But when the interests of Lucius Flaccus are at stake, a man of whom I may say that the first man who was made consul of his family 1 was the first man that was ever consul in this city; a man by whose valour the kings were banished, and liberty was established in this republic; a family which has endured to this time with a continued series of honours and commands, and of glorious achievements; and when Lucius Flaccus has not only not degenerated from this everlasting and well-attested virtue of his ancestors, but as praetor has especially devoted himself to the glory of asserting the liberty of his country, seeing that that was the especial glory and characteristic of his family,—can I fear lest any mischievous precedent be established in the case of this defendant when, even if he had committed any slight fault, all good men would think that they ought rather to connive at it?
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THE SPEECH OF M. T. CICERO IN DEFENCE OF LUCIUS FLACCUS.
1 This is not quite true, for Cicero is referring to Publius Valerius, surnamed Publicola, and he was not the first consul; but was elected as a substitute for Collatinus, who, with Brutus, was the first consul.
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