Against Verres/Second pleading/Book 1

Respecting his conduct in the City Praetorship

The following five orations were never spoken: they were published afterwards as they had been prepared and intended to be spoken if Verres had made a regular defence; for as this was the only cause in which Cicero had been engaged as accuser, he was willing to leave these orations as a specimen of his abilities that way, and as a pattern of a just and diligent impeachment of a corrupt magistrate. But Hortensius had been so confounded by the novelty of Cicero's mode of conducting the prosecution, and by the strength of the case brought against his client, that he was quite unable to make any defence, and Verres went into voluntary exile.

In the beginning of this oration Cicero imagines Verres to be present, and to be prepared to make his defence, but before he proceeds to the main subjects of the prosecution, which occupy the last four orations he devotes this one to an examination of his previous character and conduct as a public man, as quaestor, as legatus, as praetor urbanus, and as praetor in Sicily; in order to show that his previous conduct had been such as to warrant any one in believing the charges he was now bringing against him.

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1I think that no one of you, O judges, is ignorant that for these many days the discourse of the populace, and the opinion of the Roman people, has been that Caius Verres would not appear a second time before the bench to reply to my charges, and would not again present himself in court; And this idea had not got about merely because he had deliberately determined and resolved not to appear, but because no one believed that any one would be so audacious, so frantic, and so impudent, as, after having been convicted of such nefarious crimes, and by so many witnesses, to venture to present himself to the eyes of the judges, or to show his face to the Roman people. ²But he is the same Verres that he always was; as he was abandoned enough to dare, so he is hardened enough to listen to anything. He is present; he replies to us; he makes his defence. He does not even leave himself this much of character, to be supposed, by being silent and keeping out of the way when he is so visibly convicted of the most infamous conduct, to have sought for a modest escape for his impudence. I can endure this, O judges, and I am not vexed that I am to receive the reward of my labours, and you the reward of your virtue. For if he had done what he at first determined to, that is, had not appeared, it would have been somewhat less known than is desirable for me what pains I had taken in preparing and arranging this prosecution: and your praise, O judges, would have been exceedingly slight and little heard of. ³For this is not what the Roman people is expecting from you, nor what it can be contented with,—namely, for a man to be condemned who refuses to appear, and for you to act with resolution in the case of a man whom nobody has dared to defend. Aye, let him appear, let him reply; let him be defended with the utmost influence and the utmost zeal of the most powerful men, let my diligence have to contend with the covetousness of all of them, your integrity with his riches, the consistency of the witnesses with the threats and power of his patrons. Then indeed those things will be seen to be overcome when they have come to the contest and to the struggle. But if he had been condemned in his absence, he would have appeared not so much to have consulted his own advantage as to have grudged you your credit.


4For neither can there be any greater safety for the republic imagined at this time, than for the Roman people to understand that, if all unworthy judges are carefully rejected by the accusers, the allies, the laws, and the republic can be thoroughly defended by a bench of judges chosen from the senators; nor can any such injury to the fortunes of all happen, as for all regard for truth, for integrity, for good faith, and for religion to be, in the opinion of the Roman people, cast aside by the senatorial body. 5And therefore, I seem to myself, O judges, to have undertaken to uphold an important, and very failing, and almost neglected part of the republic, and by so doing to be acting not more for the benefit of my own reputation than of yours. For I have come forward to diminish the unpopularity of the courts of justice, and to remove the reproaches which are levelled at them; in order that, when this cause has been decided according to the wish of the Roman people, the authority of the courts of justice may appear to have been re-established in some degree by my diligence; and in order that this matter may be so decided that an end may be put at length to the controversy about the tribunals; 6and, indeed, beyond all question, O judges, that matter depends on your decision in this cause. For the criminal is most guilty. And if he be condemned, men will cease to say that money is all powerful with the present tribunal; but if he be acquitted we shall cease to be able to make any objection to transferring the tribunal to another body. Although that fellow has not in reality any hope, nor the Roman people any fear of his acquittal, there are some men who do marvel at his singular impudence in being present, in replying to the accusations brought against him; but to me even this does not appear marvellous in comparison with his other actions of audacity and madness. For he has done many impious and nefarious actions both against gods and men; by the punishment for which crimes he is now disquieted and driven out of his mind and out of his senses.


7The punishments of Roman citizens are driving him mad, some of whom he has delivered to the executioner, others he has put to death in prison, others he has crucified while demanding their rights as freemen and as Roman citizens. The gods of his fathers are hurrying him away to punishment, because he alone has been found to lead to execution sons torn from the embraces of their fathers, and to demand of parents payment for leave to bury their sons. The reverence due to, and the holy ceremonies practiced in, every shrine and every temple—but all violated by him; and the images of the gods, which have not only been taken away from their temples, but which are even lying in darkness, having been cast aside and thrown away by him—do not allow his mind to rest free from frenzy and madness. 8Nor does he appear to me merely to offer himself to condemnation, nor to be content with the common punishment of avarice, when he has involved himself in so many atrocities; his savage and monstrous nature wishes for some extraordinary punishment. It is not alone demanded that, by his condemnation, their property may be restored to those from whom it has been taken away; but the insults offered to the religion of the immortal gods must be expiated, and the tortures of Roman citizens, and the blood of many innocent men, must be atoned for by that man's punishment. 9For we have brought before your tribunal not only a thief, but a wholesale robber; not only an adulterer, but a ravisher of chastity; not only a sacrilegious man, but an open enemy to all sacred things and all religion; not only an assassin, but a most barbarous murderer of both citizens and allies; so that I think him the only criminal in the memory of man so atrocious, that it is even for his own good to be condemned.


For who is there who does not see this, that though he be acquitted, against the will of gods and men, yet that he cannot possibly be taken out of the hands of the Roman people? Who does not see that it would be an excellent thing for us in that case, if the Roman people were content with the punishment of that one criminal alone, and did not decide that he had not committed any greater wickedness against them when he plundered temples, when he murdered so many innocent men, when he destroyed Roman citizens by execution, by torture, by the cross,—when he released leaders of banditti for bribes,—than they, who, when on their oaths, acquitted a man covered with so many, with such enormous, with such unspeakable wickednesses? 10There is, there is, O judges, no room for any one to err in respect of this man. He is not such a criminal, this is not such a time, this is not such a tribunal, (I fear to seem to say anything too arrogant before such men,) even the advocate is not such a man, that a criminal so guilty, so abandoned, so plainly convicted, can be either stealthily or openly snatched out of his hands with impunity. When such men as these are judges, shall I not be able to prove that Caius Verres has taken bribes contrary to the laws? Will such men venture to assert that they have not believed so many senators, so many Roman knights, so many cities, so many men of the highest honour from so illustrious a province, so many letters of whole nations and of private individuals? that they have resisted so general a wish of the Roman people? 11 Let them venture. We will find, if we are able to bring that fellow alive before another tribunal, men to whom we can prove that he in his quaestorship embezzled the public money which was given to Cnaeus Carbo the consul; men whom we can persuade that he got money under false pretences from the quaestors of the city, as you have learnt in my former pleadings. There will be some men, too, who will blame his boldness in having released some of the contractors from supplying the corn due to the public, when they could make it for his own interest. There will even, perhaps, be some men who will think that robbery of his most especially to be punished, when he did not hesitate to carry off out of the most holy temples and out of the cities of our allies and friends, the monuments of Marcus Marcellus and of Publius Africanus, which in name indeed belonged to them, but in reality both belonged and were always considered to belong to the Roman people.


12Suppose he has escaped from the court about peculation. Let him think of the generals of the enemy, for whose release he has accepted bribes; let him consider what answer he can make about those men whom he has left in his own house to substitute in their places;[1] let him consider not only how he can get over our accusation, but also how he can remedy his own confession. Let him recollect that, in the former pleadings, being excited by the adverse and hostile shouts of the Roman people, he confessed that he had not caused the leaders of the pirates to be executed; and that he was afraid even then that it would be imputed to him that he had released them for money. Let him confess that, which cannot be denied, that he, as a private individual, kept the leaders of the pirates alive and unhurt in his own house, after he had returned to Rome, as long as he could do so for me. If in the case of such a prosecution for treason it was lawful for him to do so, I will admit that it was proper. Suppose he escapes from this accusation also; I will proceed to that point to which the Roman people has long been inviting me. 13For it thinks that the decision concerning the rights to freedom and to citizenship belong to itself; and it thinks rightly. Let that fellow, forsooth, break down with his evidence the intentions of the senators--let him force his way through the questions of all men—let him make his escape from your severity; believe me, he will be held by much tighter chains in the hands of the Roman people. The Roman people will give credit to those Roman knights who, when they were produced as witnesses before you originally, said that a Roman citizen, one who was offering honourable men as his bail, was crucified by him in their sight. 14The whole of the thirty-five tribes will believe a most honourable and accomplished man, Marcus Annius, who said, that when he was present, a Roman citizen perished by the hand of the executioner. That most admirable man Lucius Flavius, a Roman knight, will be listened to by the Roman people, who gave in evidence that his intimate friend Herennius, a merchant from Africa, though more than a hundred Roman citizens at Syracuse knew him, and defended him in tears, was put to death by the executioner. Lucius Suetius, a man endowed with every accomplishment, speaks to them with an honesty and authority and conscientious veracity which they must trust; and he said on his oath before you that many Roman citizens had been most cruelly put to death, with every circumstance of violence, in his stone-quarries. When I am conducting this cause for the sake of the Roman people from this rostrum, I have no fear that either any violence can be able to save him from the votes of the Roman people, or that any labour undertaken by me in my aedileship can be considered more honourable or more acceptable by the Roman people.


