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But in truth, there is, O judges, between Murena and myself an ancient and great friendship, which shall not be overwhelmed in a capital trial by Servius Sulpicius, merely because it was overcome by superior considerations when he was contesting an honorable office with that same person. And if this cause had not existed, yet the dignity of the man, and the honourable nature of that office which he has obtained, would have branded me with the deepest reproach of pride and cruelty, if in so great a danger I had repudiated the cause of a man so distinguished by his own virtues and by the honours paid him by the Roman people. For it is not now in my power,—it is not possible, for me to shrink from devoting my labour to alleviate the dangers of others. For when such rewards have been given me for this diligence of mine, such as before now have never been given to any one, to abandon those labours by which I have earned them, as soon as I have received them, would be the act of a crafty and ungrateful man. [9]

If, indeed, I may rest from my labours,—if you advise me that I can do so,—if no reproach of indolence, none of unworthy arrogance, none of inhumanity is incurred by so doing, in good truth I will willingly rest. But if flying from toil convicts me of laziness,—if rejection of suppliants convicts me of arrogance,—if neglect of my friends is a proof of worthlessness, then, above all others, this cause is such an one as no industrious, or merciful, or obliging man can abandon. And you may easily form your opinion of this matter, O Servius, from your own pursuits. For if you think it necessary to give answers to even the adversaries of your friends when they consult you about law, and if you think it shameful, when you have been retained as an advocate for him in whose cause you have come forward, to fail; be not so unjust; as, when your springs are open even to your enemies, to think it right that our small streams should be closed even against our friends. [10]

Indeed, if my intimacy with you had prevented my appearing in this cause, and if the same thing had happened to Quintus Hortensius and Marcus Crassus, most honourable men, and to others also by whom I know that your affection is greatly esteemed, the consul elect would have had no defender in that city in which our ancestors intended that even the lowest of the people should never want an advocate. But I, O judges, should think myself wicked if I had failed my friend,—cruel if I had failed one in distress,—arrogant if I had failed the consul. So that what ought to be given to friendship shall be abundantly given by me, so that I will deal with you, O Servius, as if my brother, who is the dearest of all men to me, stood in your place. What ought to be given to duty, to good faith, to religion, that I will so regulate as to recollect that I am speaking contrary to the wish of one friend to defend another friend from danger.

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