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

ch. 34


“But a great and intolerable injury was done to Andrus Sextilius.” As, when his wife Valeria had died without a will, Flaccus managed the business in such a way as if the inheritance belonged to himself. And in that I should be glad to know what you find fault with,—is it, that he asserted anything which was false? How do you prove it? “She was,” says he, “a person of good family.” O man, learned in the law! What? cannot inheritances legally come from women of good family? “She was,” says he, “under the power of her husband.” Now I understand you; but was she so by use [Note] or by purchase? It could not be by use for legitimate guardianship cannot be annulled except by the consent of all the guardians. By purchase? Then it must have been with the consent of all of them; and certainly you will not say that that of Flaccus was obtained.

85 That alternative remains which he did not cease asserting loudly; “that Flaccus ought not, when he was praetor, to have attended to his own private concerns, or to have made any mention of the inheritance.” I hear, O Lucius Lucullus, that very great inheritances came to you, to you who are about to decide as judge on the case of Lucius Flaccus, on account of your exceeding liberality and of the great services which you had done your friends, during the time that you were governing the province of Asia with consular power. If any one had said that those inheritances belonged to him, would you have given them up? You, O Titus Vettius, if any inheritance in Africa comes to you, will you abandon it? or, will you retain it as your own, without being liable to the imputation of avarice, without any sacrifice of your dignity? “But the possession of the inheritance of which we are speaking was demanded in the name of Flaccus, when Globulus was praetor.” Well then, it was not any sudden violence, nor the idea of any favourable opportunity, nor force, nor any peculiarity of time, nor the possession of command and of the forces which induced Flaccus to commit this injury.


And, therefore, it is to this point that Marcus Lurco also, a most excellent man, and a great friend of mine, has especially addressed the sting of his evidence. He said, that it was not becoming for a praetor in his province to claim money from a private individual. Why, I should like to know, O Lurco, is it not becoming? It is not becoming to force or extort money, or to receive money contrary to the laws; but you will never convince me that it is not becoming to claim it, unless you can show that it is not lawful to do so. Is it right to accept of honorary lieutenancies for the sake of exacting what is one's due, as you yourselves have done lately, and as many good men have often done, (and I, indeed, find no fault with such conduct; I see that our allies complain of it;) and, do you think a praetor, if he, being in his province, does not abandon an inheritance which comes to him, is not only to be blamed but even to be condemned?

ch. 34“But Valeria,” says he, “had given up all her money as dower to her husband.” None of those assertions can be admitted, unless you prove that she was not under the guardianship of Flaccus. If she was, whatever money on her marriage was assigned to her husband without his consent, the assignment is null.

Cicero, pro Flacco (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Cic. Flac.].
<<Cic. Flac. 76 Cic. Flac. 84 (Latin) >>Cic. Flac. 89

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