15Let, therefore, every one at this trial attempt everything. There is no mistake now which any one can make in this cause, O judges, which will not be made at your risk. My own line of conduct, as it is already known to you in what is past, is also provided for, and resolved on, in what is to come. I displayed my zeal for the republic at that time, when, after a long interval, I reintroduced the old custom, and at the request of the allies and friends of the Roman people, who were, however, my own most intimate connections, prosecuted a most audacious man. And this action of mine most virtuous and accomplished men (in which number many of you were) approved of to such a degree, that they refused the man who had been his quaestor, and who, having been offended by him, wished to prosecute his own quarrel against him, leave not only to prosecute the man himself, but even back the accusation against him, when he himself begged to do so. 16I went into Sicily for the sake of inquiring into the business, in which occupation the celerity of my return showed my industry; the multitude of documents and witnesses which I brought with me declared my diligence; and I further showed my moderation and scrupulousness, in that when I had arrived as a senator among the allies of the Roman people, having been quaestor in that province, I, though the defender of the common cause of them all, lodged rather with my own hereditary friends and connections, than those who had sought that assistance from me. My arrival was no trouble nor expense to any one, either publicly or privately. I used in the inquiry just as much power as the law gave me, not as much as I might have had through the zeal of those men whom that fellow had oppressed. 17When I returned to Rome from Sicily, when he and his friends, luxurious and polite men, had disseminated reports of this sort, in order to blunt the inclinations of the witnesses,—such as that I had been seduced by a great bribe from proceeding with a genuine prosecution; although it did not seem probable to any one, because the witnesses from Sicily were men who had known me as a quaestor in the province; and as the witnesses from Rome were men of the highest character, who knew every one of us thoroughly, just as they themselves are known; still I had some apprehension lest any one should have a doubt of my good faith and integrity, till we came to striking out the objectionable judges.


I knew that in selecting the judges, some men, even within my own recollection, had not avoided the suspicion of a good understanding with the opposite party, though their industry and diligence was being proved actually in the prosecution of them. 18I objected to objectionable judges in such a way that this is plain,—that since the republic has had that constitution which we now enjoy, no tribunal has ever existed of similar renown and dignity. And this credit that fellow says that he shares in common with me; since when he rejected Publius Galba as judge, he retained Marcus Lucretius; and when, upon this, his patron asked him why he had allowed his most intimate friends Sextus Paeduceus, Quintus Considius, and Quintus Junius, to be objected to, he answered, because he knew them to be too much attached to their own ideas and opinions in coming to a decision. 19And so when the business of objecting to the judges was over, I hoped that you and I had now one common task before us. I thought that my good faith and diligence was approved of, not only by those to whom I was known, but even by strangers. And I was not mistaken: for in the comitia for my election, when that man was employing boundless bribery against me, the Roman people decided that his money, which had no influence with me when put in opposition to my own good faith, ought to have no influence with them to rob me of my honour. On the day when you first, O judges, were summoned to this place, and sat in judgment on this criminal, who was so hostile to your order, who was so desirous of a new constitution, of a new tribunal and new judges, as not to be moved at the sight of you and of your assembled body? 20When on the trial your dignity procured me the fruit of my diligence, I gained thus much,—that in the same hour that I began to speak, I cut off from that audacious, wealthy, extravagant, and abandoned criminal, all hope of corrupting the judges; that on the very first day, when such a number of witnesses had been brought forward, the Roman people determined that If he were acquitted, the republic would no longer exist; that the second day took away from his friends, not only all hope of victory, but even all inclination to make any defence; that the third day prostrated the man so entirely, that, pretending to be sick, he took counsel, not what reply he could make, but how he could avoid making any; and after that, on the subsequent days, he was so oppressed and overwhelmed by these accusations, by these witnesses, both from the city and from the provinces, that when these days of the games intervened, no one thought that he had procured an adjournment, but they thought that he was condemned.


21So that, as far as I am concerned, O judges, I gained the day; for I did not desire the spoils of Caius Verres, but the good opinion of the Roman people. It was my business to act as accuser only if I had a good cause. What cause was ever juster than the being appointed and selected by as illustrious a province as its defender? To consult the welfare of the republic;—what could be more honourable for the republic, than while the tribunals were in such general discredit, to bring before them a man by whose condemnation the whole order of the senate might be restored to credit and favour with the Roman people?—to prove and convince men that it was a guilty man who was brought to trial? Who is there of the Roman people who did not carry away this conviction from the previous pleading, that if all the wickednesses, thefts, and enormities of all who have ever been condemned before were brought together into one place, they could scarcely be likened or compared to but a small part of this man's crimes? 22Judges, consider and deliberate what becomes your fame, your reputation, and the common safety? Your eminence prevents your being able to make any mistake without the greatest injury and danger to the republic. For the Roman people cannot hope that there are any other men in the senate who can judge uprightly, if you cannot. It is inevitable that, when it has learnt to despair of the whole order, it should look for another class of men and another system of judicial proceedings. If this seems to you at all a trifling matter, because you think the being judges a grave and inconvenient burden, you ought to be aware, in the first place, that it makes a difference whether you throw off that burden yourselves, of your own accord, or whether the power of sitting as judges is taken away from you because you have been unable to convince the Roman people of your good faith and scrupulous honesty. In the second place, consider this also, with what great danger we shall come before those judges whom the Roman people, by reason of its hatred to you, has willed shall judge concerning you. 23But I will tell you, O judges, what I am sure of. Know, then, that there are some men who are possessed with such a hatred or your order, that they now make a practice of openly saying that they are willing for that man, whom they know to be a most infamous one, to be acquitted for this one reason,—that then the honour or the judgment-seat may be taken from the senate with ignominy and disgrace. It is not my fear for your good faith, O judges, which has urged me to lay these considerations before you at some length, but the new hopes which those men are entertaining; for when those hopes had brought Verres suddenly back from the gates of the city to this court, some men suspected that his intention had not been changed so suddenly without a cause.


24Now, in order that Hortensius may not be able to employ any new sort of complaint, and to say that a defendant is oppressed if the accuser says nothing about him; that nothing is so dangerous to the fortunes of an innocent man as for his adversaries to keep silence; and in order that he may not praise my abilities in a way which I do not like, when he says that, if I had said much, I should have relieved him against whom I was speaking, and that I have undone him because I said nothing,--I will comply with his wishes, I shall employ one long unbroken speech: not because it is necessary, but that I may try whether he will be most vexed at my having been silent then or at my speaking now. 25Here you, perhaps, will take care that I do not remit one hour of the time allowed me by law. If I do not employ the whole time which is allowed me by law, you will complain; you will invoke the faith of gods and men, calling them to witness how Caius Verres is circumvented because the prosecutor will not speak as long as he is allowed to speak by the law. What the law gives me for my own sake, may I not be allowed to forbear using? For the time for stating the accusation is given me for my own sake, that I may be able to unfold my charges and the whole cause in my speech. If I do not use it all, I do you no injury, but I give up something of my own right and advantage. You injure me, says he, for the cause ought to be thoroughly investigated. Certainly, for otherwise a defendant cannot be condemned, however guilty he may be. Were you, then, indignant that anything should be done by me to make it less easy for him to be condemned? For if the cause be understood, many men may be acquitted; if it be not understood, no one can be condemned. 26I injure him, it seems, for I take away the right of adjournment. The most vexatious thing that the law has in it, the allowing a cause to be twice pleaded, has either been instituted for my sake rather than for yours, or, at all events, not more for your sake than for mine. For if to speak twice be an advantage, certainly it is an advantage which is common to both If there is a necessity that he who has spoken last should be refuted, then it is for the sake of the prosecutor that the he has been established that there should be a second discussion. But, as I imagine, Glaucia first proposed the law that the defendant might have an adjournment; before that time the decision might either be given at once, or the judges might take time to consider. Which law, then, do you think the mildest? I think that ancient one, by which a man might either be acquitted quickly, or condemned after deliberation. I restore you that law of Acilius, according to which many men who have only been accused once, whose cause has only been pleaded once, in whose case witnesses have only been heard once, have been condemned on charges by no means so clearly proved, nor so flagitious as those on which you are convicted. Think that you are pleading your cause, not according to that severe law, but according to that most merciful one. I will accuse you; you shall reply. Having produced my witnesses, I will lay the whole matter before the bench in such a way, that even if the law gave them a power of adjournment, yet they shall think it discreditable to themselves not to decide at the first hearing.


27But if it be necessary for the cause to be thoroughly investigated, has this one been investigated but superficially? Are we keeping back anything, O Hortensius, a trick which we have often seen practiced in pleading? Who ever attends much to the advocate in this sort of action, in which anything is said to have been carried off and stolen by any one? Is not all the expectation of the judges fixed on the documents or on the witnesses? I said in the first pleading that I would make it plain that Caius Verres had carried off four hundred thousand sesterces contrary to the law. What ought I to have said? Should I have pleaded more plainly if I had related the whole affair thus?—There was a certain man of Halesa, named Dio, who, when a great inheritance had come to his son from a relation while Sacerdos was praetor, had at the time no trouble nor dispute about it. Verres, as soon as he arrived in the province, immediately wrote letters from Messana; he summoned Dio before him, he procured false witnesses from among his own friends to say that that inheritance had been forfeited to Venus Erycina. He announced that he himself would take cognisance of that matter. 28I can detail to you the whole affair in regular order, and at last tell you what the result was, namely, that Dio paid a million of sesterces, in order to prevail in a cause of most undeniable justice, besides that Verres had his herds of mares driven away, and all his plate and embroidered vestments carried off. But neither while I was so relating these things, nor while you were denying them, would our speeches be of any great importance. At what time then would the judge prick up his ears and begin to strain his attention? When Dio himself came forward, and the others who had at that time been engaged in Sicily on Dio's business, when, at the very time when Dio was pleading his cause, he was proved to have borrowed money, to have galled in all that was owing to him, to have sold farms; when the accounts of respectable men were produced, when they who had supplied Dio with money said that they had heard at the time that the money was taken on purpose to be given to Verres; when the friends, and connections, and patrons of Dio, most honourable men, said that they had heard the same thing. 29Then, when this was going on, you would, I suppose, attend as you did attend. Then the cause would seem to be going on. Everything was managed by me in the former pleading so that among all the charges there was not one in which any one of you desired an uninterrupted statement of the case. I deny that anything was said by the witnesses which was either obscure to any one of you, or which required the eloquence of any orator to set it off.


