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Do you not in the least see or perceive what sort of judges we are going to have for the future when the law regulating the courts of justice is passed? Then it will not be the case that every one who likes will be appointed and that every one who has any objection will be excused. No men will be thrust into the order of judges no one will be irregularly removed from it. Ambition will not be allowed to work its way to popularity, nor wickedness to gratify its enmity, by that means. Those will be the judges whom the law itself, not those whom the depraved caprices of men appoint. And as this is the case believe me you will not have need to demand a prosecutor against your will. The case itself, or the necessities of the republic will either call forth me myself—which I should be sorry for—or some one else, or will repress us. [95]

In truth, as I said a little time ago, I do not think that the same things are punishments to men which most people consider such, namely condemnation, banishment, or death. Lastly, it seems to me that that which may happen to an innocent, or to a brave or to a wise or to a virtuous man and citizen, cannot be a punishment in the proper sense of the word. That condemnation which is now demanded to be inflicted on you, befell Publius Rutilius, a man whom this city accounted a pattern of innocence. Lucius Opimius was driven from his country—he who, as praetor and consul, had delivered the republic from the greatest dangers. The punishment of guilt and of the consciousness of it, did not belong to the man to whom the injury was done, but to those who did it. But on the other hand, Catiline was twice acquitted; even that man who was the cause of your obtaining your province was acquitted after he had profaned the sacred rites of the Good Goddess. But who was there in all this city who thought that he was released from the guilt of impiety, and not that those who acquitted him were, by their sentence, made accomplices in his wickedness?

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