96 After Sextus Roscius is slain, who is the first to take the news to Ameria? Mallius Glaneia, whom I have named before, your own client and intimate friend. What did it concern him above all men to bring the news of what, if you had not previously formed some plan with reference to his death and property, and had formed no conspiracy with any one else, having either the crime or its reward for its object, concerned you least of all men? Oh, Mallius brought the news of his own accord! What did it concern him, I beg? or, as he did not come to Ameria on account of this business, did it happen by chance that he was the first to tell the news which he had heard at Rome? On what account did he come to Ameria? I cannot conjecture, says he. I will bring the matter to such a point that there shall be no need of conjecture. On what account did he announce it first to Roscius Capito? When the house, and wife, and children of Sextus Roscius were at Ameria; when he had so many kinsmen and relations on the best possible terms with himself, on what account did it happen that that client of yours, the reporter of your wickedness, did it to Titus Roscius Capito above all men?
97 He was slain returning home from supper. It was not yet dawn when it was known at Ameria. Why was this incredible speed? What does this extraordinary haste and expedition intimate? I do not ask who struck the blow; you have nothing to fear, O Glaucia. I do not shake you to see if you have any weapon about you. I am not examining that point; I do not think I am at all concerned with that. Since I have found out by whose design he was murdered, by whose hand he was murdered I do not care. I assume one point, which your open wickedness and the evident state of the case gives me. Where, or from whom, did Glaucia hear of it? Who knew it so immediately? Suppose he did hear of it immediately; what was the affair which compelled to take so long a journey in one night? What was the great necessity which pressed upon him, so as to make him, if he was going to Ameria of his own accord, set out from Rome at that time of night, and devote no part of the night to sleep?
In a case so evident as this must we seek for arguments, or hunt for conjectures? Do you not seem, O judges, actually to behold with your own eyes what you have been hearing? Do you not see that unhappy man, ignorant of his fate, returning from supper? Do you not see the ambush that is laid? the sudden attack? Is not Glaucia before your eyes, present at the murder? Is not that Titus Roscius present? Is he not with his own hands placing that Automedon in the chariot, the messenger of his most horrible wickedness and nefarious victory? Is he not entreating him to keep awake that night? to labour for his honour? to take the news to Capito as speedily as possible?
99 Why was it that be wished Capito to be the first to know it? I do not know, only I see this, that Capito is a partner in this property. I see that, of thirteen farms, he is in possession of three of the finest.
100 I hear besides, that this suspicion is not fixed upon Capito for the first time now; that he has gained many infamous victories; but that this is the first very splendid [Note] one which he has gained at Rome; that there is no manner of committing murder in which he has not murdered many men; many by the sword, many by poison. I can even tell you of one man whom, contrary to the custom of our ancestors, he threw from the bridge into the Tiber, when he was not sixty years of age; [Note] and if he comes forward, or when he comes forward, for I know that he will come forward, he shall hear of him.
101 Only let him come; let him unfold that volume of his which I can prove that Erucius wrote for him, which they say that he displayed to Sextus Roscius, and threatened that he would mention everything contained in it in his evidence. O the excellent witness, O judges; O gravity worthy of being attended to; O honourable course of life! such that you may with willing minds make your oaths depend upon his testimony! In truth we should not see the crimes of these men so clearly if cupidity, and avarice, and audacity, did not render them blind.
One of them sent a swift messenger from the very scene of murder to Ameria, to his partner and his tutor; so that if every one wished to conceal his knowledge of whom the guilt belonged to, yet he himself placed his wickedness visibly before the eyes of all men. The other (if the immortal gods will only let him) is going to give evidence also against Sextus Roscius. As if the matter now in question were, whether what he said is to be believed, or whether what he did is to be punished. Therefore it was established by the custom of our ancestors, that even in the most insignificant matters, the most honourable men should not be allowed to give evidence in their own cause.