The elder Cepasius begins to reply, in a long exordium, tracing the facts a long way back. At first his speech is listened to with attention. Oppianicus began to recover his spirits, having been before downcast and dejected. Fabricius himself was delighted. He was not aware that the attention of the judges was awakened, not by the eloquence of the man, but by the impudence of the defence. After he began to discuss the immediate facts of the case, he himself aggravated considerably the unfavourable circumstances that already existed. Although he pleaded with great diligence, yet at times he seemed not to be defending the man, but only quibbling with the accusation. And while he was thinking that he was speaking with great art, and when he had made up this form of words with his utmost skill, “Look, O judges, at the fortunes of the men, look at the uncertainty and variety of the events that have befallen them, look at the old age of Fabricius;”—when he had frequently repeated this “Look,” for the sake of adorning his speech, he himself did look, but Caius Fabricius had slunk away from his seat with his head down.
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THE SPEECH OF M. T. CICERO IN DEFENCE OF AULUS CLUENTIUS HABITUS.
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