What is the matter, Piso? do you choose to fight about words? Do you think it fit to make the cause of justice and equity, the cause not of our property only, but of every man's property, to depend on a word? I showed what my opinion was; what had been the course pursued by our ancestors; what was worthy of the authority of those men by whom the cause was to be decided; that that was honest, and just, and expedient for all men, that it should be considered with what design and with what intention a law had been established, not in what words it was framed. You pin me to the words. I will not be so pinned without objecting. I say that it is not right, I say that this point cannot be maintained, I say that there is no single thing which can be included in a law with sufficient accuracy, or guarded against, or excepted against, if through some word being overlooked or placed in an ambiguous position, though the intention and the truth is completely ascertained, that which is intended is not to prevail, but that which is expressed, is.
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THE ORATION OF M. T. CICERO IN BEHALF OF AULUS CAECINA.
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