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Up to this point, O Caius Caesar, Quintus Ligarius is free from all blame. He left his home, not only not for the purpose of joining in any war, but when there was not even the slightest suspicion of war. Having gone as lieutenant in time of peace, he behaved himself in a most peaceable province in such a manner that it wished that peace might last for ever. Beyond all question, his departure from Rome with such an object ought not to be and cannot be offensive to you. Was, then, his remaining there offensive? Much less. For if it was no discreditable inclination that led to his going thither, it was even an honourable necessity which compelled him to remain. Both these times, then, are free from all fault—the time when he first went as lieutenant and the time when, having been demanded by the province, he was appointed governor of Africa.

[5] There is a third time that during which he remained in Africa after the arrival of Varus; and if that is at all criminal, the crime is one of necessity, not of inclination. Would he, if he could possibly have escaped thence by any means whatever, would he rather have been at Utica than at Rome,—with Publius Attius, in preference to his own most united brothers,—would he rather have been among strangers, than with his own friends? When his lieutenancy itself had been full of regret and anxiety on account of the extraordinary affection subsisting between him and his brothers, could he possibly remain there with any equanimity when separated from those brothers by the discord of war? [6]

You have, therefore, O Caesar, no sign as yet of the affections of Quintus Ligarius being alienated from you. And observe, I entreat you, with what good faith I am defending his cause. I am betraying my own by so doing. O the admirable clemency, deserving to be celebrated by all possible praise, and publicity, and writings, and monuments! Marcus Cicero is urging in Ligarius's defence before you, that the inclinations of another were not the same as he admits his own to have been; nor does he fear your silent thoughts, nor is he under any apprehension as to what while you are hearing of the conduct of another, may occur to you respecting his own.

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