In truth, you must recollect that I conducted the case in this way; I set forth and detailed the whole charge at the time of the examination of witnesses, so that as soon as I had explained the whole affair, I then immediately examined the witnesses. And by that means, not only you, who have to judge, are in possession of our charges, but also the Roman people became acquainted with the whole accusation and the whole cause: although I am speaking of my own conduct as if I had done so of my own will rather than because I was induced to do so by any injustice of yours. 30But you interposed another accuser, who, when I had only demanded a hundred and ten days to prosecute my inquiries in Sicily, demanded a hundred and eight for himself to go for a similar purpose into Achaia. When you had deprived me of the three months most suitable for conducting my cause, you thought that I would give you up the remainder of the year, so that, when he had employed the time allowed to me, you, O Hortensius, after the interruption of two festivals, might make your reply forty days afterwards; and then, that the time might be so spun out, that we might come from Marius Glabrio, the praetor, and from the greater part of these judges, to another praetor, and other judges. 31If I had not seen this—if every one, both acquaintances and strangers, had not warned me that the object which they were driving at, which they were contriving, for which they were striving, was to cause the matter to be delayed to that time—I suppose, if I had chosen to spend all the time allowed me in stating the accusation, I should be under apprehensions that I should not have charges enough to bring, that subjects for a speech would be wanting to me, that my voice and strength would fail me, that I should not be able to accuse twice a man whom no one had dared to defend at the first pleading of the cause. I made my conduct appear reasonable both to the judges and also to the Roman people. There is no one who thinks that their injustice and impudence could have been opposed by any other means. Indeed, how great would have been my folly, if, though I might have avoided it, I had allowed matters to come on on the day which they who had undertaken to deliver him from justice provided for in their undertaking, when they gave their undertaking to deliver him in these words—"If the trial took place on or after the first of January?" 32Now I must provide for the careful management of the time which is allowed me for making a speech, since I am determined to state the whole case most fully.


Therefore I will pass by that first act of his life, most infamous and most wicked as it was. He shall hear nothing from me of the vices and offences of his childhood, nothing about his most dissolute youth: how that youth was spent, you either remember, or else you can recognise it in the son whom he has brought up to be so like himself: I will pass over everything which appears shameful to be mentioned; and I will consider not only what that fellow ought to have said of himself, but also what it becomes me to say. Do you, I entreat you, permit this, and grant to my modesty, that it may be allowed to pass over in silence some portion of his shamelessness. 33At that time which passed before he came into office and became a public character, he may have free and untouched as far as I am concerned. Nothing shall be said of his drunken nocturnal revels; no mention shall be made of his pimps, and dicers, and panders; his losses at play, and the licentious transactions which the estate of his father and his own age prompted him to shall be passed over in silence. He may have lived in all infamy at that time with impunity, as far as I am concerned; the rest of his life has been such that I can well afford to put up with the loss of not mentioning those enormities. 34You were quaestors to Cnaeus Papirius the consul fourteen years ago. All that you have done from that day to this day I bring before the court. Not one hour will be found free from theft, from wickedness, from cruelty, from atrocity. These years have been passed by you in the quaestorship, and in the lieutenancy in Asia, and in the city praetorship, and in the Sicilian praetorship. On which account a division of my whole action will also be made into four parts.


As quaestor you received our province by lot, according to the decree of the senate. A consular province fell to your lot, so that you were with Cnaeus Carbo, the consul, and had that province. There was at that time dissension among the citizens: and in that I am not going to say anything as to what part you ought to have taken. This only do I say, that at such a time as that you ought to have made up your mind which side you would take and which party you would espouse. Carbo was very indignant that there had fallen to his lot as his quaestor a man of such notorious luxury and indolence. But he loaded him with all sorts of kindnesses. Not to dwell too long on this; money was voted, was paid;[2] he went as quaestor to the province; he came into Gaul, where he had been for some time expected, to the army of the consul with the money. At the very first opportunity that offered, (take notice of the principle on which the man discharged the duties of his offices, and administered the affairs of the republic,) the quaestor, having embezzled the public money, deserted the consul, the army, and his allotted province. 35I see what I have done; he rouses himself up; he hopes that, in the instance of this charge, some breeze may be wafted this way of good will and approbation for those men to him the name of Cnaeus Carbo, though dead, is unwelcome, and to whom he hopes that that desertion and betrayal of his consul will prove acceptable. As if he had done it from any desire to take the part of the nobility, or from any party zeal, and had not rather openly pillaged the consul, the army and the province, and then, because of this most impudent theft, had run away. For such an action as that is obscure, and such that one may suspect that Caius Verres, because he could not bear new men, passed over to the nobility, that is, to his own party, and that he did nothing from consideration of money. 36Let us see how he gave in his accounts; now he himself will show why he left Cnaeus Carbo; now he himself will show what he is.


First of all take notice of their brevity—"I received," says he, "two million two hundred and thirty-five thousand four hundred and seventeen sesterces; I spent, for pay to the soldiers, for corn, for the lieutenants, for the pro-quaestor, for the praetorian cohort, sixteen hundred and thirty-five thousand four hundred and seventeen sesterces; I left at Ariminum six hundred thousand sesterces." Is this giving in accounts? Did either I, or you, O Hortensius, or any man ever give in his accounts in this manner? What does this mean? what impudence it is! what audacity! What precedent is there of any such in all the number of accounts that have ever been rendered by public officers? And yet these six hundred thousand sesterces, as to which he could not even devise a false account of whom he had paid them to, and which he said he had left at Ariminum,—these six hundred thousand sesterces which he had in hand, Carbo never touched, Sulla never saved them, nor were these ever brought into the treasury. He selected Ariminum as the town, because at the time when he was giving in his accounts, it had been taken and plundered.[3] He did not suspect, what he shall now find out, that plenty of the Ariminians were left to us after that disaster as witnesses to that point. Read now—37"Accounts rendered to Publius Lentulus, and Lucius Triarius, quaestors of the city." Read on—"According to the decree of the senate." In order to be allowed to give in accounts in such a manner as this, he became one of Sulla's party in an instant, and not for the sake of contributing to the restoration of honour and dignity to the nobility. Even if you had deserted empty-handed, still your desertion would be decided to be wicked, your betrayal of your consul, infamous. Oh, Cnaeus Carbo was a bad citizen, a scandalous consul, a seditious man. He may have been so to others: when did he begin to be so to you? After he entrusted to you the money, the supplying of corn, all his accounts, and his army; for if he had displeased you before that, you would have done the same as Marcus Piso did the year after. When he had fallen by lot to Lucius Scipio, as consul, he never touched the money, he never joined the army at all. The opinions he embraced concerning the republic he embraced so as to do no violence to his own good faith, to the customs of our ancestors, nor to the obligations imposed on him by the lot which he had drawn.


38In truth, if we wish to disturb all these things, and to throw them into confusion, we shall render life full of danger, intrigue, and enmity; if such allurements are to have no scruples to protect them; if the connection between men in prosperous and doubtful fortunes is to cause no friendship; if the customs and principles of our ancestors are to have no authority. He is the common enemy of all men who has once been the enemy of his own connections. No wise man ever thought that a traitor was to be trusted; Sulla himself, to whom the arrival of the fellow ought to have been most acceptable, removed him from himself and from his army: he ordered him to remain at Beneventum, among those men whom he believed to be exceedingly friendly to his party, where he could do no harm to his cause and could have no influence on the termination of the war. Afterwards, indeed, he rewarded him liberally; he allowed him to seize some estates of men who had been proscribed lying in the territory of Beneventum; he loaded him with honour as a traitor; he put no confidence in him as a friend. 39Now, although there are men who hate Cnaeus Carbo, though dead, yet they ought to think, not what they were glad to have happen, but what they themselves would have to fear in a similar case. This is a misfortune common to many a cause for alarm, and a danger common to many. There are no intrigues more difficult to guard against than those which are concealed under a pretence of duty, or under the name of some intimate connection. For you can easily avoid one who is openly an adversary, by guarding against him; but this secret, internal, and domestic evil not only exists, but even overwhelms you before you can foresee it or examine into it. Is it not so? 40When you were sent as quaestor to the army, not only as guardian of the money, but also of the consul; when you were the sharer in all his business and of all his counsels, when you were considered by him as one of his own children, according to the tenor of the principles of our ancestors; could you on a sudden leave him? desert him? pass over to the enemy? O wickedness! O monster to be banished to the very end of the world! For that nature which has committed such an atrocity as this cannot be contented with this one crime alone. It must be always contriving something of this sort; it must be occupied in similar audacity and perfidy. 41Therefore, that same fellow whom Cnaeus Dolabella afterwards, when Caius Malleolus had been slain, had for his quaestor, (I know not whether this connection was not even a closer one than the connection with Carbo, and whether the consideration of his having been voluntarily chosen is not stronger than that of his having been chosen by lot,) behaved to Cnaeus Dolabella in the same manner as he had behaved in to Cnaeus Carbo. For, the charges which properly touched himself, he transferred to his shoulders; and gave information of everything connected with his cause to his enemies and accusers. He himself gave most hostile and most infamous evidence against the man to whom he had been lieutenant and pro-quaestor. Dolabella, unfortunate as he was, through his abominable betrayal, through his infamous and false testimony, was injured far more than by either, by the odium created by that fellow's own thefts and atrocities.


42What can you do with such a man? or what hope can you allow so perfidious, so ill-omened an animal to entertain? One who despised and trampled on the lot which bound him to Cnaeus Carbo, the choice which connected him with Cnaeus Dolabella, and not only deserted them both, but also betrayed and attacked them. Do not, I beg of you, O judges, judge of his crimes by the brevity of my speech rather than by the magnitude of the actions themselves. For I am forced to make haste in order to have time to set before you all the things which I have resolved to relate to you. Wherefore, now that his quaestorship has been put before you, saw that the dishonesty and wickedness of his first conduct in his first office has been thoroughly seen, listen, I pray you, to the remainder. 43And in this I will pass over that period of proscription and rapine which took place under Sulla; nor will I allow him to derive any argument for his own defence from that time of common calamity to all men. I will accuse him of nothing but his own peculiar and well-proved crimes. Therefore, omitting all mention of the time of Sulla from the accusation, consider that splendid lieutenancy of his. After Cilicia was appointed to Cnaeus Dolabella as his province, O ye immortal gods! with what covetousness, with what incessant applications, did he force from him that lieutenancy for himself, which was indeed the beginning of the greatest calamity to Dolabella. For as he proceeded on his journey to the province, wherever he went his conduct was such, that it was not some lieutenant of the Roman people, but rather some calamity that seemed to be going through the country.


