And in the whole of your defence, that appeared to me the most marvellous thing, that you said there was no necessity for being guided by the authority of lawyers. And although this is not the first time that, nor this the only cause in which, I have heard it, still, I did wonder exceedingly why it was said by you. For other men have recourse to this sort of exhortation when they think they have in their case some reasonable and good point which they are defending. If people are arguing against them relying on the letter and exact words, and (as people say) on the strict law, they are in the habit of opposing to injustice of that sort the name and dignity of virtue and justice. Then they laugh at that expression,—“if, or if not.” Then they seek to bring all word-catching, all traps and snares made up of the strict letter of the law, into odium. Then they say loudly that the case ought to be decided by considerations of what is honest and just, and not of cunning and tricky law; that to adhere to the mere text is the part of a false accuser, but that it is the duty of a good judge to uphold the intention and authority of him who framed the law.
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THE ORATION OF M. T. CICERO IN BEHALF OF AULUS CAECINA.
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