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The bow'd with age, the infant in the smiles
SPEECH OF CICERO AGAINST VERRES. The time is come, fathers, I when that which has long been wished for, towards allaying the envy your order has been subject to, and removing the imputations against trials, is effectually put into your power. I An opinion has long prevailed, not only here at home, but likewise in foreign countries, 1 both dangerous to you, and pernicious to the state', - that, in prosecutions, ! men of wealth are always safe', 1 however clearly convicted.
There is now to be brought upon his trial, before you, to the consusion, I hope, i of the propagators of ihis slanderous imputation, I one whose life, and actions condemn him in the opinion of all impartial persons; ' but who, according to his own reckoning, and declared dependence upon his riches, is already acquitted: I mean Caius Verres. 1
I demand justice of you, Fathers, / upon the robber of the public treasury, I the oppressor of Asia Minor, and Pamphylia, I the invader of the rights, and privi. leges of Romans, I the scourge, and curse of Sicily. I
· Cut off; not cut-toft". "About him; not abow'tim. •Forrin.
If that sentence is passed upon him, I which his crimes deserve, your authority, Fathers, will be venerable, 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, that what was wanting in this case, / was not a criminal, i nor a pros'ecutor; I but justice, and adequate punishment. 1
To pass over the shameful irregularities of his youth, | what does his ques'torship, I the first public employment he held, what does it exhibit, but one continued scene of villanies ? | Cneius Carbo, plundered of the public money by his own treas'urer, la consul stripped, and betrayed', / an army, deserted, and reduced to want', / a province, robbed', | the civil, and religious rights of a people violated. |
The employment he held in Asia Minor, and Pamphylia, - 1 what did it produce but the ruin of those countries, I 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 witness. | How did he discharge the office of a judge' ? | Let those who suffered by his injustice, answer.
But his pretorship in Sicily, I crowns all' his works of wickedness, and finishes lasting monument to his infamy. | The mischiefs, done by him in that unhappy country, I during the three years of his iniquitous administration, are such, that many years', under the wisest, and best of pretors, will not be sufficient to restore things to the condition in which he found them; ! for it is noto'rious, that, during the time of his tyranny, I the Sicilians neither enjoyed the protection of their own original laws; i of the regulations made for their benefit by the Roman senate, coming under the protection of the commonwealth ; , nor of the natural, and unalienable rights of men. !
upon their His nodi has decided all causes in Sicily for these three years. | And his decisions i have broken all law, 1 all pre'cedent, \ all right.. ! The sums he has, by arbitrary taxes, and unheard-of impositions, extorted 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; i and men, of the most unexceptionable characters, condemned, and banished, unheard. 1
The harbours, though sufficiently fortified, and the gates of streng 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 province, suffered to perish. The ancient monuments of either Sicilian, or Ro'man greatness, I the statues of heroes, and princes, have been carried off"; | and the temples stripped of the images. 1
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 ; so that the exclamation, i “ I am a citizen of Rome !" I which has often, in the most distant regions, I and among the most bar. barous people, I been a protection, I was of no service to thein; ' but, on the contrary, I brought a speedier, and more severe punishment upon them. I
I ask now, Verres, I 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, within sight of the Italian coast, I to put to the infamous death of crucifixion, that unfortunate, and innocent citizen, Publius Gavius Cosa nus, only for his having asserted his privilege of citizenship, and declared his intention of appealing to the justice of his country, against the cruel oppressor | who had unjustly confined him in prison at Syracuse, 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 fory, and a countenance distorted with cruelty, i 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 inflicted. Thus, Fathers, was an innocent Roman citizen publicly mangled with scour ging; while the only words he uttered, ' amidst his cruel sutterings, were, : " I am a Roman citizen!" | With these, he hoped to defend himself from violence, and infamy. 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, — for his execution upon the cross.!!
O liberty!— ! O sound once delightful to every Ro man ear ! | O sacred privilege of Roman citizen. ship!--' once' sacred! -- ' now trampled upon! But what then! | Is it come to this ! I Shall an infe. rior magistrate, ' a governor, ' 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 ag ony, : nor the tears of pitying specta tors, nor the majesty of the Roman com'monwealth, : nor the fear of the justice of his country, i restrain the licentious, and wanton cruelty of a monster who, in confidence of his riches, strikes at the root of liberty, and sets mankind at defiance?
I conclude with expressing my hopes, that your wisdom, and justice, Fathers, I will not, by suffering the atrocious, and unexampled insolence of Caius Verres ! to escape due punishment, I 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 tuble by him. It must be so | Plato, thou reasonest well.!Else whence this pleasing hope', this fond desire', / This longing after immortality ? Or whence this secret dread, and inward horror, 1 Of falling into nought.? | why shrinks the soul Back on herself, and startles at destruction ! | 'Tis the divinity that stirs within us; ! 'Tis heaven itself that points out an hereafter, And intimates eternity to man. I
Eternity! thou pleasing, dreadful thought!