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CICERO against VERRES. The time is come, Fathers,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 in your 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,-that, in prosecutions, men of wealth are always safe, however clearly convicted. There is now to be brought upon his trial before you, to the confusion, I hope of the propagators of this slanderous imputation, one whose life and actions condemn him in the opinion of all impartial persons;but who,according to his own reckoning and declared dependance upon his riches,is already acquitted ; I mean Caius Verres. I demand justice of you, Fathers, upon the robber of the public treasury, the oppressor of Asia Minor and Pamphylia, the invader of the rights and privileges of Romans, the 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,--to make it apparent to all the world, that what was wanting in this case, was not a criminal nor a prosecutor, but justice and adequate punishment.
To pass over the shameful irregularities of his youth,what does his quæstorship, 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 treasurer, 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 bim. What was his conduct in his prætorship here at home? Let the plundered temples, and public works neg. lected, 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 anBut his prætorship in Sicily crowns all his works of
wickedness, and finishes a lasting monument to his infamy. The mischiefs done by him in that unbappy country, during the three years of his iniquitous administration, are such, tbat 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, 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 men. His nod bas 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 by tortures. The most atrocious criminals,for money,have been exempted from the deserved puaishments; and men of the most unexceptionable characters,condemned and banished unheard, The harbou:s, though sufficienty fortified, and the gates of strong towns,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 theprovince,suffered to perish. The ancientmonuments of either Sicilian or Roman greatness, the statues of heroes and princes, have been carried off ; and the temples stripped of the images.- Having, by his iniquitous sentences, filled the prisons with the most industrious and deserving of the people, be then proceeded to order numbers of Roman citizens to be strangled in the gaols : so that the exclamation, “I am a citizeo of Rome!" which has often, in the most distant regions, and among the most barbarous people, been a protection, was of no service to them; but, on the contrary, brought a speedier & a more severe punishment upon them.
I ask now, Verres, what thou bast to advance against this charge ? Wilt thou pretend to deny it? Wilt thou pretend, that any thing false, that even any thing aggravated, is alleged against thee ? Had any prince, or any state, committed the same outrage against the privilege of Roman citizens, should we not think we had sufficient ground for demanding satisfaction ? Wbat punishment ought, then, to be inflicted upon 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 an.. innocent citizen, Publius Gavius Cosanus, 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 bis escape? The unhappy man, arrested as he was going to embark for his native country, is brought before the wicked prætor. 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 evidence, or even of suspicion of having come to Sicily as a spy. It was in vain that the unhappy man cried out, “I am a Roman citizen: I have served under Lucius Pretios, who is now at Paporinus,and will attest my innocence.” The blood-thirsty-prætor, deaf to all he could urge in his own defence, ordered the infamous punishment to be inflicted. Thus,fathers, was an innocent Roman citizen publiclymangled with scourging ; whilst the only words he uttered, amidst his cruel sufferings, were, "I am à Roman citizen!?! With these he hoped to defend himself from violence and infamy. But of. so little service was this privilege with him, that, while he was thus asserting his citizenship, the order was given for liis execution,--for his execution upon the cross !
O liberty! O sound once delightful to every Roman ear! O sacred privilege of Roman citizenship lonce sacred ! Dow trampled upon !-But what then! Is it come to this ? Shall an inferior magistrate,a governor,who holds his whole power of the Roman people, in a Roman province, within sight of Italy, bind, scourge, torture with fire and red hot plates of iron, and at last put to the infamous death of the cross, a Roman citizen ? Shall neither the cries of innocence expiring in agony, nor the tears of pitying spectators, nor the majesty of the Roman commonwealth, nor the fear of the justice of his country, 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, will not, by suffering the atrocious and unexampled insolence of Caius Verres to escape due punishment, leave room to apprehend the danger of a total subversion of authority, and the introduction of general anarchy and confusion,
SECTION II. Speech of ADHERBAL to the Roman Senate, imploring their
protection against JUGURTHA. FATHERS!
