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2. [3]

And although the case of Publius Sestius has been summed up by Quintus Hortensius, that most illustrious and most eloquent man; and though nothing has been omitted by him which he could possibly urge either in the way of complaint over the condition of the republic, or of argument for the defendant; still I will come forward also to speak for him, lest my exertions in defence should appear to be wanting to that man to whom it is owing that they are not wanting to every one of the citizens. And I consider, O judges, that in this case, and now speaking as I am at the close of it, the part which belongs to me is to argue the matter on grounds of affection, rather than to defend my client by an appeal to the strict law; to employ complaints rather than eloquence, and to display my grief rather than my ability. [4] And, therefore, if I plead with more vehemence or more freedom than those who have spoken before me, I beg of you to listen to my speech with much indulgence, and to make all the allowance for it that you think is due to pious grief and just indignation. For no man's grief can be more intimately connected with his duty than this present grief of mine, being caused as it is by the peril of a man who has done me the greatest possible services. Nor is any indignation more praiseworthy than that with which I am inflamed by the wickedness of those men, who have thought it their business to declare war against all the defenders of my safety. [5] But since his other counsel have spoken of each separate charge, I will speak of the entire state of the case as affecting Publius Sestius of his conduct throughout his life of his natural disposition, of his habits, of his incredible affection for all good men, of his zeal for the preservation of the general safety and tranquillity; and I will endeavour—if it be only possible for me to succeed—to prevent anything, in all this miscellaneous and general defence, from appearing omitted by me which has any connection either with this investigation before you, or with the defendant, or with the republic.

And since the tribuneship of Publius Sestius was placed by fortune itself in the most critical period of the state, and amid the ruins of the overthrown and prostrate republic, I will not approach those most important and serious topics before I have first shown you by what beginnings, and on what foundations, the great glory was built up which he gained under the most trying circumstances.

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