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Although I am afraid, O judges, that it is a base thing for one who is beginning to speak for a very brave man to be alarmed, and though it is far from becoming, when Titus Annius Milo himself is more disturbed for the safety of the republic than for his own, that I should not be able to bring to the cause a similar greatness of mind, yet this novel appearance of a new1 manner of trial alarms my eyes, which, wherever they fall, seek for the former customs of the forum and the ancient practice in trials. For your assembly is not surrounded by a circle of bystanders as usual; we are not attended by our usual company.2


1 This was an extraordinary trial held under a new law just passed by Pompey; and it was presided over, not by the praetor, but by Lucius Domitius Ahenobarbus, who was expressly appointed by the comitia president of the judge on this occasion.

2 Pompey was present at the trial surrounded by his officers, and he had filled the forum and all its precincts with armed men for the sake of keeping the peace.

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