Cicero, pro S. Roscio Amerino (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Cic. S. Rosc.].
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141 Does Chrysogonus think that in this particular too he has some influence? Does her even wish to be powerful in this? O miserable and bitter circumstance! Nor, in truth, am I indignant at this, because I am afraid that he may have some influence; but I complain of the mere fact of his having dared this, of his having hoped that with such men as these he could have any influence to the injury of an innocent man.

ch. 49

Is it for this that the nobility has roused itself, that it has recovered the republic by arms and the sword—in order that freedmen and slaves might be able to maltreat the property of the nobles, and all your fortunes and ours, at their pleasure?

142 If that was the object, I confess that I erred in being anxious for their success. I admit that I was mad in espousing their party, although I espoused it, O judges, without taking up arms. But if the victory of the nobles ought to be an ornament and an advantage to the republic and the Roman people, then, too, my speech ought to be very acceptable to every virtuous and noble man. But if there be any one who thinks that he and his cause is injured when Chrysogonus is found fault with, he does not understand his cause, I may almost say he does not know himself. For the cause will be rendered more splendid by resisting every worthless man. The worthless favourers of Chrysogonus, who think that his cause and theirs are identical, are injured themselves by separating themselves from such splendour.

143 But all this that I have been now saying, as I mentioned before, is said on my own account, though the republic, and my own indignation, and the injuries done by these fellows, have compelled me to say it. But Roscius is indignant at none of these things; he accuses no one; he does not complain of the loss of his patrimony; he, ignorant of the world, rustic and down that he is, thinks that all those things which you say were done by Sulla were done regularly, legally and according to the law of nations. If he is only exempted from blame and acquitted of this nefarious accusation, he will be glad to leave the court.

144 If he is freed from this unworthy suspicion, he says that he can give up all his property with equanimity. He begs and entreats you, O Chrysogonus, if he has converted no part of his father's most ample possessions to his own use; if he has defrauded you in no particular; if he has given up to you and paid over and weighed out to you all his possessions with the most scrupulous faith; if he has given up to you the very garment with which he was clothed, and the ring off his finger; if he has stripped himself bare of everything, and has excepted nothing—he entreats you, I say, that he may be allowed to pass his life in innocence and indigence, supported by the assistance of his friends.

ch. 50

145

“You are in possession of my farms,” says he; “I am living on the charity of others; I do not object to that, both because I have a calm mind, and because it is inevitable. My own house is open to you, and is closed against myself. I endure that. You are master of my numerous household; I have not one slave. I submit to that, and think it is to be borne.” What would you have more? What are you aiming at? Why are you attacking me now? In what point do you think your desires injured by me? In what point do I stand in the way of your advantage? In what do I hinder you? If you wish to slay the man for the sake of his spoils, you have despoiled him. What do you want more? If you want to slay him out of enmity, what enmity have you against him whose farms you took possession of before you knew himself? If you fear him, can you fear anything from him who you see is unable to ward off so atrocious an injury from himself? If, because the possessions which belonged to Roscius have become yours, on that account you seek to destroy his son, do you not show that you are afraid of that which you above all other men ought not to be afraid of; namely, that sometime or other their father's property may be restored to the children of proscribed persons?

146 You do wrong, O Chrysogonus, if you place greater hope of being able to preserve your purchase, than in those exploits which Lucius Sulla has performed But if you have no cause for wishing this unhappy man to be afflicted with such a grievous calamity; if he has given up to you everything but his life, and has reserved to himself nothing of his paternal property, not even as a memorial of his father—then, in the name of the gods, what is the meaning of this cruelty, of this savage and inhuman disposition? What bandit was ever so wicked, what pirate was ever so barbarous, as to prefer stripping off his spoils from his victim stained with his blood, which he might possess his plunder unstained, without blood?

147 You know that the man has nothing, dares do nothing, has no power, has never harboured a thought against your estate; and yet you attack him whom you cannot fear, and ought not to hate; and when you see he has nothing left which you can take away from him—unless you are indignant at this, that you see him sitting with his clothes on in this court whom you turned naked out of his patrimony, as if off a wreck; as if you did not know that be is both fed and clothed by Caecilia, the daughter of Balearicus, [Note] the sister of Nepos, a most incomparable woman, who, though she had a most illustrious father, most honourable uncles, a most accomplished brother, yet, though she was a woman, carried her virtue so far, as to confer on them no less honour by her character than she herself received from their dignity.

ch. 51



Cicero, pro S. Roscio Amerino (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Cic. S. Rosc.].
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