Cicero, pro Flacco (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Cic. Flac.].
<<Cic. Flac. 87 Cic. Flac. 94 (Latin) >>Cic. Flac. 99

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91 What was his object in leaving this city? in depriving himself of the glorious liberty existing here? in undergoing all the danger of a voyage? just as if he might not have devoured his property here at Rome. Now at last this jolly son writes to

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his mother, an old woman not very likely to suspect him, and clears himself by a letter, in order to appear not to have spent all that money with which he had crossed the sea, but to have given it to Flaccus.

ch. 37

But those crops of the Trallians had been sold when Globulus was praetor. Falcidius had bought them for nine hundred thousand sesterces. If he gives so much money to Flaccus, he assuredly gives it to secure the ratification of that purchase. He then buys something which certainly was worth a great deal more than he gave for it; he pays for it out of his profit; he never touches his capital. Therefore he makes the less profit.

92 Why does he order his Alban farm to be sold? Why, besides, does he caress his mother in this way? Why does he try to overreach the imbecility of his sister and mother by letters? Lastly, why do we not hear the man's own statement? He is detained, I suppose, in the province. His mother says he is not. “He would have come,” says the prosecutor, “if he had been summoned.” You certainly would have compelled him to come, if you had thought your statement would receive any real confirmation from his appearing as a witness. But you were unwilling to take the man away from his business. There was an arduous contest before him; a very severe battle with the Greeks; who, however, as I think, are defeated and overthrown. For he by himself beat all Asia in the size of his cups, and in his power of drinking. But still, who was it, O Laelius, who gave you information about those letters? The women say that they do not know. Who is it then? Did the man himself tell you that he had written to his sister and mother?

93 or did he write at your entreaty? But do you put no questions to Marcus Aebutius, a most sensible and virtuous man, a relation of Falcidius? Do you decline to examine Caius Manilius his son-in-law, a man of equal integrity? men who certainly must have heard something of so large a sum of money, if it had been given. Did you, O Decianus, think that you were going to prove so heavy a charge, by reading these letters, and bringing forward these women, while the author whom you were quoting was kept at a distance? Especially when you yourself, by not producing Falcidius, declared your own opinion that a forged letter would have more weight than the feigned voice and simulated indignation of the man himself if present.


But why keep on so long discussing and expostulating about the letters of Falcidius, or about Andron Sextilius, or about the income of Decianus, and say nothing about the safety of fortunes of the state, and the general interests of the republic? the whole of which are at stake in this trial, and are resting on your shoulders,—on yours, I say, you who are our judges. You see in what critical times, in what uncertain and variable circumstances, we are all at present placed.

ch. 38

There are certain men who are planning many other things, and who are labouring most especially to cause your inclinations, your formal decisions and sentences to appear in a most unfavourable and odious light to all the most respectable citizen. You have given many important decisions in a manner suited to the dignity of the republic and particularly you have given many respecting the guilt of the conspirators. They do not think that the republic has been turned upside down enough unless they can overwhelm citizens who have deserved well of the republic with the same punishment as that with which this impious man Caius Antonius has been crushed.

95 Be it so. He had some particular misdeeds of his own to bear up against. And yet even he (I say this on my own responsibility) would never have been condemned if you had been his judges, he, a man by whose condemnation the tomb of Catiline was decked with flowers and the sepulchres of all those most audacious men and domestic enemies were honoured with assemblies and banquets, and by which the shade of Catiline was appeased. Now an expiation for the death of Lentulus is sought to be obtained at Flaccus's expense, and by your instrumentality. What victim can you offer more acceptable to the manes of Publius Lentulus,—who intended, after you had been all murdered amid the embraces of your children and your wives, to bury you beneath the burning ruins of your country,—than you will offer, if you satiate his impious hatred towards all of us in the blood of Lucius Flaccus?

96 Let us then offer a sacrifice to Lentulus, let us make atonement to Cethegus, let us recall the exiles, let us in our turn, if you, O judges, think fit, suffer the punishment due to too great piety, and to the greatest possible affection towards our country. At this moment we are being mentioned by name by the informers; accusations are being invented against us; dangers are being prepared for us. And if they did these things by the instrumentality of others,—if, in short, by using the name of the people, they had excited a mob of ignorant citizens, we could bear it with more equanimity.

But this can never be borne, that they should think that, by means of senators and knights of Rome, who have done all these things with a view to the safety of all the citizens, by their common decision, animated with one idea, and inspired with one and the same virtue, the prime movers, and leaders, and chief actors in these transactions, can be deprived of all their fortunes, and be expelled from the city. In truth, they are acquainted with the feelings and inclinations of the Roman people; by every means which it is master of, the Roman people indicates what are its opinions and feelings; there is no diversity of opinion, or of inclination, or of language.

Cicero, pro Flacco (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Cic. Flac.].
<<Cic. Flac. 87 Cic. Flac. 94 (Latin) >>Cic. Flac. 99

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