And is there any man who, when he has become acquainted with these things, can suspect that Oppianicus was taken unfair advantage of, and crushed at his trial, though he was innocent? I will now mention all the other things in a lump, O judges, in order to come to those things which are nearer to, and more immediately connected with, this cause. I entreat you to recollect that it was no part of my original intention to bring any accusation against Oppianicus, now that he is dead; but that as I wish to persuade you that the tribunal was not bribed by my client, I use this as the beginning and foundation of my defence,—that Oppianicus was condemned, being a most guilty and wicked man. He himself gave a cup to his own wife Cluentia, who was the aunt of that man Habitus, and she while drinking it cried out that she was dying in the greatest agony; and she lived no longer than she was speaking, for she died in the middle of this speech and exclamation. And besides the suddenness of this death, and the exclamation of the dying woman, everything which is considered a sign and proof of poison was discovered in her body after she was dead.
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THE SPEECH OF M. T. CICERO IN DEFENCE OF AULUS CLUENTIUS HABITUS.
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