Cicero, in Verrem (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Cic. Ver.].
<<Cic. Ver. 2.5.30 Cic. Ver. 2.5.36 (Latin) >>Cic. Ver. 2.5.43

2.5.34 But afterwards, when he had become hardened by a long course of such infamy,—when he had sated others, not himself,—why need I relate what sort of man he turned out? what carefully guarded defences of modesty and chastity he broke down by violence and audacity? or why should I connect the disgrace of an, one else with his profligacy? I will not do so, O judges. I will pass over all old stories; I will only mention two recent achievements of his, without fixing infamy on any one else; and by those you will be able to conjecture the rest. One of them is, that it was so notorious to every one, that during the consulship of Lucius Lucullus and Marcus Cotta, no one ever came up from any municipal town to Rome on any law business, who was so ill-informed of what was going on as not to know that all the laws of the Roman people were regulated by the will and pleasure of Chelidon the prostitute. The other is that, after he had left the city in the robe of war,—after he had pronounced the solemn vows for the success of his administration, and for the common welfare of the republic, he was accustomed, for the sake of committing adultery, to be brought back into the city, at night, in a litter, to a woman who, though the wife of one man, was common to all men, contrary to law, contrary to what was required by the auspices, contrary to everything which is held sacred among gods and men.

ch. 14


O ye immortal gods! what a difference is there between the minds and ideas of men! So may your good opinion and that of the Roman people approve of my intentions, and sanction my hopes for the rest of my life, as I have received those offices with which the Roman people has as yet entrusted me with the feeling that I was bound to a conscientious discharge of every possible duty. I was appointed quaestor with the feeling that that honour was not given to me so much as lent and entrusted to me. I obtained the quaestorship in the province of Sicily, and considered that every man's eyes were turned upon me alone. So that I thought that I and my quaestorship were being exhibited on some theatre open to the whole world; so that I denied myself all those things which seem to be indulgences, not merely to those irregular passions, but even those which are coveted by nature itself and by necessity.

2.5.36 Now I am aedile elect, I consider what it is that I have received from the Roman people; I consider that I am bound to celebrate holy games with the most solemn ceremonies to Ceres, to Bacchus, and to Libera; that I am bound to render Flora propitious to the Roman nation and people by the splendour of her games; that it is my office to celebrate those most ancient games, which were the first that were ever called Roman games, with the greatest dignity and with all possible religious observance, in honour of Juno, Jupiter, and Minerva; that the charge of protecting all the sacred buildings and the whole city is entrusted to me; that as a recompense for all that labour and anxiety these honours are granted to me,—an honourable precedence in delivering my opinion in the senate; a toga praetexta; a curule chair; a right of transmitting my image to the recollection of my posterity.

2.5.37 I wish, O judges, that all the gods may be propitious to me, as I do not receive by any means so much pleasure from all these things, (though the honours conferred on me by the people are most acceptable to me,) as I feel anxiety, and as I will take pains, that this aedileship may not seem to have been given to some one of the candidates, because it could not be helped, but to have been conferred on me because it was proper that it should be, and to have been conferred by the deliberate judgment of the people.

ch. 15


You, when you were appointed praetor, by whatever means it was brought about,—for I leave out and pass over everything that was done at that time,—but when you were appointed, as I have said, were you not roused by the very voice of the crier, who made such frequent announcements that you had been invested with that honour by the centimes of the seniors and juniors, to think that some part of the republic had been entrusted to you? that for that one year you must do without the house of a prostitute? When it fell to you by lot to preside in the court of justice, did you never consider what an important affair, what a burden you had imposed on you? Did it never once occur to you, if by any chance you were able to awaken yourself, that that province, which it was difficult for a man to administer properly even if endowed with the greatest wisdom and the greatest integrity, had fallen to the lot of the greatest stupidity and worthlessness? Therefore, you were not only unwilling to drive Chelidon from your house during your praetorship, but you even transported your whole praetorship to Chelidon's house.

2.5.39 The province followed; in which it never occurred to you that the fasces and axes, and such absolute authority, and such dignity, and every sort of decoration, was not given to you in order, by the power and authority derived from these things, to break down all the barriers of law and modesty and duty, and to consider every man's property as your own booty; so that no man's estate could be safe, no man's house closed; no man's life protected, no woman's chastity fortified, against your cupidity and audacity; in which you behaved yourself in such a way that, being detected in everything, you take refuge in an imaginary war of runaway slaves; by which you now perceive, that not only no defence is procured for you, but that an immense body of accusations is raised up against you; unless, indeed, you are going to speak of the relics of the war in Italy, and the disaster of Temsa. [Note] But when your fortune recently conducted you to that place, at a most seasonable time, if you had any courage, or any energy, you were found to be the same man that you had ever been.

ch. 16

Cicero, in Verrem (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Cic. Ver.].
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