44In Achaia, (I will omit all minor things, to some of which perhaps some one else may some time or other have done something like; I will mention nothing except what is unprecedented, nothing except what would appear incredible, if it were alleged against any other criminal,) he demanded money from a Sicyonian magistrate. Do not let this be considered a crime in Verres; others have done the tame. When he could not give it, he punished him; a scandalous, but still not an unheard-of act. Listen to the sort of punishment; you will ask, of what race of men you are to think him a specimen. He ordered a fire to be made of green and damp wood in a narrow place. There he left a free man, a noble in his own country, an ally and friend of the Roman people, tortured with smoke, half dead. 45After that, what statues, what paintings he carried off from Achaia, I will not mention at present. There is another part of my speech which I have reserved for speaking of this covetousness of the man. You have heard that at Athens a great sum of money was taken out of the temple of Minerva. This was mentioned in the trial of Cnaeus Dolabella. Mentioned? the amount too was stated. Of this design you will find that Caius Verres was not only a partaker, but was even the chief instigator. 46He came to Delos. There from that most holy temple of Apollo he privately took away by night the most beautiful and ancient statues, and took care that they were all placed on board his own transport. The next day, when the inhabitants of Delos saw their temple plundered, they were very indignant. For the holiness and antiquity of that temple is so great in their eyes, that they believe that Apollo himself was born in that place. However, they did not dare to say one word about it, lest haply Dolabella himself might be concerned in the business.


Then on a sudden a very great tempest arose, O judges; so that Dolabella could not only not depart, when he wished, but could scarcely stand in the city, such vast waves were dashed on shore. Here that ship of that pirate loaded with the consecrated statues, being cast up and driven ashore by the waves, is broken to pieces. Those statues of Apollo were found on the shore; by command of Dolabella they are restored; the tempest is lulled; Dolabella departs from Delos. 47I do not doubt, though there was no feeling of humanity ever in you, no regard for holiness, still that now in your fear and danger thoughts of your wicked actions occurred to you. Can there be any comfortable hope of safety cherished by you, when you recollect how impious, how wicked, how blasphemous has been your conduct towards the immortal gods? Did you dare to plunder the Delian Apollo? Did you dare to lay impious and sacrilegious hands on that temple, so ancient, so venerated, so holy? If you were not in your childhood taught and framed to learn and know what has been committed to writing, still would you not afterwards, when you came into the very places themselves, learn and believe what is handed down both by tradition and by documents: 48That Latona, after a long wandering and persecution, pregnant, and now near bringing forth, when her time was come, fled to Delos, and there brought forth Apollo and Diana; from which belief of men that island is considered sacred to those gods; and such is and always has been the influence of that religious belief, that not even the Persians, when they waged war on all Greece, on gods and men, and when they had put in with a fleet of a thousand ships at Delos, attempted to violate, or even to touch anything. Did you, O most wicked, O most insane of men, attempt to plunder this temple? Was any covetousness of such power as to extinguish such solemn religious belief? And if you did not think of this at that time, do you not recollect even now that there is no evil so great as not to have been long since due to you for your wicked actions?


49But after he arrived in Asia,—why should I enumerate the dinners, the suppers, the horses, and the presents which marked that progress? I am not going to say anything against Verres for everyday crimes. I say that he carried off by force some most beautiful statues from Chios; also from Erythrae; also from Halicarnassus. From Tenedos (I pass over the money which he seized) he carried off Tenes himself, who among the Tenedians is considered a most holy god, who is said to have founded that city, after whose name it is called Tenedos. This very Tenes, I say, most admirably wrought, which you have seen[4] before now in the assembly, he carried off amid the great lamentations of the city. 50But that storming of that most ancient and most noble temple of the Samian Juno, how grievous was it to the Samians! how bitter to all Asia! how notorious to all men! how notorious to every one of you! And when ambassadors had come from Samos into Asia to Caius Nero, to complain of this attack on that temple, they received for answer, that complaints of that sort, which concerned a lieutenant of the Roman people, ought not to be brought before the praetor, but must be carried to Rome. What pictures did he carry off from thence; what statues! which I saw lately in his house, when I went thither for the sake of sealing[5] it up. 51And where are those statues now, O Verres? I mean those which I lately saw in your house against every pillar, and also in every space between two pillars, and actually arranged in the grove in the open air? Why were those things left at your house, as long as you thought that another praetor, with the other judges whom you expected to have substituted in the room of these, was to sit in judgment upon your? But when you saw that we preferred suiting the convenience of our own witnesses rather than your convenience as to time, you left not one statue in your house except two which were in the middle of it, and which were themselves stolen from Samos. Did you not think that I would summon your most intimate friends to give evidence of this matter, who had often been at your house, and ask of them whether they knew that statues were there which were not?


52What did you think that these men would think of you then, when they saw that you were no longer contending against your accuser, but against the quaestor and the brokers?[6] On[7] which matter you heard Charidemus of Chios give his evidence at the former pleadings, that he, when he was captain of a trireme, and was attending Verres on his departure from Asia, was with him at Samos, by command of Dolabella and that he then knew that the temple of Juno had been plundered, and the town of Samos; that afterwards he had been put on his trial before the Chians, his fellow citizens, on the accusation of the Samians; and that he had been acquitted because he had made it plain that the allegations of the Samians concerned Verres, and not him. 53You know that Aspendus is an ancient and noble town in Pamphylia, full of very fine statues. I do not say that one statue or another was taken away from thence: this I say, that you, O Verres, left not one statue at Aspendus; that everything from the temples and from all public places was openly seized and carried away on wagons, the citizens all looking on. And he even carried off that harp-player of Aspendus, of whom you have often heard the saying, which is a proverb among the Greeks, who used to say that he could sing everything within himself, and put him in the inmost part of his own house, so as to appear to have surpassed the statue itself in trickery. 54At Perga we are aware that there is a very ancient and very holy temple of Diana. That too, I say, was stripped and plundered by you; and all the gold which there was on Diana herself was taken off and carried away. What, in the name of mischief, can such audacity and inanity mean? In the very cities of our friends and allies, which you visited under the pretext of your office as lieutenant, if you had stormed them by force with an army, and had exercised military rule there; still, I think, the statues and ornaments which you took away, you would have carried, not to your own house, nor to the suburban villas of your friends, but to Rome for the public use.


55Why should I speak of Marcus Marcellus, who took Syracuse, that most beautiful city? why of Lucius Scipio, who waged war in Asia, and conquered Antiochus, a most powerful monarch? why of Flaminius, who subdued Philip the king, and Macedonia? why of Lucius Paullus, who with his might and valour conquered king Perses? why of Lucius Mummius, who overthrew that most beautiful and elegant city Corinth, full of all sorts of riches, and brought many cities of Achaia and Boeotia under the empire and dominion of the Roman people?—their houses, though they were rich in virtue and honour, were empty of statues and paintings. But we see the whole city, the temples of the gods, and all parts of Italy, adorned with their gifts, and with memorials of them. 56I am afraid all this may seem to some people too ancient, and long ago obsolete. For at that time all men were so uniformly disposed in the same manner, that this credit of eminent virtue and incorruptibility appears to belong, not only to those men, but also to those times. Publius Servilius, a most illustrious man, who has performed the noblest exploits, is present. He will deliver his opinion on your conduct. He, by his power, had forces; his wisdom and his valour took Olympus, an ancient city, and one strengthened and embellished in every possible manner. I am bringing forward recent example of a most distinguished man. For Servilius, as a general of the Roman people, took Olympus after you, as lieutenant of the quaestor in the same district, had taken care to harass and plunder all the cities of our friends and allies even when they were at peace. 57The things which you carried off from the holiest temples with wickedness, and like a robber, we cannot see, except in your own houses, or in those of your friends. The statues and decorations which Publius Servilius brought away from the cities of our enemies, taken by his courage and valour, according to the laws of war and his own rights as commander-in-chief, he brought home for the Roman people; he carried them in his triumph, and took care that a description of them should be engraved on public tablets and hid up in the treasury. You may learn from public documents the industry of that most honourable man. Read—"The accounts delivered by Publius Servilius." You see not only the number of the statues, but the size, the figure, and the condition of each one among them accurately described in writing. Certainly, the delight arising from virtue and from victory is much greater than that pleasure which is derived from licentiousness and covetousness. I say that Servilius took much more care to have the booty of the Roman people noted and described, than you took to have your plunder catalogued.


58You will say that your statues and paintings were also an ornament to the city and forum of the Roman people. I recollect: I, together with the Roman people, saw the forum and place for holding the assemblies adorned with embellishments, in appearance indeed magnificent, but to one's senses and thoughts bitter and melancholy. I saw everything glittering with your thefts, with the plunder of the provinces, with the spoils of our allies and friends. At which time, O judges, that fellow conceived the hope of committing his other crimes. For he saw that these men, who wished to be called the masters of the courts of law, were slaves to these desires. 59But the allies and foreign nations then first abandoned the hope of saving any of their property and fortunes, because, as it happened, there were at that time very many ambassadors from Asia and Achaia at Rome, who worshipped in the forum the images of the gods which had been taken from their temples. And so also, when they recognised the other statues and ornaments, they wept, as they beheld the different pieces of their property in different place. And from all those men we then used to hear discourses of this sort:—"That it was impossible for any one to doubt of the ruin of our allies and friends, when men saw in the forum of the Roman people, in which formerly those men used to be accused and condemned who had done any injury to the allies, those things now openly placed which had been wickedly seized and taken away from the allies." 60Here I do not expect that he will deny that he has many statues, and countless paintings. But, as I fancy, he is accustomed at times to say that he purchased these things which he seized and stole; since indeed he was sent at the public expense, and with the title of ambassador, into Achaia, Asia, and Pamphylia as a purchaser of statues and paintings.


