Cicero, Pro Roscio Amerino 62-141

 

62. That which, in even the least offenses and in the more trifling crimes, which are more frequent and of almost daily occurrence, is asked most earnestly and as the very first question, namely what motive there was for the offense; that Erucius does not think necessary to be asked in a case of parricide. A charge which, O judges, even when many motives appear to concur, and to be connected with one another, is still not rashly believed, nor is such a case allowed to depend on slight conjecture, nor is any uncertain witness listened to, nor is the matter decided by the ability of the accuser. Many crimes previously committed must be proved, and a most profligate life on the part of the prisoner, and singular audacity, and not only audacity, but the most extreme frenzy and madness. When all these things are proved, still there must exist express traces of the crime; where, in what manner, by whose means, and at what time the crime was committed. And unless these proofs are numerous and evident--so wicked, so atrocious, so nefarious a deed cannot be believed. 63. For the power of human feeling is great; the connection of blood is of mighty power; nature herself cries out against suspicions of this sort; it is a most undeniable portent and prodigy, for anyone to exist in human shape, who so far outruns the beasts in savageness, as in a most scandalous manner to deprive those of life by whose means he has himself beheld this most delicious light of life; when birth, and bringing up, and nature herself make even beasts friendly to each other. 

XXIII. 64. Not many years ago they say that Titus Cloelius, a citizen of Terracina, a well-known man, when, having supped, he had retired to rest in the same room with his two youthful sons, was found in the morning with his throat cut: when no servant could be found nor any free man, on whom suspicion of the deed could be fixed, and his two sons of that age lying near him said that they did not even know what had been done; the sons were accused of the parricide. What followed? it was, indeed, a suspicious business; that neither of them were aware of it, and that someone had ventured to introduce himself into that chamber, especially at that time when two young men were in the same place, who might easily have heard the noise and defended him. Moreover, there was no one on whom suspicion of the deed could fall. 65. Still as it was plain to the judges that they were found sleeping with the door open, the young men were acquitted and released from all suspicion. For no one thought that there was anyone who, when had violated all divine and human laws by a nefarious crime, could immediately go to sleep; because they who have committed such a crime not only cannot rest free from care, but cannot even breathe without fear. 

XXIV. 66. Do you not see in the case of those whom the poets have handed down to us, as having, for the sake of avenging their father, inflicted punishment on their mother, especially when they were said to have done so at the command and in obedience to the oracles of the immortal gods, how the furies nevertheless haunt them, and never suffer them to rest, because they could not be pious without wickedness. And this is the truth, O judges. The blood of one's father and mother has great power, great obligation, is a most holy thing, and if any stain of that falls on one, it not only cannot be washed out, but it drips down into the very soul, so that extreme frenzy and madness follow it. 67. For do not believe, as you often see it written in fables, that they who have done anything impiously and wickedly are really driven about and frightened by the furies with burning torches. It is his own dishonesty and the terrors of his own conscience that especially harass each individual; his own wickedness drives each criminal about and affects him with madness; his own evil thoughts, his own evil conscience terrifies him. These are to the wicked their incessant and domestic furies, which night and day exact from wicked sons punishment for the crimes committed against their parents. 68. This enormity of the crime is the cause why, unless a parricide is proved in a manner almost visible, it is not credible; unless a man's youth has been base, unless his life has been stained with every sort of wickedness, unless his extravagance has been prodigal and accompanied with shame and disgrace, unless his audacity has been violent, unless his rashness has been such as to be not far removed from insanity. There must be, besides a hatred of his father, a fear of his father's reproof--worthless friends, slaves privy to the deed, a convenient opportunity, a place fitly selected for the business. I had almost said the judges must see his hands stained with his father's blood, if they are to believe so monstrous, so barbarous, so terrible a crime.

69. On which account, the less credible it is unless it be proved, the more terribly it is to be punished if it be proved. 

XXV. Therefore, it may be understood by many circumstances that our ancestors surpassed other nations not only in arms, but also in wisdom and prudence; and also most especially by this, that they devise a singular punishment for the impious. And in this matter consider how far they surpassed in prudence those who are said to have been the wisest of all nations. 70. The state of the Athenians is said to have been the wisest while it enjoyed the supremacy. Moreover of that state they say that Solon was the wisest man, he who made the laws which they use even to this day. When he was asked why he had appointed no punishment for him who killed his father, he answered that he had not supposed that anyone would do so. He is said to have done wisely in establishing nothing about a crime which had up to that time never been committed, lest he should seem not so much to forbid it as to put people in mind of it. How much more wisely did our ancestors act! for as they understood that there was nothing so holy that audacity did not sometimes violate it, they devised a singular punishment for parricides in order that they whom nature herself had not been able to retain in their duty, might be kept from crime by the enormity of the punishment.

