Cicero, pro Flacco (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Cic. Flac.].
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77 You add real causes of the enmity between you, that your father as tribune of the people prosecuted the father of Lucius Flaccus when he was curule aedile. But that ought not to have been very annoying even to Flaccus's father himself; especially as he, who was prosecuted, was afterwards made praetor and consul, and the man who prosecuted him could not even remain in the city as a private individual. But if you thought that a reasonable ground for enmity, why, when Flaccus was military tribune, did you serve as a soldier in his legion, when by the military law you might have avoided the injustice of the tribune? And why did the praetor summon you, his hereditary enemy, to his counsels? And how sacredly such obligations are accustomed to be observed, you all know.

78 At present we are prosecuted by men who were our counselors. “Flaccus issued a decree.” Did he issue a different decree from what he ought? “against freemen.” Was it contrary to the resolution to which the senate had come? “He issued this decree against an absent man.” When you were in the same race, and when you refused to come forward, that is a different thing from being absent. [The resolution of the senate and the decree of Flaccus are read.] What next? suppose he had not made a decree, but had only issued an edict, who could have found fault with him with truth? Are you going to find fault with the letters of my brother, full of humanity and equity. The same [Note] letters which, having been given by me Read the letters of Quintus Cicero. [The letters of Quintus Cicero are read.] What? did the people of Apollonides, when they had an opportunity, report these things to Flaccus?

79 Were they not argued in court before Orbius? Were they not reported to Orbius? Did not the deputies of Apollonia report to our senate in my consulship all the demands which they had to make respecting the injuries which they had received from this one man, Decianus?

“Oh, but you gave in an estimate of these farms also at the census.” I say nothing of their being other people's property; I say nothing of their having been got possession of by violence; I say nothing of the conviction by the Apollonidians that ensued; I say nothing of the business having been repudiated by the people of Pergamus; I say nothing of the fact that restitution of the whole was compelled by our magistrates; I say nothing of the fact that neither by law, nor in fact, nor even by the right of occupation, did they belong to you.

80 I only ask this; whether those farms can be bought and sold by the civil law; whether they come under the provisions of the civil law, whether or no they are freehold, whether they can be registered at the treasury and before the censor? Lastly, in what tribe did you register those farms? You managed it so, that if any serious emergency had arisen, tribute might have been levied on the same farms both at Apollonides and at Rome. However, be it so; you were in a boastful humour. You wanted a great amount of land to be registered as yours, and of that land too, which cannot be distributed among the Roman people. Besides that, you were registered as possessed of' money in hand, cash to the amount of a hundred and thirty thousand sesterces. I do not suppose that you counted that money; but I pass over all these things. You registered the slaves of Amyntas; and, in that respect you did not wrong; for Amyntas is the owner of those slaves. And at first indeed he was alarmed when he heard that you had registered his slaves. He consulted lawyers. It was decreed by all of them that if Decianus could make other people's property his by registering it as such, he would have very great

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You now know the cause of the enmity by which Decianus was excited to communicate to Laelius this grand accusation against Flaccus. For Laelius framed his complaint in this way, when he was speaking of the perfidy of Decianus: “He, who was my original informant; who communicated the facts of the case; whom I have followed, he has been bribed by Flaccus, he has deserted and abandoned me.” Have you, then, been the prime mover in bringing that man into peril of all his; fortunes, whose counselor you had been, with whom you had preserved all the privileges of your rank, a most virtuous man, a man born of a most noble family, a man who had done great services to the republic? Forsooth, I will defend Decianus, who has become suspected by you through no fault of his own.

82 Believe me, he was not bribed; for what was there which could have been got by bribing him? Could he have contrived for the trial to last longer? Why, the law only allows six hours altogether. How much would Decianus rather have taken away from those six hours, if he had wished to serve you. In truth, that is what he himself suspects,—you envied the ingenuity of your junior counsel. Because he discharged the part which he had undertaken with wit, and examined the witnesses cleverly, [Note] But if this be probable, at all events it is not very probable that Decianus was bribed by Flaccus.

83 And the rest of the case is just as improbable, as is what Lucceius says, that Lucius Flaccus had wished to give him two millions of sesterces to induce him to break his word. And do you accuse that man of avarice who you say was willing to abstain from taking two millions of sesterces? For when he was buying you, what was it that he was buying? Was it your desertion to his side? If you did come over to us, what share in the cause were we to give you? were we to allot to you the part of explaining the designs of Laelius? of saying what witnesses proceeded from his house? What? did not we ourselves see that they were living together? Who is there who does not know that? Is there the slightest doubt that the documents were in Laelius's power? or, was he bribing you not to accuse him with vigour and with eloquence? Now you give cause for suspicion; for you spoke in such a manner that some point or other does seem to have been carried with you.

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Cicero, pro Flacco (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Cic. Flac.].
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