Cicero, pro Quinctio (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Cic. Quinct.].
<<Cic. Quinct. 89 Cic. Quinct. 95 (Latin) >>Cic. Quinct. 99

93 Publius Naevius does not compare himself with you, O Sextus Naevius, he does not vie with you in riches or power. He gives up to you all the arts by which you are great; he confesses that he does not speak elegantly; that he is not able to say pleasant things to people; that he does not abandon a friendship when his friend is in distress, and fly off to another which is in flourishing circumstances; that he does not give magnificent and splendid banquets; that he has not a house closed against modesty and holiness, but open and as it were exposed to cupidity and debauchery; on the other hand he says that duty, good faith, industry and a life which has been always austere and void of pleasure has been his choice; he knows that the opposite course is more fashionable, and that by such habits people have more influence. What then shall be done?

94 They have not so much more influence, that those who, having abandoned the strict discipline of virtuous men, have chosen rather to follow the gains and extravagance of Gallonius, [Note]

and have even spent their liven in audacity and perfidy which were no part of his character, should have absolute dominion over the lives and fortunes of honourable men. If he may be allowed to live where Sextus Naevius does not wish to, if there is room in the city for an honest man against the will of Naevius; if Publius Quinctius may be allowed to breathe in opposition to the nod and sovereign power of Naevius; if under your protection, he can preserve in opposition to the insolence of his enemy the ornaments which he has acquired by virtue, there is hope that this unfortunate and wretched man may at last be able to rest in peace. But if Naevius is to have power to do everything he chooses, and if he chooses what is unlawful, what is to be done? What God is to be appealed to? The faith of what man can we invoke? What complaints, what lamentations can be devised adequate to so great a calamity.

ch. 31


It is a miserable thing to be despoiled of all one's fortunes; it is more miserable still to be so unjustly. It is a bitter thing to be circumvented by any one, more bitter still to be so by a relation. It is a calamitous thing to be stripped of one's goods, more calamitous still if accompanied by disgrace. It is an intolerable injury to be slain by a brave and honourable man, more intolerable still to be slain by one whose voice has been prostituted to the trade of a crier. It is an unworthy thing to be conquered by one's equal or one's superior, more unworthy still by one's inferior, by one lower than oneself. It is a grievous thing to be handed over with one's goods to another, more grievous still to be handed over to an enemy. It is a horrible thing to have to plead to a capital charge, more horrible still to have to speak in one's own defence before one's accuser speaks.

96 Quinctius has looked round on all sides, has encountered every danger. He was not only unable to find a praetor from whom he could obtain a trial, much less one from whom he could obtain one on his own terms, but he could not even move the friends of Sextus Naevius, at whose feet he often lay, and that for a long time, entreating them by the immortal Gods either to contest the point with him according to law, or at least, if they must do him injustice, to do it without ignominy.

97 Last of all he approached the haughty countenance of his very enemy; weeping he took the hand of Sextus Naevius, well practised in advertising the goods of his relations. He entreated him by the ashes of his dead brother by the name of their relationship, by his own wife and children to whom no one is a nearer relation than Publius Quinctius, at length to take pity on him, to have some regard, if not for their relationship, at least for his age, if not for a man, at least for humanity, to terminate the matter on any conditions as long as they were only endurable, leaving his character unimpeached.

98 Being rejected by him, getting no assistance from his friends being passed and frightened by every magistrate he has no one but you whom he can appeal to you he commends himself to you he commends all his property and fortunes to you he commends his character and his hopes for the remainder of his life. Harassed by much contumely suffered in under many injuries he flies to you not unworthy but unfortunate; driven out of a beautiful farm with his enemies attempting to fix every possible mark of ignominy on him, seeing his adversary the owner of his paternal property, while he himself is unable to make up a dowry for his marriageable daughter, he has still done nothing inconsistent with his former life.

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