13.  Recollect, O judges, with how much pains you are accustomed to labour, considering not only what you are going to state in your evidence, but even what words you shall use, lest any word should appear to be used too moderately, or lest on the other hand any expression should appear to have escaped you from any private motive. You take pains even so to mould your countenances, that no suspicion of any private motive may be excited; that when you come forward there may be a sort of silent opinion of your modesty and scrupulousness, and that, when you leave the box, that reputation may appear to have been carefully preserved and retained.  I suppose Induciomarus, when he gave his evidence, had all these fears and all these thoughts; he, who left out of his whole evidence that most considerate word, to which we are all habituated, “I think,” a word which we use even when we are relating on our oath what we know of our own knowledge, what we ourselves have seen; and said that he knew everything he was stating. He feared, forsooth, lest he should lose any of his reputation in your eyes and in those of the Roman people; lest any such report should get abroad that Induciomarus, a man of such rank, had spoken with such partiality, with such rashness. The truth was, he did not understand that in giving his evidence there was anything which he was bound to display either to his own countrymen or to our accusers, except his voice, his countenance, and his audacity.  Do you think that those nations are influenced in giving their evidence by the sanctity of an oath, and by the fear of the immortal gods, which are so widely different from other nations in their habits and natural disposition? For other nations undertake wars in defence of their religious feelings; they wage war against the religion of every people; other nations when waging war beg for sanction and pardon from the immortal gods; they have waged war with the immortal gods themselves.
This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
THE FRAGMENTS WHICH REMAIN OF THE SPEECH OF M. T. CICERO ON BEHALF OF MARCUS FONTEIUS.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.
An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.