It is known to you, that king Micipsa, my father, on his death-bed, left in charge to Jugurtba, his adopted son, conjunctly with my unfortunate brother Hiempsal and mysel, the children of his own body, the administration of the kingdom of Numidia, directing us to consider the senate and people of Rome as proprietors of it. He charged us to nse our best endeavours to be serviceable to the Roman commonwealth; assuring us, that your protection would prove a defence against all enemies; and would be instead of armies, fortifications and treasures.
While my brother and I were thinking of nothing but how to regulate ourselves according to the directions of our deceased father-Jugurtha--the most infamous of mankind !-breaking through all ties of gratitude and of common ħumanity, and trampling on the authority of the Roman commonwealth, procured the murder of my unfortunate brother; and has driven me from my throne and native country, though he knows I inherit, from my grandfather Massinissa, and my father Micipsa, the friendship and alliance of the Romans.
For a prince to be reduced, by villany, to my distressful circumstances, is calamity enough ; but my misfortunes are heightened by the consideration—that I find myself obliged to solicit your assistance, fathers, for the services done you by my ancestors, not for any I have been able to render you in my own person. Jugurtha has put it out of my power to deserve any thing at your hands; and has forced me to be burdensome, before I could be useful to you. And had no plea, but my undeserved misery-a ce powerful prince, the descendant of a race of illustrious monarchs,now, without any fault of my own, destitute of every support, and reduced to the necessity of begging foreign assistance against an enemy who has seized my throne and my kingdom-if my unequalled distresses were all I had to plead-it would become the greatness of the Roman commonwealth, to protect the injured, and to check the triumph of daring wickednessover helpless innocence. But, to provokeyour resentment to the utmost, Jugurtha has driven me from the very dominions, which the senate and people of Rome gave to my ancestors; and, from which, my grandfather, and my father, under your umbrage,expelled Sypbax andthe Carthaginians. Thus,
yet, if I
fathers, your kindoess to our family is defeated ; and Jugurtha, in injuring me, throws contempt upon you,
O wretched prince ! Oh cruel reverse of fortune ! Oh fa. ther Micipsa! is this the consequence of thy generosity; that he, whom thy goodness raised to an equality with thy own children, should be the murderer of thy children ? Must, then, the royal house of Numidia always be a scene of havoc and blood? Wbile Carthage remained, we suffered, as was to be expected,all sorts of hardships from their hostile attacks; our enemy near; our only powerful ally, the Roman commonwealth, at a distance. When that scourge of Africa was no more, we congratulated ourselves on the prospect of established peace. But, instead of peace, behold the kingdom of Numidia drenched with royal blood ! and the only surviving son of its late king, dying from an adopted murderer, and seeking that safety in foreign parts, which he cannot command in his own kingdom.
Whither-Oh! whither shall I fly? If I return to the royal palace of my ancestors, my father's throne is seized by the murderer of my brother. What can I there expect, but that Jugurtha should hasten to imbrue in my blood those hands which are now reeking with my brother's ? If I were to fly for refuge, or for assistance to any other court, from what prince can I hope for protection, if the Roman commonwealth give me up ? From my own family or friends I have no expectations. My royal father is no more. He is beyond the reach of violence, and out of bearing of the complaints of his unhappy son. Were my brother alive, our mutual sympathy would be some alleviation. But he is hurried out of life, in his early youth, by the very hand which should have been the last to injure any of the royal family of Numidia. The bloody Jugurtha has butchered all whom he suspected to be in my interest. Some have been destroyed by tbe lingering torment of the cross. Others have been given a prey to wild beasts ; and their anguish made the sport of men more cruel than wild beasts,
If there be any yet alive, they are shut up in dungeons, there to drag out a life more intolerable than death itself,
Look down, illustrious senators of Rome ! from that height of power to which you are raised, on the unexampled distresses of a prince, who is, by the cruelty of a wicked iatruder, become an outcast from all mankind. Let not the crafty insinuations of him who returns murder for adoption, prejudice your judgment. Do not listen to the wretch who