This was at once his strength and his weakness: his strength, for as a professional pleader he had learned how to deal with an adversary according to the rules of the art - to pull to pieces his theses, to reduce him ad absurdum, and to show the defects and contradictions of his statements, - and was specially qualified to expose the irregularities in the proceedings taken by the state against the Christians; but it was also his weakness, for it was responsible for his litigiousness, his often doubtful shifts and artifices, his sophisms and argumentationes ad hominem, his fallacies and surprises.
That brutal assault cost Sumner three years of heroic struggle to restore his shattered health - years during which Massachusetts loyally re-elected him, in the belief that in the Senate chamber his vacant chair was the most eloquent pleader for free speech and resistance to slavery.
On returning to Rome he was nominated to the honorary office of sevir equitum romanorum, and was actively engaged as a pleader before the centumviri, the chancery court of Rome (vi.
When emperors became converts, the church, so lately a victim and a pleader for liberty, readily learned to persecute.
It is due to them that the Romans of the day are living figures to us, and that Cicero, in spite of, or rather in virtue of his frailties, is intensely human and sympathetic. The letters to Atticus abound in the frankest selfrevelation, though even in the presence of his confessor his instinct as a pleader makes him try to justify himself.