71. They ordered then to be sown alive in a sack, and in that condition to be thrown into the river. XXVI. O singular wisdom, O judges! Do they not seem to have cut this man off and separated him from nature; from whom they took away at once the heaven, the sun, water and earth, so that he who had slain him, from whom he himself was born, might be deprived of all those things from which everything is said to derive its birth. They would not throw his body to wild beasts, lest we should find the very beasts who had touched such wickedness, more savage; they would not throw them naked into the river, lest when they were carried down into the sea, they should pollute that also, by which all other things which have been polluted are believed to be purified. There is nothing in short so vile or so common that they left them any share in it. 72. Indeed what is so common as breath to the living, earth to the dead, the sea to those who float, the shore to those who are cast up by the sea? These men so live, while they are able to live at all, that they are unable to draw breath from heaven; they so die that earth does not touch their bones; they are tossed about by the waves so that they are never washed; lastly, they are cast up by the sea so, that when dead they do not even rest on the rocks. Do you think, O Erucius, that you can prove to such men as these your charge of so enormous a crime, a crime to which so remarkable a punishment is affixed, if you do not allege any motive for the crime? If you were accusing him before the very purchasers of his property, and if Chrysogonus were presiding at that trial, still you have come more carefully and with more preparation. 73. Is it that you do not see what the cause really is, or before whom it is being pleaded? The cause in question is parricde; which cannot be undertaken without many motives; and it is being tried before very wise men, who are aware that no one commits the very slightest crime without any motive whatever. 

XXVII. Be it so; you are unable to allege any motive. Although I ought at once to gain my cause, yet I will not insist on this, and I will concede to you in this cause what I would not concede in another, relying on this man's innocence. I do not ask you why Sextus Roscius killed his father; I ask you how he killed him? So I ask of you, Gaius Erucius, how, and I will so deal with you, that I will on this topic give you leave to answer me or to interrupt me, or even, if you wish to at all, to ask me questions. How did he kill him? 74. Did he strike him himself, or did he commit him to others to be murdered? If you say he did it himself, he was not at Rome; if you say he did it by the instrumentality of others, I ask you were they slaves or free men? who were they? Did they come from the same place, from Ameria, or were they assassins of this city? If they came from Ameria, who are they, why are they not named? If they are of Rome, how did Roscius make acquaintance with them? who for many years had not come to Rome, and who never was there more than three days. Where did he meet them? with whom did he speak? how did he persuade them? Did he give them a bribe? to whom did he give it? by whose agency did he give it? whence did he get it, and how much did he give? Are not these the steps by which one generally arrives at the main fact of guilt? And let it occur to you at the same time how you have painted this man's life; that you have described him as an unpolished and country-mannered man; that he never held conversation with anyone, that he had never dwelt in the city. 75. And in this I pass over that thing which might be a strong argument for me to prove his innocence, that atrocities of this sort are not usually produced among country manners, in a sober course of life, in an unpolished and rough sort of existence. As you cannot find every sort of crop, nor every tree, in every field, so every sort of crime is not engendered in every sort of life. In a city, luxury is engendered; avarice is inevitably produced by luxury; audacity must spring from avarice, and out of audacity arises every wickedness and every crime. But country life, which you call a clownish one, is the teacher of economy, of industry, and of justice. 

XXVIII. 76. But I will say no more of this. I ask then by whose instrumentality did this man, who, as you yourself say, never mixed with men, contrive to accomplish this terrible crime with such secrecy, especially while absent? There are many things, O judges, which are false, and which can still be argued so as to cause suspicion. But in this matter, if any grounds for suspicion can be discovered, I will admit that there is guilt. Sextus Roscius is murdered at Rome, while his son is at his farm at Ameria. He sent letters, I suppose, to some assassin, he who knew no one at Rome. He sent for someone--but when? He sent a messenger--whom? or to whom? Did her persuade anyone by bribes, by influence, by hope, by promises? None of these things can even be invented against him, and yet a trial for parricide is going on.

77. The only remaining alternative is that he managed it by means of slaves. Oh ye immortal gods, how miserable and disastrous is our lot. That which under such an accusation is usually a protection to the innocent, to offer his slaves to the question, that it is not allowed to Sextus Roscius to do. You, who accuse him, have all his slaves. There is not one boy to bring him his daily food left to Sextus Roscius out of so large a household. I appeal to you now, Publius Scipio, to you Metellus, while you were acting as his advocates, while you were pleading his cause, did not Sextus Roscius often demand of his adversaries that two of his father's slaves should be put to the question? Do you remember that you, Titus Roscius, refused it? What? Where are those slaves? They are waiting on Chrysogonus, O judges; they are honored and valued by him. Even now I demand that they be put to the question; he begs and entreats it? 78. What are you doing? Why do you refuse? Doubt now, O judges, if you can, by whom Sextus Roscius was murdered; whether by him, who, on account of his death, is exposed to poverty and treachery, who has not even opportunity allowed him of making inquiry into his father's death; or by those who shun investigation, who are in possession of his property, who live amid murder, and by murder. Everything in this cause, O judges, is lamentable and scandalous; but there is nothing which can be mentioned more bitter or more iniquitous than this. The son is not allowed to put his father's slaves to the question concerning his father's death. He is not to be master of his own slaves so long as to put them to the question concerning his father's death. I will come again, and that speedily, to this topic. For all this relates to the Roscii; and I have promised that I will speak of their audacity when I have effaced the accusations of Erucius. 

