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dence in aid of such a business, in this trial to keep their hands and inclinations from this nefarious wickedness.
And what do you suppose will be my thoughts, if I find in this very trial any violation of the laws committed in any similar manner? especially when I can prove by many witnesses that Caius Verres often said in Sicily, in the hearing of many persons, “that he had a powerful friend, in confidence with whom he was plundering the province; and that he was not seeking money for himself alone, but that he had so distributed the three years of his Sicilian praetorship that he should say he did exceedingly well, if he appropriated the gains of one year to the augmentation of his own property, those of the second year to his patrons and defenders, and reserved the whole of the third year, the most productive and gainful of all, for the judges.”
From which it came into my mind to say that which, when I had said lately before Marcus Glabrio at the time of striking the list of judges, I perceived the Roman people greatly moved by: that I thought that foreign nations would send ambassadors to the Roman people to procure the abrogation of the law, and of all trials, about extortion; for if there were no trials, they think that each man would only plunder them of as much as he would think sufficient for himself and his children; but now, because there are trials of that sort, every one carries off as much as it will take to satisfy himself, his patrons, his advocates, the praetor, and the judges; and that this is an enormous sum; that they may be able to satisfy the cupidity of one most avaricious man, but are quite unable to incur the expense of his most guilty victory over the laws. O trials worthy of being recorded ! O splendid reputation of our order! when the allies of the Roman people are unwilling that trials for extortion should take place, which were instituted by our ancestors for the
sake of all allies. Would that man ever have had a favorable hope of his own safety, if he had not conceived in his mind a bad opinion of you? on which account, he ought, if possible, to be still more hated by you than he is by the Roman people, because he considers you like himself in avarice and wickedness and perjury.
And I beg you, in the name of the immortal gods, O judges, think of and guard against this; I warn you, I give notice to you of what I am well assured, that this most seasonable opportunity has been given to you by the favor of the gods, for the purpose of delivering your whole order from hatred, from unpopularity, from infamy, and from disgrace. There is no severity believed to exist in the tribunals, nor any scruples with regard to religion; in short, there are not believed to be any tribunals at all. Therefore we are despised and scorned by the Roman people; we are branded with a heavy and now long standing infamy. Nor, in fact, is there any other reason for which the Roman people has with so much earnestness sought the restoration of the tribunician power: but when it was demanding that in words, it seemed to be asking for that, but in reality it was asking for tribunals which it could trust.
But now men are on the watch-towers; they observe how every one of you behaves himself in respecting religion and observing the laws. They see that, ever since the passing of the law for restoring the power of the tribunes, only one senator, and he, too, a very insignificant one, has been condemned. And though they do not blame this, yet they have nothing which they can very much command. For there is no credit in being upright in a case where there is no one who is either able or who endeavors to corrupt one. This is a trial in which you will be deciding about the defendant, the Roman people about you; by the example of what happens to this man it will be determined whether, when sena
tors are the judges, a very guilty and a very rich man can be condemned.
On which account, in the first place, I beg this of the immortal gods, which I seem to myself to have hopes of, too - that in this trial no one may be found to be wicked except he who has long since been found to be such; secondly, if there are many wicked men, I promise this to you, O judges, I promise this to the Roman people, that my life shall fail rather than my vigor and perseverance in prosecuting their iniquity. But that iniquity, which, if it should be committed, I promise to prosecute severely, with however much trouble and danger to myself, and whatever enmities I may bring on myself by so doing, you, O Marcus Glabrio, can guard against ever taking place by your wisdom, and authority, and diligence. Do you undertake the cause of the tribunals? Do you undertake the cause of impartiality, of integrity, of good faith and religion? Do you undertake the cause of the senate, that, being proved worthy by its conduct in this trial, it may come into favor and popularity with the Roman people? Think who you are and in what a situation you are placed; what you ought to give to the Roman people and what you ought to repay to your ancestors. Let the recollection of the Acilian Law passed by your father occur to your mind, owing to which law the Roman people has had this advantage of most admirable decisions and very strict judges in cases of extortion.
I am resolved not to permit the praetor or the judges to be changed in this cause. I will not permit the matter to be delayed till the lictors of the consuls can go and summon the Sicilians, whom the servants of the consuls-elect did not influence before, when by an unprecedented course of proceeding they sent for them all; I will not permit these miserable men, formerly the allies and friends of the Roman people, now their slaves and supplicants, to lose not only
their rights and fortunes by their tyranny, but to be deprived of even the power of bewailing their condition; I will not, I say, when the cause has been summed up by me, permit them after a delay of forty days has intervened, then at last to reply to me when my accusation has already fallen into oblivion through lapse of time; I will not permit the decision to be given when this crowd collected from all Italy has departed from Rome, which has assembled from all quarters at the same time on account of the comitia, of the games, and of the census.
The reward of the credit gained by your decision, or the danger arising from the unpopularity which will accrue to you if you decide unjustly, I think ought to belong to you; the labor and anxiety to me; the knowledge of what is done and the recollection of what has been said by every one, to all. I will adopt this course, not an unprecedented one, but one that has been adopted before, by those who are now the chief men of our state — the course, I mean, of at once producing the witnesses.
What you will find novel, O judges, is this, that I will so marshal my witnesses as to unfold the whole of my accusation; that when I have established it by examining my witnesses, by arguments, and by my speech, then I shall show the agreement of the evidence with my accusation: so that there shall be no difference between the established mode of prosecuting, and this new one, except that, according to the established mode, when everything has been said which is to be said, then the witnesses are produced; here they shall be produced as each count is brought forward, so that the other side shall have the same opportunity of examining them, of arguing and making speeches on their evidence. If there be any one who prefers an uninterrupted speech and the old mode of conducting a prosecution without any break, he shall have it in some other trial. But for this time let
him understand that what we do is done by us on compulsion (for we only do it with the design of opposing the artifice of the opposite party by our prudence). This will be the first part of the prosecution. We say that Caius Verres has not only done many licentious acts, many cruel ones, toward Roman citizens, and toward some of the allies, many wicked acts against both gods and men; but especially that he has taken away four hundred thousand sesterces out of Sicily contrary to the laws. We will make this so plain to you by witnesses, by private documents, and by public records, that you shall decide that, even if we had abundant space and leisure days for making a long speech without any inconvenience, still there was no need at all of a long speech in this matter.