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[48] A vestal virgin is stretching out towards you her suppliant hands, those same hands which she is accustomed to stretch out, on your behalf, to the immortal gods. Consider how dangerous, how arrogant a deed it would be for you to reject her entreaties, when, if the immortal gods were to despise her prayers, all these things which we see around us could not be preserved. Do not you see, O judges, that all of a sudden, Marcus Fonteius himself, brave as he is, is moved to shed tears at the mention of his parent and his sister?—he who never has known fear in battle, he who in arms has often thrown himself on the ranks and numbers of the enemy, thinking, while he was facing such dangers, that he left behind him the same consolation to his relatives that his own father had left to him; yet now, for all that, is agitated and alarmed, lest he should not only cease to be an ornament and an assistant to his family, but lest he should even leave them eternal disgrace and ignominy, together with the bitterest grief.


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