XXIX. 79. Now, Erucius, I come to you. You must inevitably agree with me, if he is really implicated in this crime, that he either committed it with his own hand, which you deny, or by means of some other men, either freemen or slaves. Were they freemen? You can neither show that he had any opportunity of meeting them, nor by what means he could persuade them, nor where he saw then, nor by whose agency he trafficked with them, nor by what hope, or what bribe he persuaded them. I show, on the other hand, not only that Sextus Roscius did nothing of all this, but that he was not even able to do anything, because he had neither been at Rome for many years, nor did he ever leave his farm without some object. The name of slaves appeared to remain to you, to which, when driven from your other suspicions, you might fly as to a harbor, when you strike upon such a rock that you not only see the accusation rebound back from it, but perceive that every suspicion falls upon you yourselves. What is it, then? 80. Whither has the accuser betaken himself in his dearth of arguments? The time, says he, was such that men were constantly being killed with impunity; so that you, from the great number of assassins, could effect this without any trouble. Meantime you seem to me, Erucius, to be wishing to obtain two articles for one payment; to blacken our characters in this trial, and to accuse those very men from whom you have received payment. What do you say? Men were constantly being killed? By whose agency? and by whom? Do you not perceive that you have been brought here by brokers? What next? Are we ignorant that in these times the same men were brokers of men's lives as well as of their possessions? 81. Shall those men then, who at that time used to run about armed night and day, who spent all their time in rapine and murder, object to Sextus Roscius the bitterness and iniquity of that time? and will they think that troops of assassins, among whom they themselves were leaders and chiefs, can be made a ground of accusation against him? who not only was not at Rome, but who was utterly ignorant of everything that was being done at Rome, because he was continually in the country, as you yourself admit.

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 crimes of parricide, or with him who is now on his trial. But as he accuses us of those 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. 

XXX. 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 honorable 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 a while 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 everything, and shall touch on everything slighty. 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, 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 to ask constantly 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 a friend 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. 

XXXI. 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 property. 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? 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. 87. 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 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 to acquaintance with exorbitant gains, or with any profit beyond that which he procured with toil? Did he who, of all the brokers 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? 

XXXII. 89. If you, 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 such. And I could do the same; for I will 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 has made you a sufficiently respectable accuser. We have seen many men slain, not at Thrasymenus, but at Servilius. "Who was not wounded there with Phrygian steel?" 90. It is not necessary to remember all the Curtii, the Marii, the Mamerci, whom age now exempted from battles; and lastly, the aged Priam himself, Antistius, whom not only his age, but even the laws excused from going to battle. There are now six hundred men, whom nobody even mentions by name because of their meanness, who are accusers of men on charges of murdering and poisoning; all of whom, as far as I am concerned, I hope may find a livelihood. For there is no harm in there being as many dogs as possible, where there are many men to be watched, and many things to be guarded. 91. But, as is often the case, the violence and tumultuous nature of war brings many things to pass without the knowledge of the generals. While he who was administering the main government was occupied in other matters, there were men who in the meantime were curing their own wounds; who rushed about in the darkness and threw everything into confusion as if eternal night had enveloped the whole Republic. And by such men as these I wonder that the courts of justice were not burnt, that there might be no trace left of any judicial proceedings; for they did destroy both judges and accusers. There is this advantage, that they lived in such a manner that even if they wished it, they could not put to death all the witnesses; for as long as the race of men exists, there will not be wanting men to accuse them: as long as the state lasts, trials will take place. But as I began to say, both Erucius, if they had these arguments to use which I have mentioned, in any cause of his, would be able to speak on them as long as he pleased, and I can do the same. But I choose, as I said before, to pass by them lightly, and only just to touch on each particular, so that all men may perceive that I am not accusing men of my own inclination, but only defending my own client from a sense of duty. 

