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37.

But those crops of the Trallians had been sold when Globulus was praetor. Falcidius had bought them for nine hundred thousand sesterces. If he gives so much money to Flaccus, he assuredly gives it to secure the ratification of that purchase. He then buys something which certainly was worth a great deal more than he gave for it; he pays for it out of his profit; he never touches his capital. Therefore he makes the less profit. [92] Why does he order his Alban farm to be sold? Why, besides, does he caress his mother in this way? Why does he try to overreach the imbecility of his sister and mother by letters? Lastly, why do we not hear the man's own statement? He is detained, I suppose, in the province. His mother says he is not. “He would have come,” says the prosecutor, “if he had been summoned.” You certainly would have compelled him to come, if you had thought your statement would receive any real confirmation from his appearing as a witness. But you were unwilling to take the man away from his business. There was an arduous contest before him; a very severe battle with the Greeks; who, however, as I think, are defeated and overthrown. For he by himself beat all Asia in the size of his cups, and in his power of drinking. But still, who was it, O Laelius, who gave you information about those letters? The women say that they do not know. Who is it then? Did the man himself tell you that he had written to his sister and mother? [93] or did he write at your entreaty? But do you put no questions to Marcus Aebutius, a most sensible and virtuous man, a relation of Falcidius? Do you decline to examine Caius Manilius his son-in-law, a man of equal integrity? men who certainly must have heard something of so large a sum of money, if it had been given. Did you, O Decianus, think that you were going to prove so heavy a charge, by reading these letters, and bringing forward these women, while the author whom you were quoting was kept at a distance? Especially when you yourself, by not producing Falcidius, declared your own opinion that a forged letter would have more weight than the feigned voice and simulated indignation of the man himself if present. [94]

But why keep on so long discussing and expostulating about the letters of Falcidius, or about Andron Sextilius, or about the income of Decianus, and say nothing about the safety of fortunes of the state, and the general interests of the republic? the whole of which are at stake in this trial, and are resting on your shoulders,—on yours, I say, you who are our judges. You see in what critical times, in what uncertain and variable circumstances, we are all at present placed.


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