I have all the accounts both of that fellow and of his father, of money received, which I have most carefully read and arranged; those of your father, as long as he lived, you own, as far as you say that you have made them up. For in that man, O judges, you will find this new thing. We hear that some men have never kept accounts; which is a mistaken opinion of men with respect to Antonius; for he kept them most carefully. But there may be men of that sort, but they are by no means to be approved of. We hear that some men have not kept them from the beginning, but after some time have made them up; there is a way of accounting for this too. But this is unprecedented and absurd which this man gave us for an answer, when we demanded his account of him: "That he kept them up to the consulship of Marcus Terentius and Caius Cassius; but that, after that, he gave up keeping them." 61In another place we will consider what sort of a reply this is; at present I am not concerned with it; for of the times about which I am at present occupied I have the accounts, both yours and those of your father. You cannot deny that you carried off very many most beautiful statues, very many admirable paintings. I wish you would deny it. Show in your accounts or in those of your father that any one of them was purchased, and you have gained your cause. There is not even any possibility of your having bought those two most beautiful statues which are now standing in your court, and which stood for many years by the folding doors of the Samian Juno; these two, I say, which are now the only statues left in your house, which are waiting for the broker, left alone and deserted by the other statues.


62But, I suppose in these matters alone had he this irrepressible and unbridled covetousness; his other desires were restrained by some reason and moderation. To how many noble virgins, to how many matrons do you think he offered violence in that foul and obscene lieutenancy? In what town did he set his foot that he did not leave more traces of his rapes and atrocities than he did of his arrival? But I will pass over everything which can be denied; even those things which are most certain and most evident I will omit; I will select one of his abominable deeds, in order that I may the more easily at last arrive at Sicily, which has imposed the burden of this business on me. 63There is a town on the Hellespont, O judges, called Lampsacus, among the first in the province of Asia for renown and for nobleness. And the citizens themselves of Lampsacus are most especially kind to all Roman citizens, and also are an especially quiet and orderly race; almost beyond all the rest of the Greeks inclined to the most perfect ease, rather than to any disorder or tumult. It happened, when he had prevailed on Cnaeus Dolabella to send him to king Nicomedes and to king Sadala, and when he had begged this expedition, more with a view to his own gain than to any advantage for the republic, that in that journey he came to Lampsacus, to the great misfortune and almost ruin of the city. He is conducted to the house of a man named Janitor as his host; and his companions also, are billeted on other entertainers. As was the fellow's custom, and as his lusts always instigating him to commit some wickedness prompted him, he immediately gives a commission to his companions, the most worthless and infamous of men, to inquire and find out whether there is any virgin woman worthy of his staying longer at Lampsacus for her sake.


64He had a companion of the name of Rubrius, a man made for such vices as his, who used to find out all these things for him wherever he went, with wonderful address. He brings him the following news,—that there was a man of the name of Philodamus, in birth, in rank, in wealth, and in reputation by far the first man among the citizens of Lampsacus; that his daughter, who was living with her father because she had not yet got a husband, was a woman of extraordinary beauty, but was also considered exceedingly modest and virtuous. The fellow, when he heard this, was so inflamed with desire for that which he had not only not seen himself, but which even he from whom he heard of it had not seen himself, that he said he should like to go to Philodamus immediately. Janitor, his host, who suspected nothing, being afraid that he must have given him some offence himself, endeavoured with all his might to detain him. Verres, as he could not find any pretext for leaving his host's house began to pave his way for his meditated violence by other steps. He says that Rubrius, his most loved friend, his assistant in all such matters, and the partner of his counsels, is lodged with but little comfort. He orders him to be conducted to the house of Philodamus. 65But when this is reported to Philodamus, although he was ignorant what great misfortune was at that moment being contrived for him and for his children, still he comes to him,--represents to him that that is not his office,—that when it was his turn to receive guests, he was accustomed to receive the praetors and consuls themselves, and not the attendants of lieutenants. Verres, as he was hurried on by that one desire alone, disregarded all his demands and allegations, and ordered Rubrius to be introduced by force into the house of a man who had a right to refuse him admittance.


On this, Philodamus, when he could not preserve his rights, studied at least to preserve his courtesy and affability. He who had always been considered most hospitable and most friendly towards our people, did not like to appear to have received even this fellow Rubrius into his house unwillingly; he prepares a banquet magnificently and luxuriously, being, as he was, among the richest of all his fellow citizens; he begs Rubrius to invite whoever were agreeable to himself; to leave, if he pleased, just room for himself alone. He even sends his own son, a most excellent youth, out to one of his relations to supper. 66Rubrius invites Verres's companions; Verres informs them all what there was to be done. They come early. They sit down to supper. Conversation takes place among them, and an invitation is given to drink in the Greek fashion. The host encourages them; they demand wine in larger goblets; the banquet proceeds with the conversation and joy of every one. When the business appeared to Rubrius to have got warm enough, "I would know of you, O Philodamus," says he, "why you do not bid your daughter to be invited in hither to us?" The man, who was both a most dignified man, and of mature age, and a parent, was amazed at the speech of the rascal. Rubrius began to urge it. Then he, in order to give some answer, said that it was not the custom of the Greeks for women to sit down at the banquets of men. On this some one else from some other part of the room cried out, "But this is not to be borne; let the women be summoned." And immediately Rubrius orders his slaves to shut the door, and to stand at the doors themselves. 67But when Philodamus perceived that what was intended and being prepared was, that violence should be offered to his daughter, he calls his servants to him, he bids them disregard him and defend his daughter, and orders some one to run out and bear the news to his son of this overpowering domestic misfortune. Meantime an uproar arises throughout the whole house; a fight takes place between the slaves of Rubrius and his host. That noble and most honourable man is buffeted about in his own house; every one fights for his own safety. At last Philodamus has a quantity of boiling water thrown over him by Rubrius himself. When the news of this is brought to the son, half dead with alarm he instantly hastens home to bring aid to save the life of his father and the modesty of his sister. All the citizens of Lampsacus, with the same spirit, the moment they heard of it, because both the worth of Philodamus and the enormity of the injury excited them, assembled by night at his house. At this time Cornelius, the lictor of Verres, who had been placed with his slaves by Rubrius, as if on guard, for the purpose of carrying off the woman, is slain; some of the slaves are wounded; Rubrius himself is wounded in the crowd. Verres, when he saw such an uproar excited by his own cupidity, began to wish to escape some way or other if he could.


68The next morning men come early to the public assembly; they ask what is best to be done; every one delivered his own opinions to the people according as each individual had the most weight. No one was found whose opinion and speech was not to this purpose:—"That it need not be feared, if the Lampsacenes had avenged that man's atrocious wickedness by force and by the sword, that the senate and Roman people would have thought they ought to chastise their city. And if the lieutenants of the Roman people were to establish this law with respect to the allies, and to foreign nations,—that they were not to be allowed to preserve the chastity of their children unpolluted by their lusts, it was better to endure anything rather than to live in a state of such violence and bitterness." 69As all were of this opinion, and as every one spoke in this tenor, as his own feelings and indignation prompted each individual, all immediately proceeded towards the house where Verres was staying. They began to beat the door with stones, to attack it with weapons, to surround it with wood and faggots, and to apply fire to it. Then the Roman citizens who were dwelling as traders at Lampsacus run together to the spot; they entreat the citizens of Lampsacus to allow the name of the lieutenancy to have more weight with them than the insult of the lieutenant; they say that they were well aware that he was an infamous and wicked man, but as he had not accomplished what he had attempted, and as he was not going to be at Lampsacus any longer, their error in sparing a wicked man would be less than that of not sparing a lieutenant. 70And so that fellow, far more wicked and infamous than even the notorious Hadrian,[8] was a good deal more fortunate. He, because Roman citizens could not tolerate his avarice, was burnt alive at Utica in his own house; and that was thought to have happened to him so deservedly, that all men rejoiced, and no punishment was inflicted for the deed. This man, scorched indeed though he was by the fire made by our allies, yet escaped from those flames and that danger; and has not even yet been able to imagine what he had done, or what had happened to bring him into such great danger. For he cannot say:—"When I was trying to put down a sedition, when I was ordering corn, when I was collecting money for the soldiers, when in short I was doing something or other for the sake of the republic, because I gave some strict order, because I punished some one, because I threatened some one, all this happened." Even if he were to say so, still he ought not to be pardoned, if he seemed to have been brought into such great danger through issuing too savage commands to our allies.


71Now when he neither dares himself to allege any such cause for the tumult as being true, nor even to invent such a falsehood, but when a most temperate man of his own order, who at that time was in attendance on Caius Nero, Publius Tettius, says that he too heard this same account at Lampsacus, (a man most accomplished in everything, Caius Varro, who was at that time in Asia as military tribune, says that be heard this very same story from Philodamus,) can you doubt that fortune was willing, not so much to save him from that danger, as to reserve him for your judgment! Unless, indeed, he will say, as indeed Hortensius did say, interrupting Tettius while he was giving his evidence in the former pleading (at which time indeed he gave plenty of proof that, if there were anything which he could say, he could not keep silence; so that we may all feel sure that, while he was silent in the other matters that were alleged, he was so because he had nothing to say); he at that time said this, that Philodamus and his son had been condemned by Caius Nero. 72About which, not to make a long speech, I will merely say that Nero and his bench of judges came to that decision on the ground that it was plain that Cornelius, his lictor, had been slain, and that they thought it was not right that any one, even while avenging his own injuries, should have the power to kill a man. And as to this I see that you were not by Nero's sentence acquitted of atrocity, but that they were convicted of murder. And yet what sort of a conviction was that? Listen, I entreat you, O judges, and do sometimes pity our allies, and show that they ought to have, and that they have, some protection in your integrity.