XXXIII. 92. I see therefore that there were many causes which urged that man to this crime. Let us now see whether he had any opportunity of committing it. Where was Sextus Roscius slain?--at Rome. What of you, Roscius? Where were you at that time?--at Rome. But what is that to the purpose? many other men were there too. As if the point now were, who of so vast a crowd slew him, and as if this were not rather the question, whether it is more probable that he who was slain at Rome was slain by that man who was constantly at Rome at that time, or by him who for many years had never come to Rome at all? 93. Come, let us consider now the other circumstances which might make it easy for him. There was at that time a multitude of assassins, as Erucius has stated, and men were being killed with impunity. What!--what was that multitude? A multitude, I imagine, either of those who were occupied in getting possession of men's property, or of those who were hired by them to murder someone. If you think it was composed of those who coveted other men's property, you are one of that number,--you who are enriched by our wealth; if of those whom they who call them by the lightest name call slayers, inquire to whom they are bound, and whose dependents they are, believe me you will find it is someone of your own confederacy; and whatever you say to the contrary, compare it with our defense, and by this means the cause of Sextus Roscius will be most easily contrasted with yours. 94. You will say, "what follows if I was constantly at rome?" I shall answer, "But I was never there at all." "I confess that I am a broker, but so are many other men also." "But I, as you yourself accuse me of being, am a countryman and a rustic." "It does not follow at once, because I have been present with a troop of assassins, that I am an assassin myself." "But at all events I, who never had even the acquaintance of assassins, am far removed from such a crime." There are many things which may be mentioned, by which it may be understood that you had the greatest facilities for committing this crime, which I pass over, not only because I do not desire to accuse, but still more on this account,--because if I were to wish to enumerate all the murders which were then committed on the same account as that on which Sextus Roscius was slain, I fear lest my speech would seem to refer to others also. 

XXXIV. 95. Let us examine now briefly, as we have done in the other particulars, what was done by you, Titus Roscius, after the death of Sextus Roscius; and these things are so open and notorious, that by the gods, O judges, I am unwilling to mention them. For whatever your conduct may be, Titus Roscius, I am afraid of appearing to be so eager to save my client, as to be quite regardless whether I spare you or not. And as I am afraid of this, and as I wish to spare you in some degree, as far as I can, saving my duty to my client, I will again change my purpose. For the thoughts of your countenance present here occur to my mind, that you, when all the rest of your companions were flying and hiding themselves in order that this trial might appear to be not concerning their plunder, not concerning this man's crime, should select this part above all others for yourself, to appear at the trial and sit with the accuser, by which action you gain nothing beyond causing your impudence and audacity to be known to all mortals. 96. After Sextus Roscius is slain, who is the first to take the news to Ameria? Mallius Glaucia, 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 anyone 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 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, told 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, 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 this 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? 

XXXV. 98. 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 labor for his honor? to take the news to Capito as speedily as possible? 99. Why was it that he 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 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 whom, contrary to the custom of our ancestors, he threw from the bridge into the Tiber, when he was not sixty years of age; 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 in it in his evidence. O the excellent witness, O judges; O gravity worthy of being attended to; O honorable 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. 

XXXVI. 102. One of them sent a swift messenger from the very scene of murder to Ameria, to his partner and his tutor; so that if everyone 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 honorable should not be allowed to give evidence in their own cause. 103. Africanus, who declares by his surname that he subdued a third part of the whole world, still, if a case of his own were being tried, would not give evidence. For I do not venture to say with respect to such a man as that, if he did give evidence he would not be believed. See now everything is altered and changed for the worse. When there is a trial about property and about murder, a man is going to give evidence, who is both a broker and an assassin; that is, he who is himself the purchaser and possessor of that very property about which the trial is taking place, and who contrived the murder of the man whose death is being inquired into.

104. What do you want, O most excellent man? Have you anything to say? Listen to me. Take care not to be wanting to yourself; your own interest to a great extent is at stake. You have done many things wickedly, many things audaciously, many things scandalously; one thing foolishly, and that of your own accord, not by the advice of Erucius. There was no need for you to sit there. For no man employs a dumb accuser, or calls him as a witness, who rises from the accuser's bench. There must be added to this, that that cupidity of yours should have been a little more kept back and concealed. Now what is there that anyone of you desire to hear, when what you do is such that you seem to have done them expressly for our advantage against your own interest? Come now, let us see, O judges, what followed immediately after. 

XXXVII. 105. The news of the death of Sextus Roscius is carried to Volaterra, to the camp of Lucius Sulla, to Chrysogonus, four days after he is murdered. I now again ask who sent that messenger. Is it not evident that it was the same man who sent news to Ameria? Chrysogonus takes care that his goods shall be immediately sold; he who had neither known the man nor his estate. But how did it occur to him to wish for the farms of a man who was unknown to him, whom he had never seen in his life? You are accustomed, O judges, when you hear anything of this sort to say at once, Some fellow-citizen or neighbor must have told him; they generally tell these things; most men are betrayed by such. 106. Here there is no ground for your entertaining this suspicion; for I will not argue thus. It is probable that the Roscii gave information of that matter to Chrysogonus, for there was of old, friendship between them and Chrysogonus; for though the Roscii had many ancient patrons and friends hereditarily connected with them, they ceased to pay any attention and respect to them, and betook themselves to the protection and support of Chrysogonus. 107. I can say all this with truth; for in this cause I have no need to rely on conjecture. I know to a certainty that they themselves do not deny that Chrysogonus made the attack on this property at their instigation. If you see with your own eyes who has received a part of the reward for the information, can you possibly doubt, O judges, who gave the information? Who then are in possession of that property; and to whom did Chrysogonus give a share in it? The two Roscii!--Any one else? No one else, O judges. Is there then any doubt that they put this plunder in Chrysogonus's way, who have received from him a share of the plunder?

