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MARTIN LUTHER AND ZWINGLI IN ELOQUENT DEBATE The Great German Reformer in an Assembly of German Princes, held at Marburg, explains his stand for a pure faith. In the picture he is represented as earnestly disputing with Zwingli, another Reformer and Eloquent Preacher, who was a Swiss.
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first of them one of his masterpieces. His words swayed Rome, but his enemies held the sword, and Antony rid himself of his assailant by having him murdered.
In oratory Cicero combined the powers of the celebrated orators of Athens, uniting the force of Demosthenes with the eloquence of Isocrates. Their classic reticence, however, was replaced by him with a florid exuberance of style which sometimes offends against good taste; but it is atoned for by his melody of language, brilliancy of espression and thorough familiarity with human nature. These give his speeches a charm which still persists, despite the passage of the centuries.
THE TREASON OF CATILINE (Cicero, as is above said, saved Rome from ruin by denouncing Catiline in the Senate with such bitterness as to drive him in dismay from the city. He roused the people against the army which the traitor had collected without by equally eloquent denunciations. We append two extracts from these masterpices of the oratory of indignation.]
How far, o Catiline, wilt thou abuse our patience? How long shalt thou baffle justice in thy mad career ? To what extreme wilt thou carry thy audacity ? Art thou nothing daunted by the nightly watch, posted to secure the Palatium ? Nothing, by the city guards ? Nothing, by the rally of all good citizens ? Nothing, by the assembling of the Senate in this fortified place? Nothing, by the averted looks of all here present? Seest thou not that all thy plots are exposed ?—that thy wretched conspiracy is laid bare to every man's knowledge, here in the Senate ?-that we are well aware of thy proceedings of last night; of the night before ; -the place of meeting, the company convoked, the measures concerted ?
Alas, the times ! Alas, the public morals! The Senate understands all this. The Consul sees it. Yet the traitor lives! Lives? Ay, truly, and confronts us here in council ; takes part in our deliberations; and, with his measuring eye, marks out each man of us for slaughter? And we, all this while, strenuous that we are, think we have amply discharged our duty to the State, if we but shun this madman's sword and fury!
Long since, O Catiline, ought the Consul to have ordered thee to execution, and brought upon thy own head the ruin thou hast been meditating against others. There was that virtue once in Rome, that a wicked citizen was held more execrable than the deadliest foe. We have a law still, Catiline, for thee. Think not that we are powerless, because forbearing. We have a decree,-though it rests among our archives like a sword in its scabbard, --a decree, by which thy life would be made to
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pay the forfeit of thy crimes. And, should I order thee to be instantly seized and put to death, I make just doubt whether all good men would not think it done rather too late than any man too cruelly. But, for good reasons, I will yet defer the blow long since deserved. Then will I doom thee, when no man is found, so lost, so wicked, nay, so like thyself, but shall confess that it was justly dealt.
While there is one man that dares to defend thee, live! But thou shalt live so beset, so surrounded, so scrutinized by the vigilant guards that I have placed around thee, that thou shalt not stir a foot against the Republic without my knowledge. There shall be eyes to detect thy slightest movement, and ears to catch thy wariest whisper, of which thou shalt not dream. The darkness of night shall not cover thy treason—the walls of privacy shall not stifle its voice. Baffled on all sides, thy most secret counsels clear as noonday, what canst thou now have in view ? Proceed, plot, conspire, as thou wilt; there is nothing you can contrive, nothing you can propose, nothing you can attempt, which I shall not know, hear and promptly understand. Thou shalt soon be made aware that I am even more active in providing for the preservation of the State than thou in plotting its destruction.
[The following is from a second of the orations against Catiline.]
Conscript Fathers, a camp is pitched against the Roman Republic within Italy, on the very borders of Etruria. Every day adds to the number of the enemy. The leader of those enemies, the commander of that encampment, walks within the walls of Rome, and, with venomous mischief, rankles in the inmost vitals of the commonwealth.
Catiline, should I, on the instant, order my lictors to seize and drag you to the stake, some men might, even then, blame me for having procrastinated punishment; but no man could criminate me for a faithful execution of the laws. They shall be executed. But I will neither act, nor will I suffer, without full and sufficient reason. Trust me, they shall be executed, and then, even then, when there shall not be found a man so flagitious, so much a Catiline, as to say you were not ripe for execution.