Because the man appeared to all Asia to have been lawfully slain, being in name indeed his lictor, but in reality the minister of his most profligate desires, Verres feared that Philodamus would be acquitted by the sentence of Nero. He begs and entreats Dolabella to leave his own province, to go to Nero; he shows that he himself cannot be safe if Philodamus be allowed to live and at any time to come to Rome. 73Dolabella was moved; he did what many blamed, in leaving his army, his province, and the war, and in going into Asia, into the province of another magistrate, for the sake of a most worthless man. After he came to Nero, he urged him to take cognisance of the cause of Philodamus. He came himself to sit on the bench, and to be the first to deliver his opinion. He had brought with him also his prefects, and his military tribunes, all of whom Nero invited to take their places on the bench On that bench also was that most just judge Verres himself. There were some Romans also, creditors of some of the Greeks, to whom the favour of any lieutenant, be he ever so infamous, is of the greatest influence in enabling them to get in their money. 74The unhappy prisoner could find no one to defend him; for what citizen was there who was not under the influence of Dolabella? what Greek who was not afraid of his power and authority? And then is assigned as the accuser a Roman citizen, one of the creditors of the Lampsacenes; and if he would only say what that fellow ordered him to say, he was to be enabled to compel payment of his money from the people, by the aid of that same Verres's lictors. When all these thing; were conducted with such zeal, and with such resources; when many were accusing that unhappy man, and no one was defending him; and when Dolabella, with his prefects, was taking an eager part on the bench; when Verres kept saying that his fortunes were at stake—when he also gave his evidence—when he also was sitting on the bench—when he also had provided the accuser; when all this was done, and when it was clear that the man had been slain, still, so great was the weight which the consideration of bat fellow's injury had, so great was his iniquity thought, that the case of Philodamus was adjourned for further inquiry.


75Why need I now speak of the energy of Cnaeus Dolabella at the second hearing of the cause,--of his tears of his agitation of body and minds? Why need I describe the mind of Caius Nero,—a most virtuous and innocent man, but still on some occasions too timid and low spirited?—who in that emergency had no idea what to do, unless, perchance (as every one wished him to do), to settle the matter without the intervention of Verres and Dolabella. Whatever had been done without their intervention all men would approve; but, as it was, the sentence which was given was thought not to have been pronounced judicially by Nero, but to have been extorted by Dolabella. For Philodamus and his son are convicted by a few votes: Dolabella is present; urges and presses Nero to have them executed as speedily as possible, in order that as few as may be may bear of that man's nefarious wickedness. 76There is exhibited in the market-place of Laodicea a spectacle bitter, and miserable, and grievous to the whole province of Asia--an aged parent led forth to punishment, and on the other side a son; the one because he had defended the chastity of his children, the other because he had defended the life of his father and the fair fame of his sister. Each was weeping,—the father, not for his own execution, but for that of his son; the son for that of his father. How many tears do you think that Nero himself sheds? How great do you think was the weeping of all Asia? How great the groans and lamentations of the citizens of Lampsacus, that innocent men, nobles, allies and friends of the Roman people, should be put to death by public execution, on account of the unprecedented wickedness and impious desires of one most profligate man? 77After this, O Dolabella, no one can pity either you or your children, whom you have left miserable, in beggary and solitude. Was Verres so dear to you, that you should wish the disappointment of his lust to be expiated by the blood of innocent men? Did you leave your army and the enemy, in order by your own power and cruelty to diminish the dangers of that most wicked man? For, had you expected him to be an everlasting friend to you, because you had appointed him to act as your quaestor? Did you not know, that Cnaeus Carbo, the consul whose real quaestor he had been, had not only been deserted by him, but had also been deprived of his resources and his money, and nefariously attacked and betrayed by him? Therefore, you too experienced his perfidy when he joined your enemies,—when he, himself a most guilty man, gave most damaging evidence against you—when he refused to give in his accounts to the treasury unless you were condemned.[9]


78Are your lusts, O Verres, to be so atrocious, that the provinces of the Roman people, that foreign nations, cannot limit and cannot endure them? Unless whatever you see, whatever you hear, whatever you desire, whatever you think of, is in a moment to be subservient to your nod, is at once to obey your lust and desire, are men to be sent into people's houses? are the houses to be stormed? Are cities—not only the cities of enemies now reduced to peace--but are the cities of our allies and friends to be forced to have recourse to violence and to arms, in order to be able to repel from themselves and from their children the wickedness and lust of a lieutenant of the Roman people? For I ask of you, were you besieged at Lampsacus? Did that multitude begin to burn the house in which you were staying? Did the citizens of Lampsacus wish to burn a lieutenant of the Roman people alive? You cannot deny it; for I have your own evidence which you gave before Nero,—I have the letters which you sent to him. Recite the passage from his evidence. 79[The evidence of Caius Verres against Artemidorus is read.] Recite the passages out of Verres's letters to Nero. [Passages from the letters of Verres to Nero are read.] "Not long afterwards, they came into the house." Was the city of Lampsacus endeavouring to make war on the Roman people? Did it wish to revolt from our dominion—to cast off the name of allies of Rome? For I see, and, from those things which I have read and heard, I am sure, that, if in any city a lieutenant of the Roman people has been, not only besieged, not only attacked with fire and sword, by violence, and by armed forces, but even to some extent actually injured, unless satisfaction be publicly made for the insult, war is invariably declared and waged against that city. 80What, then, was the cause why the whole city of the Lampsacenes ran, as you write yourself, from the assembly to your house? For neither in the letters which you sent to Nero, nor in your evidence, do you mention any reason for so important a disturbance. You say that you were besieged, that fire was applied to your house, that faggots were put round it; you say that your lictor was slain; you say that you did not dare appear in the public streets; but the cause of all this alarm you conceal. For if Rubrius had done any injury to any one on his own account, and not at your instigation and for the gratification of your desires, they would rather have come to you to complain of the injury done by your companion, than have come to besiege you. As, therefore, he himself has concealed what the cause of that disturbance was, and as the witnesses produced by us have related it, do not both their evidence and his own continued silence prove the reason to be that which we have alleged?


81Will you then spare this man, O judges? whose offences are so great that they whom he injured could neither wait for the legitimate time to take their revenge, nor restrain to a future time the violence of their indignation. You were besieged? By whom? By the citizens of Lampsacus—barbarous men, I suppose, or, at all events, men who despised the name of the Roman people. Say rather, men, by nature, by custom, and by education most gentle; moreover, by condition, allies of the Roman people, by fortune our subjects, by inclination our suppliants—so that it is evident to all men, that unless the bitterness of the injury and the enormity of the wickedness had been such that the Lampsacenes thought it better to die than to endure it, they never would have advanced to such a pitch as to be more influenced by hatred of your lust—than by fear of your office as lieutenant. 82Do not, in the name of the immortal gods, I entreat you—do not compel the allies and foreign nations to have recourse to such a refuge as that; and they must of necessity have recourse to it, unless you chastise such crimes. Nothing would ever have softened the citizens of Lampsacus towards him, except their believing that he would be punished at Rome. Although they had sustained such an injury that they could not sufficiently avenge it by any law in the world, yet they would have preferred to submit their griefs to our laws and tribunals, rather than to give way to their own feelings of indignation. You, when you have been besieged by so illustrious a city on account of your own wickedness and crime—when you have compelled men, miserable and maddened by calamity, as if in despair of our laws and tribunals, to fly to violence, to combat, and to arms—when you have shown yourself in the towns and cities of our friends, not as a lieutenant of the Roman people, but as a lustful and inhuman tyrant—when among foreign nations you have injured the reputation of our dominion and our name by your infamy and your crimes—when you have with difficulty saved yourself from the sword of the friends of the Roman people, and escaped from the fire of its allies, do you think you will find an asylum here? You are mistaken—they allowed you to escape alive that you might fall into our power here, not that you might find rest here.


83And you say that a judicial decision was come to that you were injuriously besieged for no reason at Lampsacus, because Philodamus and his son were condemned. What if I show, if I make it evident, by the evidence of a worthless man indeed, but still a competent witness in this matter,—by the evidence of you yourself,—that you yourself transferred the reason of this siege laid to you, and the blame of it, to others? and that those whom you had accused were not punished? Then the decision of Nero will do you but little good. Recite the letters which he sent to Nero. [The letter of Caius Verres to Nero is read.] "Themistagoras and Thessalus." ... You write that Themistagoras and Thessalus stirred up the people. What people? They who besieged you; who endeavoured to burn you alive. Where do you prosecute them? Where do you accuse them? Where do you defend the name and rights of a lieutenant? Will you say that that was settled by the trial of Philodamus? Let me have the evidence of Verres himself. 84Let us see what that fellow said on his oath. Recite it. "Being asked by the accuser, he answered that he was not prosecuting for that in this trial, that he intended to prosecute for that another time." How, then, does Nero's decision profit you?—how does the conviction of Philodamus? Though you, a lieutenant, had been besieged, and when, as you yourself write to Nero, a notorious injury had been done to the Roman people, and to the common cause of all lieutenants, you did not prosecute. You said that you intended to prosecute at some other time When was that time? When have you prosecuted? Why have you taken so much from the rights of a lieutenant's rank? Why have you abandoned and betrayed the cause of the Roman people? Why have you passed over your own injuries, involved as they were in the public injury? Ought you not to have brought the cause before the senate? to have complained of such atrocious injuries? to have taken care that those men who had excited the populace should be summoned by the letters of the consuls? 85Lately, when Marcus Aurelius Scaurus made the demand, because he said that he as quaestor had been prevented by force at Ephesus from taking his servant out of the temple of Diana, who had taken refuge in that asylum, Pericles, an Ephesian, a most noble man, was summoned to Rome, because he was accused of having been the author of that wrong. If you had stated to the senate that you, a lieutenant, had been so treated at Lampsacus, that your companions were wounded, your lictor slain, you yourself surrounded and nearly burnt, and that the ringleaders and principal actors and chiefs in that transaction were Themistagoras and Thessalus, who, you write, were so, who would not have been moved? Who would not have thought that he was taking care of himself in chastising the injury which had been done to you? Who would not have thought that not only your cause but that the common safety was at stake in that matter? In truth the name of lieutenant[10] ought to be such as to pass in safety not only among the laws of allies, but even amid the arms of enemies.