108. Come now let us consider the action of the Roscii by the jdugment of Chrysogonus himself. If in that contest the Roscii had done nothing which was worth speaking of, on what account were they presented with such rewards by Chrysogonus? If they did nothing more than inform him of the fact, was it not enough for him to thank them? Why are these farms of such value immediately given to Capito? Why does that fellow Roscius possess all the rest in common property with Chrysogonus? Is it not evident, O judges, that Chrysogonus, understanding the whole business, gave them as spoils to the Roscii? 

XXXVIII. 109. Capito came as a deputy to the camp, as one of the ten chief of Ameria. Learn from his behavior on this deputation the whole life and nature and manners of the man. Unless you are of opinion, O judges, that there is no duty and no right so holy and solemn that his wickedness and perfidy has not tampered with and violated it, then judge him to be a very excellent man. 110. He is the hindrance to Sulla's being informed of this affair; he betrays the plans and intentions of the other deputies to Chrysogonus; he gives him warning to take care that the affair be not conducted openly; he points out to him, that if the sale of the property be prevented, he will lose a large sum of money, and that he himself will be in danger of his life. He proceeds to spur him on, to deceive those who were joined in the commission with him; to warn him continually to take care; to hold out treacherously false hopes to the others; in concert with him to devise plans against them, to betray their counsels to him; with him to bargain for his share in the plunder, and, relying constantly on some delay or other, to cut off from his colleagues all access to Sulla. Lastly, owing to his being the prompter, the adviser, the go-between, the deputies did not see Sulla; deceived by his faith, or rather by his perfidy, as you may know from themselves, if the accuser is willing to produce them as witnesses, they brought back home with a false hope instead of a reality. 111. In private affairs if anyone had managed a business entrusted to him, I will not say maliciously for the sake of his own gain and advantage, but even carelessly, our ancestors thought that he had incurred the greatest disgrace. Therefore, legal proceedings for betrayal of a commission are established, involving penalties no less disgraceful than those for theft. I suppose because, in cases where we ourselves cannot be present, the vicarious faith of friends is substituted; and he who impairs that confidence, attacks the common bulwark of all men, and as far as depends on him, disturbs the bonds of society. For we cannot do everything ourselves; different people are more capable in different matters. On that account friendships are formed, that the common advantage of all may be secured by mutual good offices. 112. Why do you undertake a commission, if you are either going to neglect it or to turn it to your own advantage? Why do you offer yourself to me, and by feigned service hinder and prevent my advantage? Get out of the way, I will do my business by means of someone else. You undertake the burden of duty which you think you are able to support; a duty which does not appear very heavy to those who are not very worthless themselves. 

XXXIX. 113. This fault therefore is very base, because it violates two most holy things, friendship and confidence; for men commonly do not entrust anything except to a friend, and do not trust anyone except one whom they think faithful. It is therefore the part of a most abandoned man, at the same time to dissolve friendship and to deceive him who would not have been injured unless he had trusted him. Is it not so? In the most trifling affairs he who neglects a commission, must be condemned by a most dishonoring sentence; in a matter of this importance, when he to whom the character of the dead, the fortunes of the living have been recommended and entrusted, loads the dead with ignominy and the living with poverty, shall he be reckoned among honorable men, shall he even be reckoned a man at all? In trifling affairs, in affairs of a private nature, even carelessness is accounted a crime, and is liable to a sentence branding a man with infamy; because, if the commission be properly executed, the man who has given the commission may feel at his ease and be careless about it: he who has undertaken the commission may not. In so important an affair as this, which was done by public order and so entrusted to him, what punishment ought to be inflicted on that man who has not hindered some private advantage by his carelessness, but has polluted and stained by his treachery the solemnity of the very commission itself? or by what sentence shall he be condemned? 114. If Sextus Roscius had entrusted this matter to him privately to transact and determine upon with Chrysogonus, and to involve his credit in the matter if it seemed to him to be necessary--if he who had undertaken the affair had turned ever so minute a point of the business to his own advantage, would he not, if convicted by the judge, have been compelled to make restitution, and would he not have lost all credit? 115. Now it is not Sextus Roscius who gave him this commission, but what is a much more serious thing, Sextus Roscius himself, with his character, his life, and all his property, is publicly entrusted by the senators to Roscius; and, of this trust, Titus Roscius has converted not some small portion to his own advantage, but has turned him entirely out of his property; he has bargained for three farms for himself; he has considered the intention of the senators and of all his fellow-citizens of just as much value as his own integrity. 

