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I did not hesitate, says he, when the recognizances were forfeited, to claim the confiscation of his goods. It was wickedly done; but since you claim this for yourself; and demand that it be granted to you, let us grant it. What if he has not forfeited his recognizances? if the whole of that plea has been invented by you with the most extreme dishonesty and wickedness? if there had actually been no securities given in any cause between you and Publius Quinctius? What shall we call you? Wicked? why, even if the recognizances had been forfeited, yet in making such a demand and confiscation of his goods, you were proved to be most wicked. Malignant? you do not deny it. Dishonest? you have already claimed that as your character, and you think it a fine thing. Audacious? covetous? perfidious? those are vulgar and worn-out imputations, but this conduct is novel and unheard-of. [57] What then are we to say? I fear forsooth lest I should either use language severer than men's nature is inclined to bear, or else more gentle than the cause requires. You say that the recognizances were forfeited. Quinctius the moment he returned to Rome asked you on what day the recognizances were drawn. You answered at once, on the fifth of February. Quinctius, when departing, began to recollect on what day he left Rome for Gaul: he goes to his journal, he finds the day of his departure set down, the thirty-first of January. If he was at Rome on the fifth of February we have nothing to say against his having entered into recognizances with you. [58] What then? how can this be found out? Lucius Albius went with him, a man of the highest honour; he shall give his evidence. Some friends accompanied both Albius and Quinctius; they also shall give their evidence. Shall the letters of Publius Quinctius, shall so many witnesses, all having the most undeniable reason for being able to know the truth, and no reason for speaking falsely, be compared with your witness to the recognizance? [59] And shall Publius Quinctius be harassed in a cause like this? and shall he any longer be subjected to the misery of such fear and danger? and shall the influence of an adversary alarm him more than the integrity of the judge comforts him? For he always lived in an unpolished and uncompanionable manner; he was of a melancholy and unsociable disposition; he has not frequented the Forum, or the Campus, or banquets. He so lived as to retain his friends by attention, and his property by economy; he loved the ancient system of duty, all the splendour of which has grown obsolete according to present fashions. But if, in a cause where the merits were equal, he seemed to come off the worse, that would be in no small degree to be complained of; but now, when he is in the right, he does not even demand to come off best; he submits to be worsted, only with these limitations, that he is not to be given up with his goods, his character, and all his fortunes, to the covetousness and cruelty of Sextus Naevius.

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