12.  Let us believe this, that Sextus Naevius spared the ears of the man whose life he is attacking! If he had owed you money, O Sextus, you would have asked for it at once; if not at once, at all events soon after; if not soon after, at least after a time; in six months I should think; beyond all doubt at the close of the year: but for a year and a half, when you had every day an opportunity of reminding the man of the debt, you say not one word about it; but now, when nearly two years have passed, you ask for the money. What profligate and extravagant spendthrift, even before his property is diminished, but while it is still abundant, would have been so reckless as Sextus Naevius was? When I name the man, I seem to myself to have said enough.  Caius Quinctius owed you money; you never asked for it: he died; his property came to his heir; though you saw him every day, you did not ask for it for two years; will any one doubt which is the more probable, that Sextus Naevius would instantly have asked for what was owed to him, or that be would not have asked for two years? Had he no opportunity of asking? Why, he lived with you more than a year: could no measures be taken in Gaul? But there was law administered in the province, and trials were taking place at Rome. The only alternative remaining is, either extreme carelessness prevented you, or extraordinary liberality. If you call it carelessness, we shall wonder; if you call it kindness, we shall laugh; and what else you can call it I know not; it is proof enough that nothing was owing to Naevius, that for such a length of time he asked for nothing.
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The speech of M. T. Cicero as the advocate of P. Quinctius.
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