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[77] Decide therefore now, whether it is of the greatest importance for the spirit of the law to be adhered to, and for equity to prevail, or for all laws to be twisted according to their literal expressions. Do you, I say, O judges, now decide which of these things appears to you the most desirable. While speaking of this, it happens very conveniently that Caius Aquillius, that most accomplished man, is not here now, who was here a little while ago, and who has frequently been present during this trial; (for if he were present, I should be more afraid to speak of his virtue and prudence; because he himself would feel a degree of modesty at hearing his own praises, and a similar kind of modesty would cramp me while praising a man to his face;) and whose authority, it has been said, ought not to be too much deferred to in this cause.

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