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[61]

And if you do not yet see with sufficient clearness, (though the transaction is evident of itself by so many and such irresistible arguments and proofing) that Milo was returning to Rome with a pure and guiltless intention, with no taint of wickedness, under no apprehension, without any consciousness of crime to disquiet him; recollect, I implore you, in the name of the immortal gods, how rapid his speed while returning was; how he entered the forum while the senate-house was all on fire with eagerness; how great was the magnanimity which he displayed; how he looked, and what he said. Nor did he trust himself to the people only, but also to the senate; nor to the senate only, but also to the public guards and their arms; nor to them only, but also to the power of that man to whom the senate had already entrusted1 the whole republic, all the youth of Italy, and all the arms of the Roman people. And surely he never would have put himself in his power, if he had not been confident in the justice of his cause; especially as he was one who heard everything, and feared great danger, and suspected many things, and even believed some. The power of conscience is very great, O judges, and is of great weight on both sides: so that they fear nothing who have done no wrong, and they, on the other hand, who have done wrong think that banishment is always hanging over them.


1 The disturbances on the death of Clodius arose to such a height, that the senate at last passed a resolution that Marcus Lepidus the Interrex, assisted by the tribunes of the people and Pompeius, should take care that the republic received no injury. And at last the senate appointed Pompeius consul without a colleague, who immediately published several new laws, and among them the one under which this trial was conducted, (see note on chap.1) and he now limited the duration of trials, allowing only three days for the examination of witnesses, and on the fourth day the accuser was only allowed two hours to enforce the accusation, and the defendant three hours to speak in his defence. Caelius endeavoured to arrest these laws by his veto as tribune, declaring that they were framed solely with a view to crush Milo, whom Pompeius certainly desired to get rid of; to effect which he even descended to the artifice of pretending to believe that Milo had laid a plot to assassinate him.

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