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[2] As a rule no strong appeal to the emotions is made in refutation.

It is not, however, without reason that, as Cicero so often testifies,1 the task of defence has always been considered harder than that of prosecution. In the first place accusation is a simpler task: for the charge is put forward in one definite form, but its refutation may take a number of different forms, since as a rule it is sufficient for the accuser that his charge should be true, whereas counsel for the defence may deny [p. 313] or justify the facts, raise the question of competence,2 make excuses, plead for mercy, soften, extenuate, or divert the charge, express contempt or derision. The task of the accuser is consequently straightforward and, if I may use the phrase, vociferous; but the defence requires a thousand arts and stratagems.

1 It is not clear what passages Quintilian has in his mind.

2 See III. vi. 23. No exact rendering of translatio is possible. Literally it means “transference of the charge”: it would seem to cover cases where the charge was brought in the wrong court or by the wrong person. It is used generally to indicate a plea made by defendant in bar of plaintiff's action.

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