Which, then, could more easily give an account of his vote,—he who said that he had been consistent with himself and with the previous decision, or he who said that he had been lenient to the principal offender, and very severe against his assistants and accomplices? But concerning their decision I have no occasion to say anything; for I have no doubt, that such men as they, being influenced by some sudden suspicion, avoided the point at issue. On which account I find no fault with the mercy of those who acquitted him. I approve of the firmness of those men who, in giving their judgment, followed the precedent of the previous decisions of their own accord, and not in consequence of the fraudulent trick of Stalenus; but I praise the wisdom of those men who said that to their minds it was not proved, who could by no means acquit a man whom they knew to be very guilty, and whom they themselves had already condemned twice before, but who, as such a disgraceful plan, and as a suspicion of such an atrocious act had been suggested to them, preferred condemning him a little later, when the facts were clearly ascertained.
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THE SPEECH OF M. T. CICERO IN DEFENCE OF AULUS CLUENTIUS HABITUS.
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