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[64]

But since Caius Caesar is a great distance off, and is now in those places which, if we regard their situation, are the boundaries of the world, or, if we regard his exploits, of the Roman empire, do not, I entreat you, in the name of the immortal gods, O judges, do not allow such bitter news to be taken to him, as that his own prefect of engineers, the man of all others most dear to and most intimate with him, is crushed by your decision, not on account of any offence of his own, but because of his intimacy with him. Pity the man who is now before the court at his own peril, not on account of any offence of his own, but because of the action of this great and most illustrious man,—who is contesting not any charge which is brought against him, but a point of public law and of general interest. And if Cnaeus Pompeius, and Publius Crassus, and Quintus Metellus, and Cnaeus Pompeius the father of this man, and Lucius Sulla, and Marcus Crassus, and Caius Marius, and the senate and people of Rome and all those who have ever given a decision under similar circumstances and the federate states, and the allies and those ancient men of the Latin tribes whom I have mentioned are all ignorant of this law, consider whether it may not be more advantageous and honourable for you to err with those men for your guides than to be rightly instructed with this man for your teacher.

But if you see that you are now come to a decision about a law which is certain and clear and advantageous and well established and determined, then beware of establishing any new principle in a case which has been so loud and so repeatedly decided on.


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