Although there are many things which seem to me necessary to be mentioned respecting the common dangers to which all men are exposed by unpopularity, before I speak about the cause itself; still, that I may not keep your expectations too long in suspense by my speech, I will come to the charge itself, only begging you, O judges, as I am aware I must frequently do in the course of this trial, to listen to me, as if this cause were now being this day pleaded for the first time,—as, in fact, it is; and not as if it had already been often discussed and proved. For on this day opportunity is given us for the first time of effacing that old accusation; up to this time mistake and odium have had the principal influence in the whole cause. Wherefore, while I reply with brevity and clearness to the accusation of many years standing, I entreat you, O judges, to listen to me, as I know that you are predetermined to do, with kindness and attention.
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THE SPEECH OF M. T. CICERO IN DEFENCE OF AULUS CLUENTIUS HABITUS.
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