Cicero, pro Quinctio (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Cic. Quinct.].
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I ask these two questions. First of all, on what account Naevius did not complete the business he had undertaken; that is, why he did not sell the goods which he had taken possession of in accordance with the edict: Secondly, why out of so many other creditors no one reinforced his demand; so that you must of necessity confess that neither was any one of them so rash, and that you yourself were unable to persevere in and accomplish that which you had most infamously begun. What if you yourself, O Sextus Naevius, decided that the goods of Publius Quinctius had not been taken possession of according to the edict? I conceive that your evidence, which in a matter which did not concern yourself would be very worthless, ought to be of the greatest weight in an affair of your own when it makes against you. You bought the goods of Sextus Alphenus when Lucius Sulla, the dictator, sold them. You entered Quinctius in your books as the partner in the purchase of these goods. [Note] I say no more. Did you enter into a voluntary partnership with that man who had cheated in a partnership to which he had succeeded by inheritance;

77and did you by your own sentence approve of the man who you thought was stripped of his character and of all his fortunes? I had fears indeed, O Caius Aquillius, that I could not stand my ground in this cause with a mind sufficiently fortified and resolute. I thought thus, that, as Hortensius was going to speak against me, and as Philip was going to listen to me carefully, I should through fear stumble in many particulars. I said to Quintus Roscius here, whose sister is the wife of Publius Quinctius, when he asked of me, and, with the greatest earnestness, entreated me to defend his relation, that it was very difficult for me, not only to sum up a cause against such orators, but even to attempt to speak at all. When he pressed it more eagerly, I said to the man very familiarly, as our friendship justified, that a man appeared to me to have a very brazen face, who, while he was present, could attempt to use action in speaking, but those who contended with him himself, even though before that they seemed to have any skill or elegance, lost it, and that I was afraid lest something of the same sort would happen to me when I was going to speak against so great an artist.

ch. 25


Then Roscius said many other things with a view to encourage me, and in truth, if he were to say nothing he would still move any one by the very silent affection and zeal which he felt for his relation. In truth, as he is an artist of that sort that he alone seems worthy of being looked at when he is on the stage, so he is also a man of such a sort that he alone seems to deserve never to go thither. “But what,” says he, “if you have such a cause as this, that you have only to make this plain, that there is no one in two or three days at most can walk seven hundred miles? Will you still fear that you will not be able to argue this point against Hortensius?”

79 “No,” said I. “But what is that to the purpose?” “In truth,” said he, “that is what the cause turns upon.” “How so?” He then explains to me an affair of that sort, and at the same time an action of Sextus Naevius, which, if that alone were alleged, ought to be sufficient. And I beg of you, O Caius Aquillius, and of you the assessors, that you will attend to it carefully. You will see, in truth, that on the one side there were engaged from the very beginning covetousness and audacity, that on the other side truth and modesty resisted as long as they could. You demand to be allowed to take possession of his goods according to the edict. On what day I wish to hear you yourself, O Naevius. I want this unheard-of action to be proved by the voice of the very man who has committed it. Mention the day, Naevius. The twentieth of February. Right, how far is it from hence to your estate in Gaul? I ask you, Naevius. Seven hundred miles. Very well: Quinctius is driven off the estate. On what day? May we hear this also from you? Why are you silent? Tell me the day, I say.—He is ashamed to speak it. I understand; but he is ashamed too late, and to no purpose. He is driven off the estate on the twenty-third of February, O Caius Aquillius. Two days afterwards, or, even if any one had set off and run the moment he left the court, in under three days, he accomplishes seven hundred miles.

80 O incredible thing! O inconsiderate covetousness! O winged messenger! The agents and satellites of Sextus Naevius come from Rome, across the Alps, among the Segusiani in two days. O happy man who has such messengers, or rather Pegasi.

ch. 26

Here I, even if all the Crassi were to stand forth with all the Antonies, if you, O Lucius Philippus, who flourished among those men, choose to plead this cause, with Hortensius for your colleague, yet I must get the best of it. For everything does not depend, as you two think it does, on eloquence. There is still some truth so manifest that nothing can weaken it.

81 Did you, before you made the demand to be allowed to take possession of his goods, send any one to take care that the master should be driven by force off the estate by his own slaves? Choose whichever you like; the one is incredible; the other abominable; and both are unheard-of before this time. Do you mean that any one ran over seven hundred miles in two days? Tell me. Do you deny it? Then you sent some one beforehand. I had rather you did. For if you were to say that, you would be seen to tell an impudent lie: when you confess this, you admit that you did a thing which you cannot conceal even by a lies. Will such a design, so covetous, so audacious, so precipitate, be approved of by Aquillius and by such men as he is?

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