This Torquatus then, O judges, says that he cannot endure my kingly power. What is the meaning of my kingly power, O Torquatus? I suppose you mean the power I exerted in my consulship; in which I did not command at all, but on the contrary, I obeyed the conscript fathers, and all good men. In my discharge of that office, O judges, kingly power was not established by me, but put down. Will you say that then, when I had such absolute power and authority over all the military and civil affairs of the state, I was not a king, but that now, when I am only a private individual, I have the power of a king? Under what title? “Why, because,” says he, “those against whom you gave evidence were convicted, and the man whom you defend hopes that he shall be acquitted.” Here I make you this reply, as to what concerns my evidence: that if I gave false evidence, you also gave evidence against the same man; if my testimony was true, then I say, that persuading the judges to believe a true statement, which one has made on oath, is a very different thing from being a king. And of the hopes of my client, I only say, that Publius Sulla does not expect from me any exertion of my influence or interest, or, in short, anything except to defend him with good faith.
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THE ORATION OF M. T. CICERO IN DEFENCE OF PUBLIUS SULLA.
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