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10. [23]

Therefore, I willingly allow that part of the cause to be concluded, summed up, as it has been, with dignity and elegance by Marcus Crassus; the part, I mean, which relates to the seditions at Naples, to the expulsion of the Alexandrians from Puteoli, and to the property of Palla. I wish he had also discussed the transaction respecting Dio. And yet on that subject what is there that you can expect me to say, when the man who committed the murder is not afraid, but even confesses it? For he is a king. But the man who is said to have been the assistant and accomplice in the murder, has been acquitted by a regular trial. What sort of crime, then, is this, that the man who has committed it does not deny it—that he who has denied it has been acquitted, and yet that a man is to be afraid of the accusation who was not only at a distance from the deed, but who has never been suspected of being even privy to it? And if the merits of his case availed Asicius more than the odium engendered by the fact of such a crime injured him, is your abuse to injure this man, who has never once had a suspicion of the crime breathed against him, not even by the vaguest report? [24] Oh, but Asicius was acquitted by the prevarication of the judges. It is very easy to reply to such an assertion as that especially for me, by whom that action is defended. But Caelius thinks that the cause of Asicius is a just one; at all events, whatever may be its merits, he thinks it is quite unconnected with his own. And not only Caelius but even other most accomplished and learned young men, devoted to the most instructive studies and to the most virtuous pursuits, Titus and Caius Coponius, who grieved above all other men for the death of Dio, being bound to him as they were by a common attachment to the pursuit of learning and science and being also connected with him by ties of hospitality, think so too. He was living in the house of Lucius Lucceius, as you have heard; they had become mutually acquainted at Alexandria. What Caius Coponius, and what his brother, a man of the very highest respectability, think of Marcus Caelius, you shall hear from themselves if they are produced as witnesses. [25] So let all these topics be put aside, in order that we may at last come to those facts and charges on which the cause really depends.

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