2.  I was vexed and distressed, O judges, at being brought into such a strait, as to be forced either to let those men's hopes deceive them who had entreated succour and assistance of me, or else, when I had from my very earliest youth devoted myself entirely to defending men, to be now, under the compulsion of the occasion and of my duty, transferred to the part of an accuser. I told them that they had an advocate in Quintus Caecilius, who had been quaestor in the same province after I was quaestor there. But the very thing which I thought would have been an assistance to me in getting rid of this difficulty, was above all things a hindrance to me; for they would have much more easily excused me if they had not known him, or if he had never been among them as quaestor.  I was induced, O judges, by the considerations of duty, good faith, and pity; by the example of many good men; by the ancient customs and habits of our ancestors, to think that I ought to take upon myself this burden of labour and duty, not for any purpose of my own, but in the time of need to my friends. In which business, however, this fact consoles me, O judges, that this pleading of mine which seems to be an accusation is not to be considered an accusation, but rather a defence. For I am defending many men, many cities, the whole province of Sicily. So that, if one person is to be accused by me, I still almost appear to remain firm in my original purpose, and not entirely to have given up defending and assisting men.  But if I had this cause so deserving, so illustrious, and so important; if either the Sicilians had not demanded this of me, or I had not had such an intimate connection with the Sicilians; and if I were to profess that what I am doing I am doing for the sake of the republic, in order that a man endowed with unprecedented covetousness, audacity, and wickedness,—whose thefts and crimes we have known to be most enormous and most infamous, not in Sicily alone, but in Achaia, in Asia, in Cilicia, in Pamphylia, and even at Rome, before the eyes of all men,—should be brought to trial by my instrumentality, still, who would there be who could find fault with my act or my intention?
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THE SPEECH AGAINST QUINTUS CAECILIUS.
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