Cicero, Pro Balbo

LCL 447: 626-627

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Cicero

III. Pro L. Cornelio Balbo Oratio

1I. Si auctoritates patronorum in iudiciis valent,1 ab amplissimis viris L. Corneli causa defensa est, si usus, a peritissimis, si ingenia, ab eloquentissimis, si studia, ab amicissimis et cum beneficiis cum L. Cornelio, tum maxima familiaritate coniunctis. Quae sunt igitur meae partes? Auctoritatis tantae, quantam vos in me esse voluistis, usus mediocris, ingenii minime voluntati paris; nam ceteris, a quibus est defensus, hunc debere plurimum video; ego quantum ei debeam, 2alio loco. Principio orationis hoc pono, me omnibus, qui amici fuerint saluti et dignitati meae, si minus referenda gratia satis facere potuerim, praedicanda et habenda certe satis esse facturum. Quae fuerit hesterno die Cn. Pompei gravitas in dicendo, iudices, quae facultas, quae copia, non opinione tacita vestrorum animorum, sed perspicua admiratione declarari videbatur. Nihil enim umquam audivi, quod mihi de iure subtilius dici videretur, nihil memoria

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Pro Balbo

III. A Speech in Defence of Lucius Cornelius Balbus

I. If in judicial proceedings the position of those1 who support a case carries any weight, the case of Lucius Cornelius has been defended by counsel of the greatest distinction; if experience, by the most practised; if talent, by the most eloquent; if devotion, by the nearest of friends, and by men bound to Lucius Cornelius by services rendered and the closest intimacy. What then have I to offer? A position such as it has been your pleasure to allow me, some modest experience, a talent by no means equal to my goodwill. For I observe that my client’s debt to those others who have defended him is of the greatest, but how great my own debt to him—of that I will speak elsewhere.a Here at the opening of my speech2 I state this: that in regard to all those who have favoured my welfare and position,b if I have been unable fully to repay their claims upon my gratitude, I will at least seek to satisfy them by proclaiming and acknowledging it. What weight of words was shown by Gnaeus Pompeius in his speech of yesterday, gentlemen, what eloquence, what fluency, was clearly manifested, not by your tacit approval, but by your evident admiration. For I have never heard what seemed to me a more acute exposition of a point of law, nothing that

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DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.marcus_tullius_cicero-pro_balbo.1958