Cicero, pro Flacco (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Cic. Flac.].
<<Cic. Flac. 45 Cic. Flac. 50 (Latin) >>Cic. Flac. 57

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48

Do not fancy, O judges, that the impudence of cheats and repudiators is not one and the same in all places. This man did the very same things which debtors here are in the habit of doing. He denied that he had ever borrowed any money at all at Rome. He asserted that he had actually never heard the name of the Fufii; and he attacked Hermippus himself, a most modest and virtuous man, an ancient friend and hereditary connection of my own, the most eminent and accomplished man in his city, with every sort of reproach and abuse. But after this voluble gentleman had delivered himself in that fashion with a prodigious rapidity of eloquence for some time, all of a sudden, when the evidence of the Fufii and the items of their claim were read, though a most audacious man, he got alarmed; through a most talkative one, he became dumb. Therefore, the judges at the first trial gave a decision against him, in a matter which certainly did not admit of much doubt. As he did not comply with their decision, he was given up to Hermippus and put in prison by him.

ch. 21

49

Now you know the honesty of the man and the value of his evidence, and the whole reason of his enmity to Flaccus. Having been released by Hermippus after having sold him a few slaves, he came to Rome from thence he returned into Asia, when my brother Quintus had succeeded Flaccus in that government and went to him and related his story in this manner, saying that the judges being compelled and put in fear by the violence of Flaccus had given a false decision against their will. My brother as became his impartiality and prudence, decreed that if he demurred to the previous decision, he was to give security to double the amount; and that if he said that they were compelled by fear at the first trial, he should have the same judges again. He refused this, and as if there had been no trial and no decision, he began on the spot to demand back from Hermippus the slaves which he himself had sold him. Marcus Gratidius, the lieutenant, before whom he went refused to give him leave to proceed with the action, but declared that he should adhere to the decision already given.

50 A second time, as he had no place anywhere where he could remain, he betook himself to Rome. Hermippus, who never yields to his impudence, follows him hither. Heraclides demands from Caius Plotius, a senator, a man of the highest character, who had served in Asia as lieutenant some slaves, which he said he had sold under compulsion, at a time when an unjust decision had been given against him. Quintus Naso, a most accomplished man, who had been praetor, is appointed judge; and when he showed that he was going to give sentence in favour of Plotius, Heraclides left the judge, and abandoned the whole cause as if he had not had a fair and legal trial. Do I appear to you, O judges, to be dwelling too much on each individual witness, and not to be discussing the whole class of witnesses, as I originally intended?

51 I come now to Lysanias, of the same city,—your own especial witness, Decianus,—a

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man whom you, as you had known him at Temnos when a youth, since he had pleased you when naked, wished to be always naked. You took him from Temnos to Apollonia. You lent money to him while quite a youth, at great interest, having taken good security for the loan. You say that the securities have been forfeited to you, and to this day you detain them and keep them in your possession. And you have compelled this man to come forward to give evidence as a witness by the hope of recovering his paternal estate. And as he has not yet given his evidence, I am waiting to see what it is that he will state. For I know the sort of men that they are,—I know their habits, I know their licentious ways. Therefore, although I am certain what he is prepared to state, still I will not argue against it before he has stated it; for if I do, he will alter it all and invent something else. Let him, then, keep what he has prepared; and I will keep myself fresh for whatever statements he makes.

ch. 22

52

I come now to that state to which I myself have shown great kindness and done many great services, and which my brother has shown the greatest attachment to and fondness for. And if that city had brought its complaints before you by the month of creditable and respectable men, I should be a little more concerned about it; but now what am I to think? Am I to think that the Trallians entrusted their cause to Maeandrius, a needy, sordid man, without honour, without character, without income? Where were the Pythodori, the Aetideni, the Lepisos, and the other men who are well known among us, and who are of high rank among their own people? where is their splendid and high-spirited display of the respectability of their city? Would they not have been ashamed, if they had been serious about this business, that Maeandrius should be called, I will not say their deputy, but even a Trallian at all? Would they ever have entrusted to this man as their deputy,—to this man as their public witness, Lucius Flaccus the hereditary patron of their city, whose father and ancestors had been so before him, to be ruined by the evidence of their city? This cannot be the fact, O judges; it never can be.

53

I myself lately saw in some trial a Trallian witness of the name of Philodorus, I saw Parrhasius, I saw Archidemus, when this identical man Maeandrius came to me as a sort of attorney, suggesting to me what I might say, if I pleased, against his own fellow-citizens and his own city. For there is nothing more worthless than that fellow,—nothing more needy, nothing more infamous. Wherefore, if the Trallians employ him as the relater of their indignation, and the keeper of their letters, and the witness of their injuries, and the utterer of their complaints, let them lower their high tone for the future, let them restrain their high spirit, let them bridle their arrogance, let them confess that the best representative of their city is to be found in the person of Maeandrius. But if they themselves have always thought this man a man to be buffeted and trampled upon at home, let them cease to think that there is any authority in that evidence which there is no respectable person to father.

ch. 23

But I will explain what the facts of the case really are, that you may know why that city was neither severe in attacking Flaccus, nor very anxious to defend him.



Cicero, pro Flacco (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Cic. Flac.].
<<Cic. Flac. 45 Cic. Flac. 50 (Latin) >>Cic. Flac. 57

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