Which, O ye immortal gods! is most to be wondered at, that he was condemned, or that he dared to make any reply? For what could those judges do? If they had condemned the Fabricii when innocent, still in the case of Oppianicus they ought to have been consistent with themselves, and to have made their present decision harmonize with their previous ones. Could they themselves of their own accord rescind their own judgments, when other men, when giving judgment, are accustomed most especially to take care that their decisions be not at variance with those of other judges? And could those who had condemned the freedman of Fabricius, because he had been an agent in the crime, and his patron, because he had been privy to it, acquit the principal and original contriver of the whole wickedness? Could those who, without any previous examination, had condemned the other men from what appeared in the cause itself, acquit this man whom they knew to have been already convicted twice over?
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THE SPEECH OF M. T. CICERO IN DEFENCE OF AULUS CLUENTIUS HABITUS.
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