II. First Speech of the Defendant.
1. §§ 1—4. (Proem.) The accuser deserves the pity of the judge, for he is the most unlucky of men. In death, as
in life, his enemy hurts him still. It is not enough if he can prove his own innocence; he is expected to point out the real culprit. The accuser credits him with craft. If he was so crafty, is it likely that he would have exposed himself to such obvious suspicion?
2. §§ 5—6. The deceased may have been murdered by robbers, who were scared off by people coming up before they had stripped him.
3. Or he may have been murdered because he had been witness of some crime.
4. Or by some other of his numerous enemies; who would have felt safe, knowing that the suspicion was sure to fall on the accused, his great enemy.
5. § 7. The testimony of the slave is untrustworthy, since, in the terror of the moment, he may have been mistaken; or he may have been ordered by his present masters to speak against the accused. Generally, the evidence of slaves is held untrustworthy; else they would not be racked.
6. § 8. Even if mere probabilities
are to decide the case, it is more probable
that the accused should have employed some one else to do the murder, than that the slave should, at such a time, have been accurate in his recognition.
7. § 9. The danger of losing money in the impending lawsuit could not have seemed more serious to the accused than the danger, which he runs in the present trial, of losing his life.
8. §§ 10—13. (Epilogue.
) Though he be deemed the probable murderer, he ought not to be condemned unless he is proved to be the actual murderer.—It is his adversary who, by accusing the innocent, is really answerable for the consequences of a crime remaining unexpiated.—The whole life and character of the accused are in his favour, as much as those of the accuser are against him.
—The judges must succour the ill fortune of a slandered man.