUS ROSCIUS OF AMERIA.
1 Fannius had been praetor, and before a cause came to actual trial, in came before the praetor, who decided whether there were sufficient grounds for allowing the trial to proceed; much as our grand jury does now.
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