11. Or will you, in the case of the testimonies of barbarians, hesitate to do what very often within our recollection and that of our fathers, the wisest judges have not thought that they ought to hesitate to do with respect to the most illustrious men of our state? For they refused belief to the evidence of Cnaeus and Quintus Caepio, and to Lucius and Quintus Metellus, when they were witnesses against Quintus Pompeius, a new man; for virtuous, and noble, and valiant as they were, still the suspicion of some private object to be gamed, and some private grudge to be gratified, detracted from their credibility and authority as witnesses.  Have we seen any man, can we with truth speak of any man, as having been equal in wisdom, in dignity, in consistency, in all other virtues, in all the distinguishing qualities of honour, and genius, and splendid achievements, to Marcus Aemilius Scaurus? And yet, though, when he was not on his oath, almost the whole world was governed by his nod, yet, when he was on his oath, his evidence was not believed against Caius Fimbria, nor against Caius Memmius. They, who were the judges, were unwilling that such a road should be opened to enmities, as for every man to be able to destroy by his evidence who ever he hated. Who is there who does not know how great was the modesty, how great the abilities, how great the influence of Lucius Crassus? And yet he, whose mere conversation had the authority of evidence, could not, by his actual evidence, establish the things which he had stated against Marcus Marcellus with hostile feelings.  There was—there was in the judges of those times, O judges, a divinely-inspired and singular acuteness, as they thought that they were judges, not only of the defendant, but also of the accuser and of the witness, as to what was invented, what was brought into the case by chance or by the opportunity, what was imported into it through corruption, what was distorted by hope or by fear, what appeared to proceed from any private desire, or any private enmity. And if the judge does not embrace all these considerations in his deliberation, if he does not survey and comprehend them all in his mind,—if he thinks that whatever is said from that witness-box, proceeds from some oracle, then in truth it will be sufficient, as I have said before, for any judge to preside over this court, and to discharge this duty, who is not deaf. There will be no reason in the world for requiring any one, whoever he may be, to be either able or experienced, to qualify him for judging causes.
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THE FRAGMENTS WHICH REMAIN OF THE SPEECH OF M. T. CICERO ON BEHALF OF MARCUS FONTEIUS.
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