Cicero, pro S. Roscio Amerino (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Cic. S. Rosc.].
<<Cic. S. Rosc. 111 Cic. S. Rosc. 118 (Latin) >>Cic. S. Rosc. 126


Moreover, consider now, O judges, the other matters, that you may see that no crime can be imagined with which that fellow has not disgraced himself. In less important matters, to deceive one's partner is a most shameful thing, and equally base with that which I have mentioned before. And rightly; because he who has communicated an affair to another thinks that he has procured assistance for himself. To whose good faith, then, shall a man have recourse who is injured by the want of faith in the man whom he has trusted? But these offences are to be punished with the greatest severity which are guarded against with the greatest difficulty. We can be reserved towards strangers; intimate friends must see many things more openly; but how can we guard against a companion? for even to be afraid of him is to do violence to the rights of duty. Our ancestors therefore rightly thought that he who had deceived his companion ought not to be considered in the number of good men.

117 But Titus Roscius did not deceive one friend alone in a money matter, (which, although it be a grave offence, still appears possible in some degree to be borne) but he led on, cajoled, and deserted nine most honourable men, betrayed them to their adversaries, and deceived them with every circumstance of fraud and perfidy. They who could suspect nothing of his wickedness, ought not to have been afraid of the partner of their duties; they did not see his malice, they trusted his false speech. Therefore these most honourable men are now, on account of his treachery, thought to have been incautious and improvident He who was at the beginning a traitor, then a deserter—who at first reported the counsels of his companions to their adversaries, and then entered into a confederacy with the adversaries themselves, even now terrifies us, and threatens us, adorned with his three farms, that is, with the prizes of his wickedness. In such a life as his, O judges, amid such numerous and enormous crimes, you will find this crime too, with which the present trial is concerned.

118 In truth you ought to make investigation on this principle; where you see that many things have been done avariciously, many audaciously, many wickedly, many perfidiously, there you ought to think that wickedness also lies hid among so many crimes; although this indeed does not lie hid at all, which is so manifest and exposed to view, that it may be perceived, not by those vices which it is evident exist in him, but even if any one of those vices be doubted of, he may be convicted of it by the evidence of this crime. What then, I ask, shall we say, O judges? Does this gladiator seem entirely to have thrown off his former character? or does that pupil of his seem to yield but little to his master in skill? Their avarice is equal, their dishonesty similar, their impudence is the same; the audacity of the one is twin-sister to the audacity of the other.

ch. 41


Now forsooth, since you have seen the good faith of the master, listen to the justice of the pupil. I have already said before, that two slaves have been continually begged of them to be put to the question. You have always refused it, O Titus Roscius. I ask of you whether they who asked it were unworthy to obtain it? or had he, on whose behalf they asked it, no influence with you? or did the matter itself appear unjust? The most noble and respectable men of our state, whom I have named before, made the request, who have lived in such a manner, and are so esteemed by the Roman people, that there is no one who would not think whatever they said reasonable. And they made the request on behalf of a most miserable and unfortunate man, who would wish even himself to be submitted to the torture, provided the inquiry into his father's death might go on.

120 Moreover, the thing demanded of you was such that it made no difference whether you refused it or confessed yourself guilty of the crime. And as this is the case, I ask of you why you refused it? When Sextus Roscius was murdered they were there. The slaves themselves, as far as I am concerned, I neither accuse nor acquit; but the point which I see you contending for, namely, that they be not submitted to the question, is full of suspicion. But the reason of their being held in such horror by you, must be that they know something, which, if they were to tell, will be pernicious to you. Oh, say you, it is unjust to put questions to slaves against their masters. Is any such question meant to be put? For Sextus Roscius is the defendant, and when inquiry is being made into his conduct, you do not say that you are their masters. Oh, they are with Chrysogonus. I suppose so; Chrysogonus is so taken with their learning and accomplishments, that be wishes these men—men little better than labourers from the training of a rustic master of a family at Ameria, to mingle with his elegant youths, masters of every art and every refinement—youths picked out of many of the politest households.

121 That cannot be the truth, O judges; it is not probable that Chrysogonus has taken a fancy to their learning or their politeness, or that he should be acquainted with their industry and fidelity in the business of a household. There is something which is hidden; and the more studiously it is bidden and kept back by them, so much the more is it visible and conspicuous.

ch. 42


What, then, are we to think? Is Chrysogonus unwilling that these men shall be put to the question for the sake of concealing his own crime? Not so, O judges; I do not think that the same arguments apply to every one. As far as I am concerned, I have no suspicion of the sort respecting Chrysogonus, and this is not the first time that it has occurred to me to say so. You recollect that I so divided the cause at the beginning; into the accusation, the whole arguing of which was entrusted to Erucius; and into audacity, the business of which was assigned to the Roscii;—whatever crime, whatever wickedness, whatever bloodshed there is, all that is the business of the Roscii. We say that the excessive interest and power of Chrysogonus is a hindrance to us, and can by no means be endured; and that it ought not only to be weakened, but even to be punished by you, since you have the power given to you.

Cicero, pro S. Roscio Amerino (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Cic. S. Rosc.].
<<Cic. S. Rosc. 111 Cic. S. Rosc. 118 (Latin) >>Cic. S. Rosc. 126

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