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[15] “Oh, but Cnaeus Pompeius, by his bill, gave his decision both about the fact and about the cause. For he brought in a bill about the homicide which had taken place on the Appian road, in which Publius Clodius was slain.” What then did he propose? That an inquiry should be made. What is to be inquired about? Whether it was committed? That is clear. By whom? That is notorious. He saw that a defence as to the law and right could be undertaken, even at the very moment of the confession of the act. But if he had not seen that he who confessed might yet be acquitted, when he saw that we did not confess the fact he would never have ordered an investigation to take place, nor would he have given you at this trial the power1 of acquitting as well as that of condemning. But it seems to me that Cnaeus Pompeius not only delivered no decision at all unfavourable to Milo, but that he also pointed out what you ought to turn your attention to in deciding. For he who did not assign a punishment to the confession, but required a defence of it, he clearly thought that what was inquired into was the cause of the death and not the mere fact of the death

1 Literally, “this wholesome letter, as well as that melancholy one.” The letter A was the “wholesome” letter, being the initial of absolvo, I acquit; the letter C the melancholy one, being the initial of condemno, I condemn.

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load focus Notes (J. B. Greenough, G. L. Kittredge)
load focus Latin (Albert Clark, Albert Curtis Clark, 1918)
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