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4.

But whether you have as yet had your reputation endangered, or whether the doubts about the law have hitherto made the judges slow in giving their decision; the former reason you yourselves have already removed, by the frequent adjournments of the trial; the other I will myself this day take away, that you may not hesitate any longer about our disputing about the common law. [10] And if I shall appear to go rather further back in tracing the origin of the business than either the state of the law which is involved in this trial, or the nature of the case compels me to, I beseech you to pardon me; for Aulus Caecina is not less anxious to appear to have acted according to the strictest law, than he is to obtain what by strict law is his due.

There was a man named Marcus Fulcinius, O judges, of the municipality of Tarquinii; who, in his own city, was reckoned one of the most honourable men, and also had a splendid business at Rome as a banker. He was married to Caesennia, a woman of the same municipality, a woman of the highest rank and most unimpeachable character, as he both showed while he was alive by many circumstances, and declared also by his will at his death. [11] To this Caesennia he had sold a farm in the district of Tarquinii, at a time of great commercial embarrassment; for as he was employing the dowry of his wife, which he had received in ready money, he took care, in order that she, being a woman, might have abundant security, to charge her dowry on that farm. Some time afterwards, having given up his banking business, Fulcinius buys some lands which are contiguous, and adjacent to this farm of his wife's. Fulcinius dies; (for I will pass over many circumstances of the case, because they are unconnected with the subject of this action;) in his will he makes his son, whom he had by Caesennia, his heir; he bequeaths Caesennia a life interest in all his property, which she is to enjoy with his son. The great honour paid her by her husband would have been very agreeable to the woman, if she had been allowed to enjoy it long; [12] for she would have been enjoying her property in common with him whom she wished to be the heir of her property, and from whom she herself was receiving the greatest enjoyment of which she was capable. But or this enjoyment she was prematurely deprived by the act of God; for in a short time the young man, Marcus Fulcinius, died; he left Publius Caesennius his heir; he bequeathed to his wife an immense sum of money, and to his mother the greater part of his landed property; and, accordingly, the women divided the inheritance.


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