And so, in making his reply, he first of all explained the difference between the two times, so that the speech might appear to have arisen from the case and from its circumstances; after that, in order that Brutus might learn what a man, not only eloquent but endued with the greatest wit and facetiousness, he had provoked, he himself in his turn brought up three readers with a book a piece, all which books Marcus Brutus, the father of the prosecutor, had left, on the civil law. When the first lines of them were read, those which I take to be known to all of you, “It happened by chance that I and Brutus my son were in the country near Privernum,” he asked what had become of his farm at Privernum. “I and Brutus my son were in the district of Alba.” He begged to know where his Alban farm was. “Once, when I and Brutus my son had sat down in the fields near Tibur.” Where was his farm near Tibur? And he said that “Brutus, a wise man, seeing the profligacy of his son, evidently wished to leave a record behind him of what farms he left him. And if he could with any decency have written that he had been in the bath with a son of that age, he would not have passed it over; and still that he preferred inquiring about those baths, not from the books of his father, but from the registers and the census.” Crassus then chastised Brutus in this manner, and made him repent of his readings. For perhaps he had been annoyed at being reproved for those speeches which he had delivered in the affairs of the republic; in which perhaps deliberate wisdom is more required than in those in court.
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THE SPEECH OF M. T. CICERO IN DEFENCE OF AULUS CLUENTIUS HABITUS.
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