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The bow'd with age, the in'fant | in the smiles
SPEECH OF CICERO AGAINST VERRES. The time is come, fathers, / when that which has long been wished for, 1 towards allaying the envy your order has been subject to, / and removing the imputa. tions against trials, I is effectually put into your power. i An opinion has long prevailed, I not only here at home, but likewise in foreign countries, I both dangerous to you, I and pernicious to the state', – that, in prosecutions, , men of wealth are always safe', | however clearly convicted.
There is now to be brought upon his trial, before you, I to the confusion, I hope, l of the propagators of this slanderous imputation, | one whose life, and actions i condemn him in the opinion of all impartial persons; / but who, according to his own reckoning, and declared dependence upon his riches, I is already acquit,ted :/ I mean Caius Verres. |
I demand justice of you, Fathers, | upon the robber of the public treas,ury,' the oppressor of Asia Minor, and Pamphylia, I the invader of the rights, and privileges of Romans, / the scourge, and curse of Sicily. 1
Cut off; not cut-toff'. About him; not abow'tim. Forrin.
If that sentence is passed upon him, which his crimes deserve, your authority, Fathers, I will be vencrable, and sa cred in the eyes of the public;, but, if his great riches should bias you in his favor, | I shall still gain one point,- to make it apparent to all the world, i that what was wanting in this case, was not a criminal, i nor a prosecutor; I but justice, and adequate punishment.
To pass over the shameful irregularities of his youth, | what does his ques torship, I the first public employment he held, I what does it exhibit, but one continued scene of villanies ? | Cneius Carbo, plundered of the public money by his own treas'urer, i a consul stripped, and betrayed', i an army, deserted, and reduced to want', / a province, robbed', / the civil, and religious rights of a people violated. I
The employment he held in Asia Minor, and Pamphylia, - | what did it produce but the ruin of those countries, 1 in which houses, cities, and temples were robbed: by him? | What was his conduct in his pretorship here at home ? | Let the plundered temples, and public works neglected, that he might embezzle the money intended for carrying them on, I bear wit. ness. | How did he discharge the office of a judge ? | Let those who suffered by his injus'tice, answer. |
But his pretorship in Sicily, i crowns all' his works of wickedness,' and finishes a lasting monument to his infamy. | The mischiefs, done by him in that unhappy country, during the three years of his iniquitous ad. ministration, / are such, that many years', under the wi-est, and best' of pretors, I will not be sufficient to restore things I to the condition in which he found them; for it is noto'rious, that, during the time of his tyranny, the Sicilians neither enjoyed the protection of their own original laws;' of the regulations made for their benefit by the Roman senate, upon their coming under the protection of the commonwealth ;, nor of the natural, and unalienable rights of men.'
His nod: i has decided all causes in Sicily for these three years. | And his decisions have broken all law, i all pre'cedent, I all right.. | The sums he has, by arbitrary taxes, sand unheard-of impositions, lextorted from the industrious poor, I are not to be computed. The most faithful allies of the commonwealth, have been treated as enemies. | Roman citizens, like slaves', have been put to death with tortures. | The most atrocious criminals have been exempted, for money, from deserved punishments; | and men, of the most unexceptionable char'acters, condemned, and banished, unheard.
The harbours, though sufficiently fortified, and the gates of strcng towns', I have been opened to pirates, and ravagers. The soldiery, and sailors, belonging to a province under the protection of the commonwealth, have been starved to death ; / whole fleets', / to the great detriment of the prov'ince, / suffered to perish. The ancient monuments of either Sicilian, or Ro'man greatness, / the statues of heroes, and princes, I have been carried off"; / and the temples stripped of the images. I
Having, by his iniquitous sentences, | filled the prisons with the most industrious, and deserving of the people, he then proceeded to order numbers of Roman citizens to be strangled in the jails ; I so that the exclamation, “I am a citizen of Rome!" | which has often, in the most distant regions, and among the most barbarous people, I been a protection, I was of no service to them; I but, on the contrary, I brought a speedier, and more severe pun'ishment upon them. I
I ask now, Verres, , what thou hast to advance against this charge ? | Wilt thou pretend to deny' it! Wilt thou pretend that any thing false', I that even any thing ag'gravated, i has been urged against thee? | Had any prince', or any state', : committed the same out. rage against the privilege of Roman citizens, should we not think we had sufficient ground for demanding satisfaction?
What punishment ought, then, to be inflicted, upon a tyrannical, and wicked pre-tor, | who dared, at no greater distance than Sicily, I within sight of the Italian coast', i to put to the infamous death of crucifixion, that unfortunate, and innocent citizen, I Publius Gavius Cosa'nus, only for his having asserted his privilege of citizenship, i and declared his intention of appealing to the justice of his country, i against the cruel oppressor | who had unjustly confined him in prison at Syracuse, i whence he had just made his escape ? |
The unhappy man, arrested as he was going to embark for his native country, | is brought before the wicked pretor. / With eyes darting föry, I and a countenance distorted with cruelty, , he orders the helpless victim of his rage to be stripped, and rods' to be brought - 1 accusing him, but without the least shadow of evidence, I or even of suspicion, of having come to Sicily as a spy. | It was in vain that the u happy man cried out, I “I am a Roman citizen - I have served under Lucius Pre'tius / who is now at Panor. mus,' and will attest my innocence."
The blood-thirsty pretor, deaf to all he could urge in his own defence, ordered the infamous punishment to be inficted. Thus, Fathers, was an innocent Roman citizen publicly mangled with scour'ging; while the only words he uttered, I amidst his cruel sufferings, were, 1 "I am a Roman citizen!" | With these, he hoped to defend himself from violence, and infamy. I But of so little service was this privilege to him, that, while he was thus asserting his citizenship, the order was given for his execu'tion, - 1 for his execution upon the cross. ! |
O liberty!- 10 sound once delightful to every Ro man ear !O sacred privilege of Roman citizen. ship!- ' once' sacred! - | now tram pled upon ! -; But what then! | Is it come to this' ? | Shall an inferior magistrate, / a governor, i who holds his whole power of the Roman people,' in a Roman province, i within sight of Italy,! bind, scourge, torture with fire, and red hot plates of iron, I and at last put to the infamous death of the cross, I a Roman citizen? | Shall neither the cries of innocence expiring in agony, i nor the tears of pitying spectators, nor the majesty of the Roman commonwealth, nor the fear of the justice of his country, | restrain the licentious, and wanton cruelty of a monster , , who, in confidence of his riches, strikes at the root of liberty, I and sets mankind at defi'ance!
I conclude with expressing my hopes, I that your wisdom, and justice, Fathers, I will not, by suffering the atrocious, and unexampled insolence of Caius Verres to escape due punishment, / leave room to apprehend the danger of a total subversion of authority, and the introduction of general anarchy, and confusion.
(ADDISON.) Scene - Cato sitting in a thoughtful posture, with Plato's book
on the Immortality of the Soul in his hand; and a drawn sword
on the table by him. It must be so - | Plato, thou reasonest well, !-1 Else whence this pleasing hope', / this fond desire', 1 This longing after immortality? Or whence this secret dread, and inward horror, 1 Of falling into nought, ? | why shrinks the soul | Back on herself, I and startles at destruction ? | 'Tis the divinity that stirs within us; / 'T is heaven itself that points out an hereafter, And intimates eterinity to man. I
Eternity! thou pleas'ing, dread ful thought!!