XL. 116. Moreover, consider now, O judges, the other matters, that you may see that no crime can be imagined with which that fellow has not disgraced himself. In less important matters, to deceive one's partner is a most shameful thing, and equally base with that which I have mentioned before. And rightly; because he who has communicated an affair to another thinks that he has procured assistance for himself. To whose good faith, then, shall a man have recourse who is injured by the want of faith in the man whom he has trusted? But these offenses are to be punished with the greatest severity which are guarded against with the greatest difficulty. We can be reserved towards strangers; intimate friends must see many things more openly; but how can we guard against a companion? for even to be afraid of him is to do violence to the rights of duty. Our ancestors therefore rightly thought that he who had deceived his companion ought not to be considered in the number of good men. 117. But Titus Roscius did not deceive one friend alone in a money matter, (which, although it be a grave offense, still appears possible in some degree to be borne) but he led on, cajoled, and deserted nine most honorable men, betrayed them to their adversaries, and deceived them with every circumstance of fraud and perfidy. They who could suspect nothing of his wickedness, ought not to have been afraid of the partner of their duties; they did not see his malice, they trusted his false speech. Therefore these most honorable men are now, on account of his treachery, thought to have been incautious and improvident. He who was at the beginning a traitor, then a deserter,--who at first reported the counsels of his companions to their adversaries, and then entered into a confederacy with the adversaries themselves, even now terrifies us, and threatens us, adorned with his three farms, that is, with the prizes of his wickedness. In such a life as his, O judges, amid such numerous and enormous crimes, you will find this crime too, with which the present trial is concerned. 118. In truth you ought to make investigation on this principle; where you see that many things have been done avariciously, many audaciously, many wickedly, many perfidiously, there you ought to think that wickedness also lies hid among so many crimes; although this indeed does not lie hid at all, which is so manifest and exposed to view, that it may be perceived, not by those vices which it is evident exist in him, but even if anyone of those vices be doubted of, he may be convicted of it by the evidence of this crime. What then, I ask, shall we say, O judges? Does this gladiator seem entirely to have thrown off his former character? or does that pupil of his seem to yield but little to his master in skill? Their avarice is equal, their dishonesty similar, their impudence is the same; the audacity of the one is twin-sister to the audacity of the other. 

XLI. 119. Now forsooth, since you have seen the good faith of the master, listen to the justice of the pupil. I have already said before, that two slaves have been continually begged of them to be put to the question. You have always refused it, Titus Roscius. I ask of you whether they who asked it were unworthy to obtain it? or had he, on whose behalf they asked it, no influence with you? or did the matter itself appear unjust? The most noble and respectable men of our state, whom I have named before, made the request, who have lived in such a manner, and are so esteemed by the Roman people, that there is no one who would not think whatever they said reasonable. And they made the request on behalf of a most miserable and unfortunate man, who would wish even himself to be submitted to the torture, provided the inquiry into his father's death might go on. 120. Moreover, the thing demanded of you was such that it made no difference whether you refused it or confessed yourself guilty of the crime. And as this is the case, I ask of you why you refused it? When Sextus Roscius was murdered they were there. The slaves themselves, as far as I am concerned, I neither accuse nor acquit; but the point which I see you contending for, namely, that they be not submitted to the question, is full of suspicion. But the reason of their being held in such horror by you, must be that they know something, which, if they were to tell, would be pernicious to you. Oh, say you, it is unjust to put questions to slaves against their masters. Is any such question meant to be put? For Sextus Roscius is the defendant, and when inquiry is being made into his conduct, you do not say that you are their masters. Oh, they are with Chrysogonus. I suppose so; Chrysogonus is so taken with their learning and accomplishments, that he wishes these men--men little better than laborers from the training of a rustic master of a family at Ameria, to mingle with his elegant youths, masters of every art and every refinement--youths picked out of many of the politest households. 121. That cannot be the truth, O judges; it is not probable that Chrysogonus has taken a fancy to their learning or their politeness, or that he should be acquainted with their industry and fidelity in the business of a household. There is something which is hidden; and the more studiously it is hidden and kept back by them, so much the more is it visible and conspicuous. 

XLII. 122. What, then, are we to think? Is Chrysogonus unwilling that these men shall be put to the question for the sake of concealing his own crime? Not so, O judges; I do not think that the same arguments apply to everyone. As far as I am concerned, I have no suspicion of the sort respecting Chrysogonus, and this is not the first time that it has occurred to me to say so. You recollect that I so divided the cause at the beginning; into the accusation, the whole arguing of which was entrusted to Erucius; and into audacity, the business of which was assigned to the Roscii;--whatever crime, whatever wickedness, whatever bloodshed there is, all that is the business of the Roscii. We say that the excessive interest and power of Chrysogonus is a hindrance to us, and can by no means be endured; and that it ought not only to be weakened, but even to be punished by you, since you have the power given to you. 123. I think this; that he who wishes these men to be put to the question, whom it is evident were present when the murder was committed, is desirous to find out the truth; that he who refuses it, though he does not dare admit it in words, yet does in truth by his actions, confesses himself guilty of the crime.

I said at the beginning, O judges, that I was unwilling to say more of the wickedness of those men than the cause required, and than necessity itself compelled me to say. For many circumstances can be alleged, and every one of them can be discussed with many arguments. But I cannot do for any length of time, nor diligently, what I do against my will, and by compulsion. Those things which could by no means be passed over, I have lightly touched upon, O judges; those things which depend upon suspicion, and which, if I begin to speak of them, will require a copious discussion, I commit to your capacities and to your conjectures. 

