I, O judges, am thoroughly aware that I am under taking a cause which has now for eight years together been constantly discussed in a spirit opposed to the interests of my client, and which has been almost convicted and condemned by the silent opinion of men; but if any god will only incline your good-will to listen to me patiently, I will show you that there is nothing which a man has so much reason to dread as envy,—that when he has incurred envy, there is nothing so much to be desired by an innocent man as an impartial tribunal, because in this alone can any end and termination be found at last to undeserved disgrace. Wherefore, I am in very great hope, if I am able fully to unravel all the circumstances of this case, and to effect all that I wish by my speech, that this place, and this bench of judges before whom I am pleading, which the other side has expected to be most terrible and formidable to Aulus Cluentius, will be to him a harbour at last, and a refuge for the hitherto miserable and tempest-tossed bark of his fortunes.
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THE SPEECH OF M. T. CICERO IN DEFENCE OF AULUS CLUENTIUS HABITUS.
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