What a prodigy is this, O ye immortal gods! What shall we say of this enormity? What shall we call this enormous and inhuman wickedness, or where shall we say it has its birth? For now, in truth, you see, O judges, that I did not, at the beginning of my oration, say what I did about his mother without the strongest and most unavoidable necessity; for there is no evil, no wickedness, which she has not from the very beginning wished, and prayed for, and planned and wrought against her son. I say nothing of that first jury which she did him through her lust—I say nothing of her nefarious marriage with her son-in-law—I say nothing of her daughter driven from her husband by the profligate desires of her mother,—because they have relation, not to the existing danger of his life to my client, but to the common disgrace of the family. I say nothing of the second marriage with Oppianicus, to ensure which she first received from him his dead sons as hostages, and then married, to the grief of the family, and the destruction of her stepsons. I pass over how, when she knew that Aurius Melinus, whose mother-in-law she had formerly been, and whose wife she had been a little before that, had been proscribed and murdered by the contrivance of Oppianicus, she chose for herself that place as the abode and home of her married state, in which she might every day behold the proofs of the death of her former husband, and the spoils of his fortune.
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THE SPEECH OF M. T. CICERO IN DEFENCE OF AULUS CLUENTIUS HABITUS.
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