Was not the night before the last sufficient to convince you that there is a good genius protecting that republic, which a ferocious demoniac is laboring to destroy ? I aver, that on that same night you and your complotters assembled. Can even your own tongue deny it?-Yet secret! Speak out, man ; for, if you do not, there are some I see around me who shall have an agonizing proof that I am true in my assertion.
Good and great gods, where are we? What city do we inhabit? Under what government do we live? Here-here, Conscript Fathers,
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mixed and mingled with us all, in the centre of this most grave and venerable assembly—are men sitting, quietly incubating a plot against my life, against all your lives, the life of every virtuous Senator and citizen; while I, with the whole nest of traitors brooding beneath my eyes, am parading in the petty formalities of debate, and the very men appear scarcely vulnerable by my voice who ought long since to have been cut down by the sword.
Proceed, Catiline, in your meritorious career! Go where destiny and desire drive you. Evacuate the city for a season. The gates stand open. Begone! What a pity that the Manlian army should look so long for their general! Take all your loving friends along with you; or, if that be a vain hope, take, at least, as many as you can, and cleanse the city for some short time. Let the walls of Rome be the mediators between me and thee; for, at present, yon are much too near. I will not suffer you, I will not longer endure you !
Lucius Catiline, away! Begin as soon as you can this shameful and unnatural war. Begin it, on your part, under the shade of every dreadful omen ; on mine, with the sure and certain hope of safety to my country, and glory to myself; and, when this you have done, then do thou, whose altar was first founded by the founder of our State—thou, the establisher of this city-pour out thy vengeance upon this man, and all his adherents ! Save us from his fury, our public altars, our sacred temples, our houses and household goods, our liberties, our lives! Pursue, tutelar god, pursue them, these foes, to the gods and to goodness, these plunderers of Italy, these assassins of Rome ! Erase them out of this life, and in the next let thy vengeance follow them stiil, insatiable, implacable, immortal.
THE CRUELTY OF VERRES [From the arraignment of Verres we select Guthrie's translation of a passage in which Cicero announces, with words of burning indignation, his outrage against a Roman citizen—the claim of citizenship being held as a secure protection against stripes and torture.]
As it happened Verres came on that very day to Messana. The matter was brought before him. He was told that the man was a Roman citizen; was complaining that at Syracuse he had been confined in the stone quarries, and how he, when he was actually embarking on board ship and uttering violent threats against Verres, had been brought back by them, and reserved in order that he might himself decide what should be done with him.
He thanks the men, and praises their good-will and diligence in his behalf. He himself, inflamed with wickedness and frenzy, came into the
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forum. His eyes glared ; cruelty was visible in his whole countenance; all men waited to see what steps he was going to take; what he was going to do; when all of a sudden he orders the man to be seized, and to be stripped and bound in the middle of the forum, and the rods to be got ready. The miserable man cried out that he was a Roman citizen ; a citizen also of the municipal town of Cosa; that he had served with Lucius Pretius, a most illustrious Roman knight, who was living as a trader at Panormus, and from whom Verres might know that he was speaking the truth.
Then Verres says that he has ascertained that he was sent into Sicily by the leaders of the runaway slaves in order to act as a spy; a matter as to which there was no evidence, no trace, nor even the slightest suspicion in the mind of any one. Then he orders the man to be most violently scourged on all sides,-in the middle of the forum of Messana a Roman citizen, O judges, was beaten with rods ! while, in the meantime, no groan was heard, no other expression was heard from the wretched man, amid all his pain, and between the sounds of the blows, except these words: “I am a citizen of Rome.”
He fancied that by this one statement of his citizenship he could ward off all blows and remove all torture from his person. He not only did not succeed in averting by his entreaties the violence of the rods, but as he kept on repeating his entreaties, and the assertion of his citizenship a cross—a cross, I say—was got ready for that miserable man, who had never witnessed such a stretch of power.
O the sweet name of Liberty! O the admirable privileges of citizenship! O Porcian law! O Sempronian laws! O power of the tribunes, bitterly regretted by and at last restored to the Roman people !-in a town of our confederate allies—a Roman citizen should be bound in the forum and beaten with rods, by a man who had only the fasces and axes through the kindness of the Roman people!
If the bitter entreaties and the miserable cries of that man had no power to restrain you; were you not moved even by the weeping and loud cries of the Roman citizens who were present at the time? Did you dare to drag any one to the cross who said that he was a Roman citizen ?