51.  Does it appear to you a shameful thing that he is defended with earnestness? Believe me, if, in return for the hospitality and kindness of his father, all his hereditary friends were to choose to be present and dared to speak with freedom, he would be defended numerously enough; and if because of the greatness of the injury, and because the interests of the whole republic are imperilled by his danger, they all were to punish this conduct, you would not in truth be able to sit in that place. Now he is defended so that his adversaries ought not to be indignant at it, and ought not to think that they are surpassed in power.  What is done at home is done by means of Caecilia; the management of what takes place in the forum and court of justice, Messala, as you, O judges, see, has undertaken. And if he were of an age and strength equal to it, he would speak himself for Sextus Roscius. But since his age is an obstacle to his speaking, and also his modesty which sets off his age, he has entrusted the cause to me, who he knew was desirous of it for his sake, and who ought to be so, He himself, by his assiduity, by his wisdom, by his influence, and by his industry, has taken care that the life of Sextus Roscius, having been saved out of the bands of assassins, should be committed to the decisions of the judges. Of a truth, O judges, it was for this nobility that the greatest part of the city was in arms; this was all done that the nobles might be restored to the state, who would act as you see Messala acting; who would defend the life of an innocent man; who would resist injury; who would rather show what power they had in procuring the safety than the destruction of another. And if all who were born in the same rank did the same, the republic would be less harassed by them, and they themselves would be less harassed by envy.
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THE ORATION FOR SEXTUS ROSCIUS OF AMERIA.
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