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7.

Since, therefore, you now know who wish Marcus Fonteius to be attacked, and who wish him to be defended, decide now what your own regard for equity, and what the dignity of the Roman people requires; whether you prefer trusting your colonists, your traders, your most friendly and ancient allies, and consulting their interests, or the interests of those men, whom, on account of their passionate disposition, you ought not to trust; on account of their disloyalty you ought not to honour. [16] What, if I produce also a still greater number of most honourable men to bear testimony to this man's virtue and innocence? Will the unanimity of the Gauls still be of more weight than that of men of such great authority? When Fonteius was governor of Gaul, you know, O judges, that there were very large armies of the Roman people in the two Spains, and very illustrious generals. How many Roman knights were there, how many military tribunes, how many ambassadors came to them! what eminent men they were, and how frequently did they come! Besides that, a very large and admirably appointed army of Cnaeus Pompeius wintered in Gaul while Marcus Fonteius was governor. Does not Fortune herself appear to have intended that they should be a sufficient number of sufficiently competent witnesses of those things which were done in Gaul while Marcus Fonteius was praetor? Out of all that number of men what witness can you produce in this cause? Who is there of all that body of men whose authority you are willing to cite? We will use that very man as our panegyrist and our witness. [17] Will you doubt any longer, O judges, that that which I stated to you at the beginning is most true, that there is another object in this prosecution, beyond causing others, after Marcus Fonteius has been overwhelmed by the testimonies of these men, from whom many contributions have been exacted, greatly against their will, for the sake of the republic, to be for the future more lax in governing, when they see these men attacked, who are such men that, if they are crushed, the empire of the Roman people cannot be maintained in safety


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