Aulus Cluentius has seen no calamity in his whole life, has encountered no peril of death, has feared no evil, which has not been contrived against, and brought to bear upon him, from beginning to end, by his mother. But all these things he would say nothing of at the present moment, and would allow them to be buried, if possible, in oblivion, and if not, at all events in silence as far as he is concerned, but she does these things in such a manner that he is totally unable to be silent about them; for this very trial, this danger in which he now is, this accusation which is brought against him, all the multitude of witnesses which is to appear, has all been provided originally by his mother; is marshalled by his mother at this present time; and is furthered with all her wealth and all her influence. She herself has lately hastened from Larinum to Rome for the sake of destroying this her son. The woman' is at hand, bold, wealthy and cruel. She has provided accusers; she has trained witnesses; she rejoices in the mourning garments and miserable appearance of Cluentius; she longs for his destruction; she would be willing to shed her own blood to the last drop, if she can only see his blood shed first. Unless you have all these circumstances proved to you in the course of this trial, I give you leave to think that she is unjustly brought before the court by me now; but if all these things are made as plain as they are abominable, then you ought to pardon Cluentius for allowing these things to be said by me; and you ought not to pardon me if I were silent under such circumstances
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THE SPEECH OF M. T. CICERO IN DEFENCE OF AULUS CLUENTIUS HABITUS.
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