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human contritarce, but superior direction) efInforming. fectually put in our power. * An opinion has long
prevailed, not only here at home, but likewise in foreign countries, both dangerous to you, and pernicious to the state, viz. 'That,
That, in prosecuttions, men of wealth are always safe, however
clearly convicted. There is now to be brought Accusing. ' upon his trial before you, to the confusion, I
hope, of the propagaturs of this s'anderous imputation, 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 bis riches, is already acquitted ; I mean Caius Verres. I have under
taken this prosecution, Fathers, at the general Apology. desire, and with the great expectation of the
Roman people, not that I might draw envy upon that illustrious order, of which the accused happens to be; but with the direct design of clearing
your justice and impartiality before the world. Baciting. For I have brought upon his trial, one, whose
conduct has been such that in passing a just sentence upon him, you will have an opportunity of re-establishing the credit of such trials; of recovering whatever may be lost of the favour of the Roman people ; and of satisfying foreign
states and kingdoms in alliance with us, or triInfifting. butary to us. I demand justice of you, Fathers, Accusing. upon the robber of the public treasury, the op
pressor of Asia Minor, and Pamphylia, the in
vader of the rights and privileges of Romans, Exciting.
Scourge and curse of Sicily. If that sentence is passed upon him which his crimes deserve, your authority Fathers, will be venerable and sacred in the eyes of the public. But if his great riches should bias you in his favour, I shall still gain one point, viz. to inake it apparent to all the world, that what was wanting
in this case was not a criminal, nor a prosecutor ; Apprehen. but justice, and adequate punishment. And, to
confess the very truth, fathers, though various
Nor does my
svares have been laid for me, by sea and land, by Verres, which I have partly avoided by my own vigilence, partly bafled with the heip of iny friends; I have never been so apprehensive of danger from him as now. anxiety about my own insufficiency for conducting such a trial, nor the awe, with which great a concourse of people strikes me, aların my apprehensions so much, as the wicked arts and designs, which I know. he has framed, against Marcus Glabrio, the prætor, against the allied and tributary states, against the whole senatorial rank, and against myself. For he makes no Accusing scruple publicly to declare, 6 That in his opinion, they alone have reason to fear being called to account, who have only amassed what is sufficient for themselves. That, for his part, he has prudentiy taken care to secure what will be sufficient for himself and many others besides. That he knows there is nothing so sacred, but it may be made free with; nothing so well secured, but it may be come at by a proper application
It is true, we are so far obliged to Contempt. him, that he joins with his daring wickedness, such bare-faced folly, that it must be our own eggregious and inexcusable fault, if we are deceived by him.
For, as those acts of violence Accusing. by which he has gotten his exorbitant riches, were done openly, so have his attempts to pervert judgment, and escape due punishment, been public, and in open defiance of decency. He has accordingly, said, that the only time he ever was afraid, was, when he found the prosecution commenced against him by me; lest he should not have time enough to dispose of a sufficient number of presents in proper hands. Nor has he attempted to secure himself by the legal way of defence upon his trial. And, indeed, where is the learning, the eloquence, or the art, which would be sufficient to qualify any one for the defence of himn whose whole life bas been a con
tinual series of the most atrociouscrimes ? To pas over the shameful irregularities of his youth, what does his quæstorship, the first public employment he held, what does it exhibit, but one continu. ed scene of villainies ? Cneius Carbo plundered of the public money by his own treasure; a 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, what did it produce, but the ruin of those countries; in which houses, cities and temples were robbed by him. There he acted over again the scene of his quæstorship, bringing, by his bad practices, Creius Dolobella, whose substitute he was, into disgrace with the people, and then deserting him; not only deserting, but even accusing and betr zying on.
What was his conduct in his prætorship here at home? Let the plundered temples, and public works neglected, that he might embezzle the money intended for carrying them on, bear witness. "How did he discharge the office of a judge? Let those who suffered by his injustice, anszver. torship in Sicily, crowns all his works of wickedness; and finishes a lasting monument to his infany. The mischiefs do e by him in that unhappy country, during the three years of his iniquitous administration, are such, that many years
under the wisest and best of prætors, will not be sufficient to restore things to the condition,
in which he found them. For it is notorious, Pity.
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 Accusing. men.
No inhabitant of that ruined country has been able to keep possession of any thing, but what has either escaped the rapaciousness, or
But his pre
been neglected by the satiety of that universal plunderer. His nod has decided all causes in Sicily, for these three years. And his decisions have broken all law, all precedent, all right. The sums he has, by arbitrary taxes, and unheard of impositions, extorted from the industrious poor, are not to be computed.
The most faithful allies of the commonwealth have been treated as enemies. Roman citizens have, like slaves been put to death with tortures. The most atrocious criminals, for money have been exempted from the deserved punishments; and men of most unexceptionable characters condemned, and banished unheard. The harbours, though sufficiently fortified, and the gates of strong towns, opened to pirates and ravagers. The soldiery and sailors, belonging to a province under the protection of the commonwealth, starved to death. Whole fleets, to the great detriment of the province, suffered to perish. The ancient monuments of either Sicilian or Roman greatness, the statues of heroes and princes, carried off'; and the temples stripped of the images. The infamy of his lewdness has been such, as decency forbids to describe. Nor will I, by mentioning particulars, put those unfortunate persons to fresh pain, who have not been able to save their wives and daughters from his impurity. And these his atrocious crimes, have been comunitted in so public a manner, that there is no one, who has heard of his name, but could reckon up his actions.
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 gaols ; so that the exclamation, “ I am a citizen Depreca. of Rome,” which has often, in the most distant Accufing. regions, and among the most barbarous people, been a protection, was of 110 service to them;
but, on the contrary, brought a speedier, and
more severe punishment upon them. Challenge. I ask, now, Verres, what you have to ad
vance against this charge? Will you pretend to deny it? Will you pretend that any thing false, that even any thing, aggravated, is al
leged against you ? Had any prince, or any Remonstr. state committed the same outrage against the pri
vilege of Roman citizens, should we not think
we had sufficient ground for declaring immeAccusing. diate war against them ? What punishment
ought, then, to be inflicted on a tyrannical and wicked prætor, who dared, at no greater distance than Sicily, within sight of the Italian coast, to put to the infamous death of crucifixion, that unfortunate and innocent citizen, Publius Gavius Cosanus, only for his having asserted
his privilege of citizenship, and declared his inAccusing. tention of appealing to the justice of his country
against a cruel oppressor, who had unjustly confined him in prison at Syracuse, from 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 prætor. Accufing. With eyes darting
fury, and a countenance distorted with cruelty, he orders the helpless victim of his rage, to be stripped, and rods to be brought; accusing him, but without the least shadow of evi
dence, or even of suspicion, of having come to Pity. Sicily as a spy.
It was in vain that the unhapDepreca. py man cried out, “ I ain a Roman citizen, I
have served under Lucius Pretius, who is now at
Panormus, and will attest my innocence.” The Accusing. blood-thirsty prætor, deaf to all he could urge
in his own defence, ordered the infamous punishPity.
ment to be inflicted. Thus, Fathers, was an innocent Roman citizen publicly mangled with
scourging; whilst the only words he uttered *Depreca.
amidst his cruel sufferings, were, *“I am a
Roman citizen.” . With these he hoped to defend Accusing himself from violence and infamy. But of so