Cicero, pro S. Roscio Amerino (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Cic. S. Rosc.].
<<Cic. S. Rosc. 78 Cic. S. Rosc. 85 (Latin) >>Cic. S. Rosc. 92

82 I fear that I may be wearisome to you, O judges, or that I may seem to distrust your capacity, if I dwell longer on matters which are so evident. The whole accusation of Erucius, as I think, is at an end; unless perhaps you expect me to refute the charges which he has brought against us of peculation and of other imaginary crimes of that sort; charges unheard of by us before this time, and quite novel; which he appeared to me to be spouting out of some other speech which he was composing against some other criminal; so wholly were they unconnected with either the crime of parricide, or the man who is now on his trial. But as he accuses us of these things with his bare word, it is sufficient to deny them with our bare word. If there is any point which he is keeping back to prove by witnesses, there also, as in this cause, he shall find us more ready than he expected.

ch. 30

83

I come now to that point to which my desire does not lead me, but good faith towards my client. For if I wished to accuse men, I should accuse those men rather by accusing whom I might become more important, which I have determined not to do, as long as the alternatives of accusing and defending are both open to me. For that man appears to me the most honourable who arrives at a higher rank by his own virtue, not he who rises by the distress and misfortunes of another. Let us cease for awhile to examine into these matters which are unimportant; let us inquire where the guilt is, and where it can be detected. By this time you will understand, O Erucius, by how many suspicious circumstances a real crime must be proved, although I shall not mention every thing, and shall touch on every thing slightly. And I would not do even that if it were not necessary, and it shall be a sign that I am doing it against my will, that I will not pursue the point further than the safety of Roscius and my own good faith requires.

84 You found no motive in Sextus Roscius; but I do find one in Titus Roscius For I have to do with you now, O Titus Roscius, since you are sitting there and openly professing yourself an enemy. We shall see about Capito afterwards, if he comes forward as a witness as I hear he is ready to do then he shall hear of other victories of his, which he does not suspect that I ever even heard. That Lucius Cassius, whom the Roman people used to consider a most impartial and able judge, used constantly to ask at trials, “to whom it had been any advantage?” The life of men is so directed that no one attempts to proceed to crime without some hope of advantage.

85 Those who were about to be tried avoided and dreaded him as an investigator and a judge; because, although he was afraid of truth, he yet seemed not so much inclined by nature to mercy, as drawn by circumstances to severity. I, although a man is presiding at this trial who is both brave against audacity, and very merciful to innocence, would yet willingly suffer myself to speak in behalf of Sextus Roscius either before that very acute judge himself, or before other judges like him, whose very name those who have to stand a trial shudder at even now.

ch. 31

86

For when those judges saw in this cause that those men are in possession of abundant wealth, and that he is in the greatest beggary, they would not ask who had got advantage from the deed, but they would connect the manifest crime and suspicion of guilt rather with the plunder than with the poverty. What if this be added to that consideration that you were previously poor? what if it be added that you are avaricious? what if it be added that you are audacious? what if it be added that you were the greatest enemy of the man who has been murdered? need any further motive be sought for, which may have impelled you to such a crime? But which of all these particulars can be denied?

87 The poverty of the man is such that it cannot be concealed, and it is only the more conspicuous the more it is kept out of sight. Your avarice you make a parade of when you form an alliance with an utter stranger against the fortunes of a fellow-citizen and a relation. How audacious you are (to pass over other points), all men may understand from this, that out of the whole troop, that is to say, out of so many assassins, you alone were found to sit with the accusers, and not only to show them your countenance, but even to volunteer it. You must admit that you had enmity against Sextus Roscius, and great disputes about family affairs.

88 It remains, O judges, that we must now consider which of the two rather killed Sextus Roscius; did he to whom riches accrued by his death, or did he to whom beggary was the result? Did he who, before that, was poor, or he, who after that became most indigent? Did he, who burning with avarice rushes in like an enemy against his own relations, or he who has always lived in such a manner as to have no acquaintance with exorbitant gains, or with any profit beyond that which he procured with toil? Did he who, of all the brokers [Note] is the most audacious, or he who, because of the insolence of the forum and of the public courts, dreads not only the bench, but even the city itself? Lastly, O judges, what is most material of all to the argument in my opinion did his enemy do it or his son?

ch. 32

89

If you, O Erucius, had so many and such strong arguments against a criminal, how long you would speak; how you would plume yourself,—time indeed would fail you before words did. In truth, on each of these topics the materials are such that you might spend a whole day on each. And I could do the same; for I will not derogate so much from my own claims, though I arrogate nothing, as to believe that you can speak with more fluency than I can. But I, perhaps, owing to the number of advocates, may be classed in the common body; the battle of Cannae [Note] has made you a sufficiently respectable accuser. We have seen many men slain, not at Thrasymenus, but at Servilius. [Note]



Cicero, pro S. Roscio Amerino (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Cic. S. Rosc.].
<<Cic. S. Rosc. 78 Cic. S. Rosc. 85 (Latin) >>Cic. S. Rosc. 92

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