For the ancientness of my friendship with him, and the dignity of the man, and a regard for humanity, and the uninterrupted practice of my life, have instigated me to defend Caius Rabirius; and also the safety of the republic, my duty as consul, the very fact of my being consul since when I was made consul, the safety of the republic, and also that of each individual citizen in it was entrusted to me, compel me to do so with the greatest zeal. For it is not the actual offence, nor any desire to deprive Caius Rabirius in particular of life, nor is it any old, well grounded, serious enmity on the part of any citizen, which has brought him into this peril of his life. But the true design of this prosecution is, that that great aid which the majesty of the state and our dominion enjoys, and which has been handed down to us from our ancestors, may be banished from the republic; that the authority of the senate, and the absolute power of the consul, and the unanimity of all good men, may henceforth be of no avail against any mischief or ruin designed to the state; and therefore, as a handle for the destruction of all these weighty obstacles, the old age, and infirmity, and solitary condition of one man is attacked.
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THE SPEECH OF M. T. CICERO IN DEFENCE OF CAIUS RABIRIUS, ACCUSED OF TREASON.
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