Cicero, pro S. Roscio Amerino (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Cic. S. Rosc.].
<<Cic. S. Rosc. 139 Cic. S. Rosc. 146 (Latin) >>Cic. S. Rosc. 154

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

148

Does it appear to you a shameful thing that he is defended with earnestness? Believe me, if, in return for the hospitality and kindness of his father, all his hereditary friends were to choose to be present and dared to speak with freedom, he would be defended numerously enough; and if because of the greatness of the injury, and because the interests of the whole republic are imperilled by his danger, they all were to punish this conduct, you would not in truth be able to sit in that place. Now he is defended so that his adversaries ought not to be indignant at it, and ought not to think that they are surpassed in power.

149 What is done at home is done by means of Caecilia; the management of what takes place in the forum and court of justice, Messala, as you, O judges, see, has undertaken. And if he were of an age and strength equal to it, he would speak himself for Sextus Roscius. But since his age is an obstacle to his speaking, and also his modesty which sets off his age, he has entrusted the cause to me, who he knew was desirous of it for his sake, and who ought to be so, He himself, by his assiduity, by his wisdom, by his influence, and by his industry, has taken care that the life of Sextus Roscius, having been saved out of the bands of assassins, should be committed to the decisions of the judges. Of a truth, O judges, it was for this nobility that the greatest part of the city was in arms; this was all done that the nobles might be restored to the state, who would act as you see Messala acting; who would defend the life of an innocent man; who would resist injury; who would rather show what power they had in procuring the safety than the destruction of another. And if all who were born in the same rank did the same, the republic would be less harassed by them, and they themselves would be less harassed by envy.

ch. 52

150

But if, O judges, we cannot prevail with Chrysogonus to be content with our money, and not to aim at our life; if he cannot be induced, when he has taken from us everything which was our private property, not to wish to take away this light of life also which we have in common with all the world; if he does not consider it sufficient to glut his avarice with money, if he be not also dyed with blood cruelly shed—there is one refuge, O judges; there is one hope left to Sextus Roscius, the same which is left to the republic—your ancient kindness and mercy; and if that remain, we can even yet be saved. But if that cruelty which at present stalks abroad in the republic has made your dispositions also more harsh and cruel, (but that can never be the case,) then there is an end of everything, O judges; it is better to live among brute beasts than in such a savage state of things as this.



Cicero, pro S. Roscio Amerino (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Cic. S. Rosc.].
<<Cic. S. Rosc. 139 Cic. S. Rosc. 146 (Latin) >>Cic. S. Rosc. 154

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