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34. [83]

But somehow or other you have repeated over and over again, and have dwelt upon the assertion, that you did not choose to connect this case with the games, lest I, according to my usual custom, should say something about the sacred cars, for the sake of exciting pity; as I had done before in the case of other aediles. No doubt you got something by this; for you deprived me of an embellishment of my speech. I shall be laughed at now if I make any mention of the sacred cars, after you have predicted that I should do so. And without the sacred cars what can I find to say? And here you added, too, that this was the reason why I by my law had established the penalty of banishment in cases of bribery, that I might be able to sum up my orations in ways more calculated to excite pity. Does he not, when he says all this, seem to you to be arguing against some teacher of declamation, and not with one who is a pupil, as I may say, of the real toils of the forum? [84] “Yes, for I was not at Rhodes,” says he (He means that I was) “But I was,” says he, (I thought he was going to say, at Vacca,1) “twice at Nicaea, in Bithynia” If the place gives a person any handle for finding fault with one, I know not why you should think Nicaea stricter than Rhodes if we are to examine into the cause, then you were in Bithynia with the greatest credit, and I was at Rhodes with no less. For as to the point on which you found fault with me, namely, that I had defended too many people, I wish that you who are able to do it and others too, who shirk it, were willing to relieve me of this labour. But the effect of your diligence, who weigh causes so carefully that you reject almost all of them, is that nearly all causes come to me who am not able to deny anything to men who are in misery and distress. [85]

You reminded me also, since you had been in Crete that something might have been said against your offering yourself as a candidate, and that I let that opportunity slip. Which of us, then, is more covetous of a smart saying? I, who did not say what might have been said, or you, who said it even against yourself? You were fond of saying that you had sent home no letters with accounts of your exploits, because mine, which I had sent to some one or other, had injured me. But I am not aware that they did injure me I am quite sure that they might have been of service to the republic.

1 Vacca was a town in Spain which had a reputation for a very bad style of oratory, as also had Cordoba.

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