86This crime committed at Lampsacus is very great; a crime of lust and of the most infamous desires. Listen now to a tale of avarice, but little less iniquitous of its sort. He demanded of the Milesians a ship to attend him to Myndus as a guard. They immediately gave him a light vessel, a beautiful one of its class, splendidly adorned and armed. With this guard he went to Myndus. For, as to the wool being public property which he carried off from the Milesians,—as for his extravagance on his arrival,—as for his insults and injuries offered to the Milesian magistrates, although they might be stated not only truly, but also with vehemence and with indignation, still I shall pass them all over, and reserve them for another time to be proved by evidence. At present listen to this which cannot possibly be suppressed, and at the same time cannot be mentioned with proper dignity. 87He orders the soldiers and the crew to return from Myndus to Miletus on foot; he himself sold that beautiful light vessel, picked out of the ten ships of the Milesians, to Lucius Magius and Lucius Rabius, who were living at Myndus. These are the men whom the senate lately voted should be considered in the number of enemies. In this vessel they sailed to all the enemies of the Roman people, from Dianium, which is in Spain, to Senope, which is in Pontus. O ye immortal gods! the incredible avarice, the unheard-of audacity of such a proceeding! Did you dare to sell a ship of the Roman fleet, which the city of Miletus had assigned to you to attend upon you? If the magnitude of the crime, if the opinion of men, had no influence on you, did this, too, never occur to you,—that so illustrious and so noble a city would he a witness against you of this most wicked theft, or rather of this most abominable robbery? 88Or because at that time Cnaeus Dolabella attempted, at your request, to punish the man who had been in command of that vessel, and who had reported to the Milesians what had been done, and had ordered his report, which according to their laws had been inserted in the public registers, to be erased, did you, on that account, fancy that you had escaped from that accusation?


That opinion of yours has much deceived you, and on many occasions. For you have always fancied, and especially in Sicily, that you had taken sufficient precautions for your defence, when you had either forbidden anything to be mentioned in the public records, or had compelled that which had been so mentioned to be erased. How vain that step is, although in the former pleading you learnt it in the instance of many cities of Sicily, yet you may learn it again in the case of this city. The citizens are, indeed, obedient to the command, as long as they are present who give the command. As soon as they are gone, they not only set down that which they have been forbidden to set down, but they also write down the reason why it was not entered in the public records at the time. 89Those documents remain at Miletus, and will remain as long as that city lasts. For the Milesian people had built ten ships by command of Lucius Marcus out of the taxes imposed by the Roman people, as the other cities of Asia had done, each in proportion to its amount of taxation Wherefore they entered on their public records, that one of the ten had been lost, not by the sudden attack of pirates, but by the robbery of a lieutenant,—not by the violence of a storm, but by this horrible tempest which fell upon the allies. 90There are at Rome Milesian ambassadors, most noble men and the chief men of the city, who, although they are waiting with apprehension for the month of February[11] and the time of the consuls elect, yet they not only do not dare to deny such an atrocious action when they are asked about it, but they cannot forbear speaking of it unasked if they are present. They will tell you, I say, being induced by regard to religion, and by their fear of their laws at home, what has become of that vessel. They will declare to you that Caius Verres has behaved himself like a most infamous pirate in regard to that fleet which was built against pirates.


When Caius Malleolus, the quaestor of Dolabella, had been slain, he thought that two inheritances had come to him; one, that of his quaestorian office, for he was immediately desired by Dolabella to be his proquaestor; the other, of a guardianship, for as he was appointed guardian of the young Malleolus, he immediately invaded his property. [91] For Malleolus had started for his province so splendidly equipped that he left actually nothing behind him at home. Besides, he had put out a great deal of money among the provincials, and had taken bills from them. He had taken with him a great quantity of admirably embossed silver plate. For he, too, was a companion of that fellow Verres in that disease and in that covetousness; and so he left behind him at his death a great quantity of silver plate, a great household of slaves, many workmen, many beautiful youths. That fellow seized all the plate that took his fancy; carried off all the slaves he chose; carried off the wines and all the other things which are procured most easily in Asia, which he had left behind: the rest he sold, and took the money himself. [92] Though it was plain that he had received two million, five hundred thousand sesterces, when he returned to Rome, he rendered no account to his ward, none to his ward's mother, none to his fellow-guardians; though he had the servants of his ward, who were workmen, at home, and beautiful and accomplished slaves about him, he said that they were his own,--that he had bought them. When the mother and grandmother of the boy repeatedly asked him if he would neither restore the mosey nor render an account, at least to say how much money of Malleolus's he had received, being wearied with their importunities, at last he said, a million of sesterces. Then on the last line of his accounts, he put in a name at the bottom by a most shameless erasure; he put down that he had paid to Chrysogonus, a slave, six hundred thousand sesterces which he had received for his ward Malleolus. How out of a million they became six hundred thousand; how the six hundred thousand tallied so exactly with other accounts,--that of the money belonging to Cnaeus Carbo there was also a remainder of six hundred thousand sesterces; and how it was that they were put down as paid to Chrysogonus; why that name occurred on the bottom line of the page, and after an erasure, you will judge. [93] Yet, though he had entered in his accounts six hundred thousand sesterces as having been received, he has never paid over fifty thousand. Of the slaves, since he has been prosecuted in this manner, some have been restored, some are detained even now. All the gains which they had made, and all their substitutes[12] are detained.


This is that fellow's splendid guardianship. See to whom you are entrusting your children! Behold how great is the recollection of a dead companion! Behold how great is the fear of the opinion of the living! When all Asia had given herself up to you to be harassed and plundered, when all Pamphylia was placed at your mercy to be pillaged, were you not content with this rich booty? Could you not keep your hands off your guardianship, off your ward, off the son of your comrade? It is not now the Sicilians; they are now a set of ploughmen, as you are constantly saying, who are hemming you in. It is not the men who have been excited against you and rendered hostile to you by your own decrees and edicts. Malleolus is brought forward by me and his mother and his grandmother, who, unfortunate, and weeping, say that their boy has been stripped by you of his father's property. 94What are you waiting for? till poor Malleolus rises from the shades below, and demands of you an account of your discharge of the duties of a guardian, of a comrade, of an intimate friend? Fancy that he is present himself, O most avaricious and most licentious man, restore the property of your comrade to his son; if not all you have robbed him of, at least that which you have confessed that you received. Why do you compel the son of your comrade to utter his first words in the forum with the voice of indignation and complaint? Why do you compel the wife of your comrade, the mother-in-law of your comrade, in short, the whole family of your dead comrade, to hear evidence against you? Why do you compel most modest and admirable women to come against their wont and against their will into so great an assembly of men? Recite the evidence of them all. [The evidence of the mother and grandmother is read.]


95But how he as proquaestor harassed the republic of the Milyades, how he oppressed Lycia, Pamphylia, Piscidia, and all Phrygia, in his levying corn from them, and valuing it according to that valuation of his which he then devised for the first time, it is not necessary for me now to relate, know this much, that these articles (and all such matters were transacted through his instrumentality, while he levied on the cities corn, hides, hair-cloth, sacks, but did not receive the goods but exacted money instead of them),--for these articles alone damages were laid in the action against Dolabella, at three millions of sesterces. And all these things even if they were done with the consent of Dolabella, were yet all accomplished through the instrumentality of that man. 96I will pause on one article, for many are of the same sort. Recite. "Money received from the actions against Cnaeus Dolabella, praetor of the Roman people, that which was received from the State of the Milyades..." I say that you collected this money, that you made this valuation, that the money was paid to you; and I prove that you went through every part of the province with the same violence and injustice, when you were collecting most enormous sums, like some disastrous tempest or pestilence. 97Therefore Marcus Scaurus, who accused Cnaeus Dolabella, held him under his power and in subjection. Being a young man, when in prosecuting his inquiries he ascertained the numerous robberies and iniquities of that man, he acted skillfully and warily. He showed him a huge volume full of his exploits; he got from the fellow all he wanted against Dolabella. He brought him forward as a witness; the fellow said everything which he thought the accuser wished him to say. 98And of that class of witnesses, men who were accomplices in his robberies, I might have had a great plenty if I had chosen to employ them; who offered of their own accord to go wherever I chose, in order to deliver themselves from the danger of actions, and from a connection with his crimes. I rejected the voluntary offers of all of them. There was not only no room for a traitor, there was none even for a deserter in my camp. Perhaps they are to be considered better accusers than I, who do all these things; but I wish the defender of others to be praised in my person, not the accuser. He does not dare bring in his accounts to the treasury before Dolabella is condemned. He prevails on the senate to grant him an adjournment; because he said that his account-books had been sealed up by the accusers of Dolabella; just as if he had not the power of copying them. This man is the only man who never renders accounts to the treasury.


You have heard the accounts of his quaestorship rendered in three lines; but no accounts of his lieutenancy, till he was condemned and banished who alone could detect any error in them. The accounts of his praetorship, which, according to the decree of the senate, he ought to have rendered immediately on leaving office, he has not rendered to this very day. 99He said that he was waiting for the quaestors to appear in the senate; just as if a praetor could not give in his accounts without the quaestor, in the same way as the quaestor does without the praetor, (as you did, Hortensius, and as all have done.) He said that Dolabella obtained the same permission. The omen pleased the conscript fathers rather than the excuse; they admitted it. But now the quaestors have arrived some time. Why have you not rendered them now? Among the accounts of that infamous lieutenancy and pro-quaestorship of yours, those items occur which are necessarily set down also in the accounts of Dolabella. (An extract is read of the account of the damages assessed against Dolabella, praetor of the Roman people, for money received.)[13] 100The sum which Dolabella entered to Verres as having been received from him, is less than the sum which Verres has entered as having been paid to him by four hundred and thirty-five thousand sesterces. The sum which Dolabella made out that Verres received less than he has put down in his account-books, is two hundred and thirty-two thousand sesterces. Dolabella also made out that on account of corn he had received one million and eight hundred thousand sesterces; as to which you, O most incorruptible man, had quite a different entry in your account-books. Hence it is that those extraordinary gains of yours have accumulated, which we are examining into without any guide, article by article as we can;--hence the account with Quintus and Cnaeus Postumus Curtius, made up of many items; of which that fellow has not one in his account-books;--hence the fourteen hundred thousand sesterces paid to Publius Tadius at Athens, as I will prove by witnesses;—hence the praetorship, openly purchased; unless indeed that also is doubtful, how that man became praetor. 101Oh, he was a man, indeed, of tried industry and energy, or else of a splendid reputation for economy, or perhaps, which is however of the least importance, for his constant attendance at our assemblies;—a man who had lived before his quaestorship with prostitutes and pimps; who had passed his quaestorship you yourselves know how;—who, since that infamous quaestorship, has scarcely been three days in Rome: who, while absent, has not been out of sight, but has been the common topic of conversation for every one on account of his countless iniquities. He, on a sudden, the moment he came to Rome, is made praetor for nothing! Besides that, other money was paid to buy off accusations. To whom it was paid is, I think, nothing to me; nothing to the matter in hand. That it was paid was at the time notorious to every one while the occurrence was recent. 102O you most foolish, most senseless man, when you were making up your accounts, and when you wanted to shirk out of the charge of having made extraordinary gains, did you think that you would escape sufficiently from all suspicion, if when you lent men money you did not enter any sums as given to them, and put down no such item at all in your account-books, while the Curtii were giving you credit in their books for all that had been received? What good did it do you that you had not put down what was paid to them? Did you think you were going to try your cause by the production of no other account-books than your own?


