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[45] You now, O priests, are bound; as becomes your authority and your wisdom, to have regard in your decision to your own interests, and to those of your children, and to the welfare of the rest of the citizens.

For as the forms of proceeding before the people have been appointed by our ancestors to be so moderate,—so that in the first place no punishment affecting a man's status as a citizen can be joined to any pecuniary fine in the next place, that no one can be accused except on a day previously appointed; again, that the prosecutor must accuse him before the magistrate three times, a day being allowed to intervene between each hearing, before the magistrate can inflict any fine or give any decision; and when there is a fourth hearing for the accusation appointed after seventeen1 days, on a day appointed on which the judge shall give his decision; and when many other concessions have been granted to the defendants to give them an opportunity of appeasing the prosecutor, or of exciting pity; and besides this the people is a people inclined to listen to entreaties, and very apt to give their votes for a defendant's safety; and, beyond all this, if anything prevents the cause from being proceeded with on that day, either because of the auspices, or on any other plea or excuse, then there is an end to the whole cause and to the whole business.


1 The Latin is “trinum nundinum prodicta die”. “Nundina, the ninth day inclusive; this was the Roman market day; because every ninth day the country people came to Rome to transact business......three such nundinae formed a trinum nundinum, or trinundinum, i.e. a space of seventeen days. Every bill was posted up during three nundinae, that all persons might read it.”—Riddle, Lat. Dict. in v. Nundinus.

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