18. But if they had either had as much courage to tell a lie, or as much ingenuity to invent one, as they feel eagerness to oppress Fonteius, or as they have displayed licence in abusing him; then he would have had no better fortune, as far as relates to not having disgraceful acts alleged against him, than those men whom I have just mentioned. You see then another Thrifty,—a thrifty man, I say, O judges, and a man moderate and temperate in every particular of his life; a man full of modesty, full of a sense of duty, full of religion, depending on your good faith and power, and placed in your power in such a way as to be committed wholly to the protection of your good faith.  Consider, therefore, whether it is more just that a most honourable and brave man, that a most virtuous citizen, should be given up to the most hostile and ferocious nations, or restored to his freedom, especially when there are so many circumstances which cooperate in entreating your favourable disposition in aid of this man's safety. First of all, there is the antiquity of his family, which we are aware proceeds from Tusculum, a most illustrious municipality, and whose fame is engraved and handed down on monuments of the exploits of its members; secondly, there have been continual praetorships in that family, which have been distinguished by every sort of honour, and especially by the credit of unimpeachable innocence; besides that, there is the recent memory of his father, by whose blood, not only the troop of Asculum, by whom he was slain, but the whole of that social war has been stained with the deep dye of wickedness; lastly, there is the man himself, honourable and upright in every particular of his life, and in military affairs not only endued with the greatest wisdom, and the most brilliant courage, but also skillful through personal experience in carrying on war, beyond almost any man of the present age.
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THE FRAGMENTS WHICH REMAIN OF THE SPEECH OF M. T. CICERO ON BEHALF OF MARCUS FONTEIUS.
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