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we have brought before your lordships Caius Verres, a person, for his life and actions, already condemned by all men. But, as he hopes and gives out, by the influence of his wealth, to be here absolved, in condemning this man, you have an opportunity of belying that general scandal, of redeeming the credit lost by former judgments, and recovering the love of the Roman people, as well as of our neighbours. I have brought here a man before you, my lords, who is a robber of the public treasure, an overturner of law and justice, and the disgrace, as well as destruction of the Sicilian province ; of whom, if you shall determine with equity and due severity, your authority will remain entire, and upon such an establishment as it ought to be: but if his great riches will be able to force their way through that religious reverence and truth, which become so awful an assembly, I shall however obtain thus much, that the defect will be laid where it ought; and that it shall not be objected that the criminal was not produced, or that there wanted an orator to accuse him. This man, my lords, has publicly said, that those ought to be afraid of accusasations, who have only robbed enough for their own support and maintenance; but that he has plundered sufficient to bribe numbers; and that nothing is so high or so holy, which money cannot corrupt. Take that support from him, and he can have no other left: for what eloquence will be able to defend a man, whose life has been tainted with so many scandalous vices, and who has been so long condemned by the universal opinion of the world ? To pass over the foul stains and ignominy of his youth, his corrupt management in all employments he has borne, his treachery and irreligion, his injustice and oppression : he has left of late such monuments of his villainies in Sicily,

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made such havoc and confusion there, during his government, that the province cannot by any means be restored to its former state, and hardly recover itself at all

, under many years, and by a long súccession of good governors.

While this man governed in that island, the Sicilians had neither the benefit of our laws, nor their own, nor even of common right. In Sicily, no man now possesses more than what the governor's lust and avarice have overlooked, or what he was forced to neglect, out of mere weariness and satiety of oppression. Every thing, where he presided, was determined by his arbitrary will; and the best subjects he treated as enemies. To recount his abominable debaucheries, would offend any modest ear, since so many could not preserve their daughters and wives from his lust. I believe there is no man, who ever heard his name, that cannot relate his enormities. We bring before you in judgment, my lords, a public robber, an adulterer, à DEFILER OF ALTARS, an enemy of religion, and of all that is sacred. In Sicily he sold all employments of judicature, magistracy, and trust, places in the council

, and the priesthood itself, to the highest bidder; and has plundered that island of forty millions of sesterces. And here I cannot but observe to your lordships, in what manner Verres passed the day, the morning was spent in taking bribes and selling employments; the rest of it in drunkenness and lust. His discourse at table was scandalously unbecoming the dignity of his station; noise, brutality, and obsceneness. One particular I cannot omit; that in the high character of governor of Sicily, upon a solemn day, a day

*

* See No. XXII. for a story of Lord Wharton's having been guilty of polluting a church.

set apart for public prayer for the safety of the commonwealth, he stole at evening in a chair to a married woman of infamous character, * against all decency and prudence, as well as against all laws both human and divine.' Didst thou think, O Verres ! the government of Sicily was given thee with so large a commission, only, by the power of that, to break all the bars of law, modesty, and duty; to suppose all men's fortunes thine, and leave no house free from thy rapine and lust ?" &c.

This extract, to deal ingeniously, has cost me more pains than I think it is worth ; having only served to convince me, that modern corruptions are not to be paralleled by ancient examples, without having recourse to poetry or fable. For instance, I never read in story of a law enacted to take away the force of all laws whatsoever ; by which a man may safely commit upon the last of June, what he would infallibly be hanged for, if he committed it on the first of July; by which the greatest criminals may escape, provided they continue long enough in power to antiquate their crimes, and by stifling them a while can deceive the legislature into an amnesty, of which the enactors do not at that time foresee the consequence.

A cautious merchant will be apt to suspect, when he finds à man who has the repute of a cunning dealer, and with whom he has old accounts, urging for a general release. When I reflect on this proceeding, I am not surprised that those who contrived a parliamentary sponge for their crimes, are now afraid of a new revolution sponge for their money :

* Probably a Mrs Coningsby, mentioned in the short character of the Earl of Wharton.

+ Swift seems to foresee what actually took place. For in 1713, there was an attempt to fix a misdemeanpur on the Earl of Wbarton, as having taken a bribe of 1000l. from one Hutchinson, for procuring him the office of register of seizures in the customs. But he was found sheltered by the act of indemnity.

money: and if it were possible to contrive a sponge that could only affect those who had need of the other, perhaps it would not be ill employed.

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Quippe, ubi fas versum atque nefas; tot bella per orbem ;
Tam multæ scelerum facies

Where sacred order, fraud and force confound;
Where impious wars and tumults rage around.

I am often violently tempted to let the world freely know who the author of this paper is ; to tell them my naine and titles at length; which would prevent abundance of inconsistent criticisms I daily hear upon it. Those who are enemies to the notions and opinions I would advance, are sometimes apt to quarrel with the Examiner, as defective in point of wit, and sometimes of truth. At other times, they are so generous and candid to allow, it is written by a club, and that very great hands have fingers in it. As for those who only appear its adversaries in print, they give me but very little pain. The paper I hold lies at my mercy, and I can govern it as I please; therefore, when I begin to find the wit too bright, the learning too

inore.

deep, and the satire too keen for me to deal with, (a very frequent case, no doubt, where a man is constantly attacked by such shrewd adversaries,) I peaceably fold it up, or fling it aside, and read no

It would be happy for me to have the same power over people's tongues, and not be forced to hear my own work railed and commended fifty times a-day; affecting all the while a countenance wholly unconcerned, and joining, out of policy or good manners, with the judgment of both parties : this, I confess, is too great a hardship for so bashful and unexperienced a writer.

But, alas, I lie under another discouragement of much more weight. I was very unfortunate in the choice of my party, when I set up to be a writer. Where is the merit, or what opportunity to discover our wit, our courage, or our learning, in drawing our pens for the defence of a cause which the queen and both Houses of Parliament, and nine parts in ten of the kingdom, have so unanimously embraced? I am cruelly afraid we politic authors must begin to lessen our expenses, and lie for the future at the mercy of our printers. All hopes are now gone of writing ourselves into places or pensions. A certain starveling author, who worked under the late administration, told me, with a heavy heart, about a month ago, that he, and some others of his brethren, had secretly offered their service, dog-cheap, to the present ministry, but were all refused ; and are now maintained by contribution, like Jacobites or fanatics. I have been of late employed, out of perfect commiseration, in doing them good offices : for, whereas some were of opinion, that these hungry zealots should not be suffered any longer, in their malapert way, to snarl at the present course of public proceedings; and whereas others proposed, that they should be limited to a

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