XLIII. 124. I come now to that golden name of Chrysogonus, under which name the whole confederacy is set up,--concerning whom, O judges, I am at a loss both how to speak and how to hold my tongue; for if I say nothing, I leave out a great part of my argument, and if I speak, I fear that not he alone (about whom I am not concerned), but others also may think themselves injured; although the case is such that it does not appear necessary to say much against the common cause of the brokers. For this cause is, in truth, a novel and an extraordinary cause. 125. Chrysogonus is the purchaser of the property of Sextus Roscius. Let us see this first, on what pretense the property of that man was sold, or how they could be sold. And I will not put this question, O judges, so as to imply that it is a scandalous thing for the property of an innocent man to be sold at all. For if these things are to be freely listened to and freely spoken, Sextus Roscius was not a man of such importance in the state as to make us complain of his fortune more than that of others. But I ask this, how could they be sold even by that very law which is enacted about proscriptions, whether it be the Valerian or Cornelian law,--for I neither know nor understand which it is--but by that very law itself how could the property of Sextus Roscius be sold? 126. For they say it is written in it, "that the property of those men who have been proscribed is to be sold;" in which number Sextus Roscius is not one: "or of those who have slain in the garrison of the opposite party." While there were any garrisons, he was in the garrisons of Sulla; after they laid down their arms, returning from supper, he was slain at Rome in a time of perfect peace. If he was slain by law, I admit that his property was sold by law too; but if it is evident that he was slain contrary to all laws, not merely to old ones, but to the new ones also, then I ask by what right, or in what manner, or by what law were they sold? 

XLIV. 127. You ask, against whom do I say this, Erucius. Not aginst him whom you are meaning and thinking of; for both my speech from the very beginning, and also his own eminent virtue, at all times has acquitted Sulla. I say that Chrysogonus did all this in order to tell lies; in order to make out Roscius to have been a bad citizen; in order to represent him as slain among the opposite party; in order to prevent Lucius Sulla from being rightly informed of these matters by the deputies from Ameria. Last of all, I suspect that this property was never sold at all; and this matter I will open presently, O judges, if you will give me leave. 128. For I think that it is set down in the law on what day these proscriptions and sales shall take place, forsooth on the first of January. Some months afterwards the man was slain, and his property is said to have been sold. Now, either this property has never been returned in the public accounts, and we are cheated by this scoundrel more cleverly than we think, or, if they were returned, then the public accounts have some way or other been tampered with, for it is quite evident that the property could not have been sold according to law. I am aware, O judges, that I am investigating this point prematurely, and that I am erring as greatly as if, while I ought to be curing a mortal sickness of Sextus Roscius, I were mending a whitlow; for he is not anxious about his money; he has no regard to any pecuniary advantage; he thinks he can easily endure his poverty, if he is released from this unworthy suspicion, from this false accusation. 129. But I entreat you, O judges, to listen to the few things I have still to say, under the idea that I am speaking partly for myself, and partly for Sextus Roscius. For the things which appear to me unworthy and intolerable, and which I think concern all men unless we are prudent, those things I now mention to you for my own sake, from the real feelings and indignation of my mind. What relates to the misfortunes of the life, and to the cause of my client, and what he wishes to be said for him, and with what condition he will be content, you shall hear, O judges, immediately at the end of my speech. I ask this of Chrysogonus of my own accord, leaving Sextus Roscius out of the question. 

XLV. 130. First of all, why the property of a virtuous citizen was sold? Next, why the property of a man who was neither proscribed, nor slain in the garrisons of the opposite party, were sold; when the law was made against them alone? Next, why were they sold long after the day which is appointed by the law? Next, why were they sold for so little? And if he shall choose, as worthless and wicked freedmen are accustomed to do, to refer all this to his partons, he will do himself no good by that. For there is no one who does not know that on account of the immensity of his business, many men did many things of which Lucius Sulla knew very little. 131. Is it right, then, that in these matters anything should be passed over without the ruler knowing about it? It is not right, O judges, but it is inevitable. In truth, if the great and kind Jupiter, by whose will and command the heaven, the earth, and the seas are governed, has often by too violent winds, or by immoderate tempests, or by too much heat, or by intolerable cold, injured men, destroyed cities, or ruined the crops; nothing of which do we suppose to have taken place, for the sake of causing injury, by the divine intention, but owing to the power and magnitude of the affairs of the world; but on the other hand we see that the advantages which we have the benefit of, and the light which we enjoy, and the air which we breathe, are all given to and bestowed upon us by him; how can we wonder that Lucius Sulla, when he alone was governing the whole republic, and administering the affairs of the whole world, and strengthening by his laws the majesty of the empire, which he had recovered by arms, should have been forced to leave some things unnoticed? Unless this is strange that human faculties have not a power which divine might is unable to attain to. 132. But to say no more about what has happened already, cannot anyone thoroughly understand from what is happening now, that Chrysogonus alone is the author and contriver of all this, and that it is he who caused Sextus Roscius to be accused? this trial in which Erucius says that he is the accuser out of regard of honor. . . .[rest of chapter missing] 

