14. These are the nations which formerly marched to such a distance from their settlements, as far as Delphi, to attack and pillage the Pythian Apollo, and the oracle of the whole world. By these same nations, so pious, so scrupulous in giving their evidence, was the Capitol besieged, and that Jupiter, under the obligations of whose name our ancestors decided that the good faith of all witnesses should be pledged.  Lastly, can anything appear holy or solemn in the eyes of those men, who, if ever they are so much influenced by any fear as to think it necessary to propitiate the immortal gods, defile their altars and temples with human victims? So that they cannot pay proper honour to religion itself without first violating it with wickedness. For who is ignorant that, to this very day, they retain that savage and barbarous custom of sacrificing men? What, therefore, do you suppose is the good faith, what the piety of those men, who think that even the immortal gods can be most easily propitiated by the wickedness and murder of men? Will you connect your own religious ideas with these witnesses? Will you think that anything is said holily or moderately by these men?  Will your minds, pure and upright as they are, bring themselves into such a state that, when all our ambassadors who for the last three years have arrived in Gaul, when all the Roman knights who have been in that province, when all the traders of that province, when, in short, all the allies and friends of the Roman people who are in Gaul, wish Marcus Fonteius to be safe, and extol him on their oaths both in public and in private, you should still prefer to give your decision in unison with the Gauls? Appealing to comply with what? With the wishes of men? Is then the wish of our enemies to have more authority in your eyes than that of our countrymen? With the dignity of the witnesses? Can you then possibly prefer strangers to people whom you know, unjust men to just ones, foreigners to countrymen, covetous men to moderate ones, mercenary men to disinterested ones, impious men to conscientious ones, men who are the greatest enemies to our dominions and to our name, to good and loyal allies and citizens?
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THE FRAGMENTS WHICH REMAIN OF THE SPEECH OF M. T. CICERO ON BEHALF OF MARCUS FONTEIUS.
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