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2. Thus, you are duty-bound to hold, Roman citizens, that, within the memory of men, no affair more important, more fraught with peril, and more in need of caution on your part has been undertaken by a tribune of the commoners, defended by a consul, and laid before the Roman people. Nothing other is at stake in this case, Roman citizens, [except] that henceforth in the Republic there be no public policy, no meeting of the minds of good men against the mad rage and effrontery of reprobates, no refuge for the Republic in its hours of extreme danger, no bulwark for its survival. [5] Since this is true, first, that which in such a struggle for Gaius Rabirius' life and citizenship, his reputation, and all his fortunes must be done, from Jupiter Best and Greatest and from the rest of the gods and goddesses by whose power and support far more than by men's reasoning and decisions is this Republic guided, I seek harmony and favor. And I beg of them that they allow this day to have dawned for preserving the welfare of my client and for founding the Republic. Secondly, you, Roman citizens, whose power very nearly approaches that of the immortal gods to work their will, I beseech you, I implore you, since the life of Gaius Rabirius, a most wretched and blameless man, as well as the survival of the Republic are committed at one and the same time to your hands and voting ballots, that you bring pity to the fortunes of the man and to the salvation of the Republic your customary wisdom.

[6] Now, Titus Labienus, since you have obstructed my careful preparations by your limitations on my time and forced me from the usually allotted time for a defense into a scant half hour, compliance will be granted both to a prosecutor's condition, which is very unfair, and, what is most deplorable, to the power of a personal enemy. Although with this ruling of a half hour, you left me the role of an advocate, you have taken away that of a consul, since the time, nearly sufficient for mounting a defense, will be truly too little for sounding complaints. [7] Unless perhaps you think that you are owed a lengthy response concerning the sacred places and groves that you alleged were violated by my client. In this charge, you said nothing except that the charge was leveled against Gaius Rabirius by Gaius Macer. I am amazed that you remembered what Macer, a personal enemy, leveled at Gaius Rabirius, but you forgot what judgment fair and impartial judges returned.

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