XLVI. 133. They think they are leading a convenient life, and one arranged rationally, who have a house among the Salentini or Brutii, from which they can scarcely receive news three times a year. Another comes down to you from his palace on the Palatine; he has for the purposes of relaxation to his mind a pleasant suburban villa, and many farms besides, and not one which is not beautiful and contiguous; a house filled with Corinthian and Delian vessels, among which is that celebrated stove which has lately bought at so great a price, that passers by, who heard the money being counted out thought that a farm was being sold. What quantities besides of embossed plate, of embroidered quilts; of paintings of statues, and of marble, do you think he has in his house? All, forsooth, that in a time of disturbance and rapine can be crammed into one house from the plunder of many magnificent families. But why should I mention how vast a household too was his, and it what various trades was it instructed? 134. I say nothing of those ordinary arts, cooks, bakers, and litter-bearers; he has so many slaves to gratify his mind and ears, that the whole neighborhood resounds with the daily music of voices, and stringed instruments, and flutes. In such a life as this, O judges, how great a daily expense, and what extravagance do you think there must be? And what banquets? Honorable no doubt in such a house; if that is to be called a house rather than a workshop of wickedness, and a lodging for every sort of iniquity. 135. In what a style he himself flutters through the forum, with his hair curled and perfumed, and with a great retinue of citizens, you yourselves behold, O judges; in truth you see how he despises everyone, how he thinks no one a human being but himself, how he thinks himself the only happy, the only powerful man. But if I were to wish to mention what he does and what he attempts, O judges, I am afraid that some ignorant people would think that I wish to injure the cause of the nobility, and to detract from their victory; although I have a right to find fault if anything in that party displeases me. For I am not afraid that anyone will suppose that I have a disposition disaffected to the cause of the nobility. 

XLVII. 136. They who know me, know that I, to the extent of my small and insignificant power, (when that which I was most eager for could not be brought about, I mean an accommodation between the parties) labored to ensure the vicory of that party which got it. For who was there who did not see that meanness was disputing with dignity for the highest honors? a contest in which it was the part of an abandoned citizen not to unite himself to those, by whose safety dignity at home and authority abroad would be preserved. And that all this was done, and that his proper honor and rank was restored to every one, I rejoice, O judges, and am exceedingly delighted; and I know that it was all done by the kindness of the gods, by the zeal of the Roman people, by the wisdom and government, and good fortune of Lucius Sulla. 137.  I have no business to find fault with punishment having been inflicted on those who labored with all their energies on the other side; and I approve of honors having been paid to the brave men whose assistance was eminent in the transaction of all these matters. And I consider that the struggle was to a great extent with this object, and I confess that I shared in that device in the part I took. But if the object was, and if arms were taken with the view of causing the lowest of the people to be enriched with the property of others, and of enabling them to make attacks on the fortunes of everyone, and if it is unlawful not only to hinder that by deed, but even to blame it in words, then the Roman people seems to me not to have been strengthened and restored by that war, but to have been subdued and crushed.

138. But the case is totally different: nothing of this, O judges, is the truth: the cause of the nobility will not only not be injured if you resist these men, but it will even be embellished. XLVIII. In truth, they who are inclined to find fault with this complain that Chrysogonus has so much influence; they who praise it, declare that he has not so much allowed him. And now it is impossible for anyone to be either so foolish or so worthless as to say: "I wish it were allowed me, I would have said. . ." You may say . . . ."I would have done. . ." You may do . . . No one hinders you. "I would have decreed. . . " "Decree, only decree rightly, everyone will approve." "I should have judged. . . " 139. All will praise you if you judge rightly and properly. While it was necessary and while the case made it inevitable, one man had all the power, and after he created magistrates and established laws, his own proper office and authority was restored to everyone. And if those who recovered it wish to retain it, they will be able to retain it forever. But if they either participate in or approve of these acts of murder and rapine, these enormous and prodigal expenses--I do not wish to say anything too severe against them; not even as an omen; but this one thing I do say; unless those nobles of ours are vigilant, and virtuous, and brave, and merciful, they must abandon their honors to those men in whom these qualities do exist. 140. Let them, therefore, cease at least to say that a man speaks badly, if he speak truly and with freedom; let them come to make common cause with Chrysogonus; let them cease to think, if he be injured, that any injury has been done to them; let them see how shameful and miserable a thing it is that they, who could not tolerate the splendor of the knights, should be able to endure the domination of a most worthless slave--a domination, which, O judges, was formerly exerted in other matters, but now you see what a road it is making for itself, what a course it is aiming at, against your good faith, against your oaths, against your decisions, against almost the only thing which remains uncorrupted and holy in the state. 141. Does Chrysogonus think that in this particular too he has some influence? Does he 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.

 

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