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69. [195]

Do you now, O judges, whom fortune has appointed to be a sort of other gods, as it were, to Aulus Cluentius, my client, throughout his whole life, ward off this savage attack of his mother from her son's head. Many men, while sitting as judges, have pardoned the sins of the children out of pity for the parents;—we now entreat you, hot to give up the most virtuously spent life of this man to the inhumanity of his mother, especially when you may see all his fellow-citizens in his municipality on the other side of the question. Know all of you, O judges, (it is a most incredible statement, but still a perfectly true one,) that all the men of Larinum, who have been able to do so, have come to Rome, in order by their zeal, and by the display of their numbers, to comfort this man as far as they could, in this his great danger; know that that town is at the present moment delivered to the keeping of children and women, and that it is now, at this time of common peace over Italy, defended by its domestic forces only. But even those who are left behind are equally eager with those whom you see present here, and are harassed day and night by anxiety about the result of this trial. [196] They think that you are going to deliver a decision, not about the fortunes of one of their citizens, but about the condition, and the dignity, and all the advantages of the whole municipality. For the industry of that man in the common service of the municipality is extreme, O judges; his kindness to each individual citizen, and his justice and good faith towards all men, are of the highest order. Besides, he so preserves his high rank among his countrymen, and the position which he has inherited from his ancestors, that he equals the gravity, and wisdom, and popularity, and character for liberality of his ancestors. Therefore they give their public testimony in his favour, in words which signify not only their opinion of, and their esteem for him, but also their own anxiety of mind and grief. And while their panegyric is being read, I beg of you, who have brought it hither, to rise up. [ The panegyric on Cluentius, in pursuance of the resolution of the senators of Larinum, is read.] [197] From the tears of these men, you, O judges, may easily imagine that the senators did not pass these resolutions without tears. Come now, how great is the zeal of his neighbours in his behalf, how incredible their good-will towards him, how great their anxiety for him. They have not, indeed, sent resolutions drawn up in papers of panegyric, but they have chosen their most honourable men, whom we are all acquainted with, to come hither in numbers, and to give their personal evidence in his favour. The Frentani are present, most noble men. The Marrucini a tribe of equal dignity, are present too. You see Roman knights, most honourable men, come to praise him from Teanum in Apulia, and from Luceria. Most honourable panegyrics have been sent from Bovianum, and from the whole of Samnium, and also the most honourable and noble men of these states have come too. [198] As for those men who have farms in the district of Larinum, or business as merchants, or flocks and herds, honourable men and of the highest character, it is impossible to say how eager and anxious they are. It seems to me that there are not many men so beloved by a single individual as he is by all these nations.

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