Cicero, pro Milone (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Cic. Mil.].
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1

Although I am afraid, O judges, that it is a base thing for one who is beginning to speak for a very brave man to be alarmed, and though it is far from becoming, when Titus

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Annius Milo himself is more disturbed for the safety of the republic than for his own, that I should not be able to bring to the cause a similar greatness of mind, yet this novel appearance of a new [Note] manner of trial alarms my eyes, which, wherever they fall, seek for the former customs of the forum and the ancient practice in trials. For your assembly is not surrounded by a circle of bystanders as usual; we are not attended by our usual company. [Note]

2

For those guards which you behold in front of all the temples, although they are placed there as a protection against violence, yet they bring no aid to the orator, so that even in the forum and in the court of justice itself, although we are protected with all military and necessary defences, yet we cannot be entirely without fear. But if I thought this adverse to Milo, I should yield to the times, O judges, and among such a crowd of armed men, I should think there was no room for an orator. But the wisdom of Cnaeus Pompeius, a most wise and just man, strengthens and encourages me, who would certainly neither think it suitable to his justice to deliver that man up to the weapons of the soldiery whom he had given over as an accused person to the decision of the judges, nor suitable to his wisdom to arm the rashness of an excited multitude with public authority.

3

So that those arms, those centurions, those cohorts, do not announce danger to us, but protection; nor do they expect us only to be calm, but even to be courageous, nor do they promise only assistance to my defence but also silence. And the rest of the multitude which consists of citizens is wholly ours; nor is there any one individual among those whom you see from this place gazing upon us from all sides from which any part of the forum can be seen and watching the result of this trial who, while he favours the virtue of Milo, does not think that this day in reality his own interests, those of his children, his country, and his fortunes, are at stake.

ch. 2

There is one class adverse and hostile to us,—those

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whom the madness of Publius Clodius has fed on rapine, on conflagration, and on every sort of public disaster; and who were, even in the assembly held yesterday, exhorted [Note] to teach you, by their clamour, what you were to decide. But such shouts, if any reached you, should rather warn you to retain him as a citizen who has always slighted that class of men, and their greatest clamour, in comparison with your safety.

4 Wherefore, be of good courage, O judges, and lay aside your alarm, if indeed you feel any; for if ever you had to decide about good and brave men, and about citizens who had deserved well of their country, if ever an opportunity was given to chosen men of the most honourable ranks to show by their deeds and resolutions that disposition towards brave and good citizens which they had often declared by their looks and by their words, all that power you now have, when you are to determine whether we who have always been wholly devoted to your authority are to be miserable, and to mourn for ever, or whether, having been long harassed by the most abandoned citizens, we shall at length he reprieved and set up again by you, your loyalty, your virtue, and your wisdom.

5 For what, O judges, is more full of labour than we both are, what can be either expressed or imagined more full of anxiety and uneasiness than we are, who being induced to devote ourselves to the republic by the hope of the most honourable rewards, yet cannot be free from the fear of the most cruel punishments? I have always thought indeed that Milo had to encounter the other storms and tempests in these billows of the assemblies because he always espoused the cause of the good against the bad; but in a court of justice, and in that council in which the most honourable men of all ranks are sitting as judges, I never imagined that Milo's enemies could have any hope of diminishing his glory by the aid of such men, much less of at all injuring his safety.

6 Although in this cause, O judges, we shall not employ the tribuneship of Titus Annius, and all the exploits which he has performed for the safety of the republic, as topics for our defence against this accusation, unless you see with your own eyes that a plot was laid against Milo by Clodius; and we shall not entreat you to pardon us this one offence in consideration

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of our many eminent services to the republic, nor shall we demand, if the death of Publius Clodius was your safety, that on that account you should attribute it rather to the virtue of Milo, than to the good fortune of the Roman people; but if his plots are made clearer than the day, then indeed I shall entreat, and shall demand of you, O judges, that, if we have lost everything else, this at least may be left us,—namely, the privilege of defending our lives from the audacity and weapons of our enemies with impunity.

ch. 3

7

But before I come to that part of my speech which especially belongs to this trial, it seems necessary to refute those things which have been often said, both in the senate by our enemies, and in the assembly of the people by wicked men, and lately, too, by our prosecutors; so that when every cause of alarm is removed, you may be able distinctly to see the matter which is the subject of this trial. They say that that man ought no longer to see the light who confesses that another man has been slain by him. In what city, then, are these most foolish men using this argument? In this one, forsooth, where the first trial for a man's life that took place at all was that of Marcus Horatius, a most brave man, who even before the city was free was yet acquitted by the assembly of the Roman people, though he avowed that his sister had been slain by his hand.



Cicero, pro Milone (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Cic. Mil.].
<<Cic. Mil. 1 Cic. Mil. 1 (Latin) >>Cic. Mil. 10

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