103However, let us now come to that splendid praetorship and to those crimes which are better known to those who are here present, than even to us who come prepared to speak after long consideration. In dealing with which, I do not doubt that I may not be able to avoid and escape from some blame on the ground of negligence. For many will say, "He said nothing of the transaction at which I was present; he never touched upon that injury which was done to me, or to my friend, transactions at which I was present." To all those who are acquainted with the wrongs this man has done—that is, to the whole Roman people—I earnestly wish to make this excuse, that it will not be out of carelessness that I shall pass over many things, but because I wish to reserve some points till I produce the witnesses, and because I think it necessary to omit some altogether with a view to brevity, and to the time my speech must take. I will confess too, though against my will, that, as he never allowed any moment of time to pass free from crime, I have not been able to ascertain fully every iniquity which has been committed by him. Therefore I beg you to listen to me with respect to the crimes of his praetorship, expecting only to hear those mentioned, both in the matters of deciding law-suits and of insisting on the repair of public buildings, which are thoroughly worthy of a criminal whom it is not worth while to accuse of any small or ordinary offences. 104For when he was made praetor, leaving the house of Chelidon after having taken the auspices, he drew the lot of the city province, more in accordance with his own inclination and that of Chelidon, than with the wish of the Roman people. And observe how he behaved at the very outset,—what his intentions were as shown[14] in his first edict.


Publius Annius Asellus died while Caius Sacerdos was praetor. As he had an only daughter, and as he was not included in the census,[15] he did what nature prompted, and what no law forbade,—he appointed his daughter heiress of all his property. His daughter was his heiress. Everything made for the orphan; the equity of the law, the wish of the father, the edicts of the praetors, the usage of the law which existed at the time that Asellus died. 105That fellow, being praetor elect, (whether being instigated by others, or being tempted by circumstances, or whether, from the instinctive sagacity which he has in such matters, he came of his own accord to this rascality, without any prompter, without any informer, I know not; you only know the audacity and insanity of the man,) appeals to Lucius Annius as the heir, (who indeed was appointed heir after the daughter,) for I cannot be persuaded that Verres was appealed to by him; he says that he can give him the inheritance by an edict; he instructs the man in what can be done. To the one the property appeared desirable, the other thought that he could sell it. Verres, although he is of singular audacity, still sent privately to the young girl's mother; he preferred taking money for not issuing any new edict, to interposing so shameful and inhuman a decree. 106Her guardians, if they gave money to the praetor in the name of their ward, especially if it were a huge sum, did not see how they could enter it in their accounts; did not see how they could give it except at their own risk; and at the same time they did not believe that he would be so wicked. Being often applied to, they refused. I pray you, take notice, how equitable a decree he issued at the will of the man to whom he was giving the inheritance of which the children were robbed. "As I understand that the Lex Voconia..." Who would ever believe that Verres would be an adversary of women? or did he do something contrary to the interests of women, in order that the whole edict might not appear to have been drawn up at the will of Chelidon. He wishes, he says, to oppose the covetousness of men. Oh, certainly. Who, not only in the present age, but even in the times of our ancestors, was ever so far removed from covetousness? Recite what comes next, I beg; for the gravity of the man, his knowledge of the law, and his authority delight me. "Who, since the censorship of Aulus Postumius and Quintus Fulvius, has made, or shall have made..." Has made, or shall have made! who ever issued an edict in such a manner? 107Who ever proposed by an edict any penalty or danger for an act which could not be provided for otherwise either before the edict or after the edict?


Publius Annius had made his will in accordance with law, with the statutes, with the authority of all who were consulted; a will neither improper, nor made in disregard of any duty, nor contrary to human nature. But even if he had made such a will as that, still, after his death no new law ought to have been enacted which should have any effect on his will. I suppose the Voconian law pleased you greatly? You should have imitated Quintus Voconius himself, who did not by his law take away her inheritance from any female whether virgin or matron, but established a law for the future, that no one who after the year of the existing censors should be enrolled in the census, should make either virgin or matron his heir. 108In the Voconian law, there is no "has made or shall have made." Nor in any law is time past ever implicated in blame, except in cases which are of their own nature wicked and nefarious, so that, even if there were no law, they would be strenuously to be avoided. And in these cases we see that many things are established by law in such a way that things done previously cannot be called in question—the Cornelian law the law about testaments, the law about money, and many others, in which no new law is established in the nation, but it is established that what has always been an evil action shall be liable to public prosecution up to a certain time. 109But if any one establishes any new regulation on any points of civil law, does he allow everything which has been previously done to remain unaltered? Look at the Atinian law, at the Furian law, at the Voconian law itself, as I said before; in short, at every law on the subject of civil rights; you will find in all of them that regulations are established which are only to come into operation after the passing of the law. Those who attribute the greatest importance to the edict, say that the edict of the praetor is an annual law. You embrace more in an edict than you can in a law. If the first of January puts an end to the edict of the praetor, why does not the edict have its birth also on the first of January? Or, is it the case that no one can advance forward by his edict into the year when another man is to be praetor, but that he may retire back into the year when another man has been praetor? And if you had published this edict for the sake of right, and not for the sake of one man, you would have composed it more carefully.


110You write, "If any one has made, or shall have made his heir..." What are we to think? Suppose a man has bequeathed in legacies more than comes to his heir or heirs, as by the Voconian law a man may do who is not included in the census? Why do you not guard against this, as it comes under the same class? Because in your expressions you are not thinking of the interests of a class, but of an individual; so that it is perfectly evident that you were influenced by a desire for money. And if you had issued this edict with only a prospective operation, it would have been less iniquitous; still it would have been scandalous: but in that case, though it might have been blamed, it could not have been doubted about, for no one would have broken it. Now it is an edict of such a sort, that any one can see that it was written, not for the people, but for the second heir of Publius Annius. 111Therefore, though that heading had been embellished by you with so many words, and with that mercenary preamble, was any praetor found afterwards to draw up an edict in similar style? Not only no one ever did publish such an edict, but no one was ever apprehensive even of any one publishing such an edict. For after your praetorship many people made wills in the same manner, and among them Annia did so lately. She, by the advice of many of her relations, being a wealthy woman, because she was not included in the census, by her will made her daughter her heiress. This, now, is great proof of men's opinion of the singular wickedness of that fellow, that, though Verres had established this of his own accord, yet no one was apprehensive that any one could be found to adopt the rule which he had laid down. For you alone were found to be a man who could not be satisfied with correcting the wills of the living, unless you also rescinded those of the dead. 112You yourself removed this clause from your Sicilian edict. You wished, if any matters arose unexpectedly, to decide them according to your edict as praetor of the city. The defence which you left yourself afterwards you yourself greatly injured, when you yourself, in your provincial edict, repudiated your own authority.


And I do not doubt that as this action appears bitter and unworthy to me, to whom my daughter is very dear, it appears so also to each one of you who is influenced by a similar feeling and love for his daughters. For what has nature ordained to be more agreeable and more dear to us? What is more worthy to have all our affections and all our indulgence expended upon it? 113O most infamous of men, why did you do so great an injury to Publius Annius after death? Why did you cause such indelible grief to his ashes and bones, as to take from his children the property of their father given to then? by the will of their father in accordance with the law and with the statutes, and to give them to whomsoever you pleased? Shall the praetor be able, when we are dead, to take away our property and our fortunes from those to whom we give them while alive? He says, "I will neither give any right of petition, nor possession." Will you, then, take away from a young girl her purple-bordered robe? Will you take away, not only the ornaments of her fortune, but those also denoting her noble birth? Do we marvel that the citizens of Lampsacus flew to arms against that man? Do we marvel that when he was leaving his province, he fled secretly from Syracuse as if we were as indignant at what happens to others as at our own injury there would not be a relic of that man left to appear in the forum. 114The father gives to his daughter: you forbid it. The laws allow it: yet you interpose your authority. He gives to her of his own property in such a manner as not to infringe any law. What do you find to blame in that? Nothing, I think. But I allow you to do so. Forbid it if you can; if you can find any one to listen to you; if any one can possibly obey your order. Will you take away their will from the dead,—their property from the living,—their rights from all men? Would not the Roman people have avenged itself by force if it had not reserved you for this occasion and for this trial? Since the establishment of the praetorian power, we have always adopted this principle,—that if no will was produced, then possession was given to that person who would have had the best right to be the heir, if the deceased had died intestate. Why this is the most righteous principle it is easy to show; but in a matter so established by precedent it is sufficient to point out that all men had previously laid down the law in this way, and that this was the ancient and customary edict.


115Listen to another new edict of the fellow in a case of frequent occurrence; and then, while there is any place where civil law can be learnt, pray send all the youths of Rome to his lectures. The genius of the man is marvellous; his prudence is marvellous. A man of the name of Minucius died while he was praetor. He left no will. By law his inheritance passed to the Minucian family. If Verres had issued the edict which all praetors both before and after him did issue, possession would have been given to the Minucian family. If any thought himself heir by will, though no will was known, he might proceed by law to put forward his claim to the inheritance; or if he had taken security for the claim, and given security, he then proceeded to try an action for his inheritance. This is the law which, as I imagine, both our ancestors and we ourselves have always been accustomed to. See, now, how that fellow amended it. 116He composes an edict;—such language that any one can perceive that it was written for the sake of one individual. He all but names the man; he details his whole cause; he disregards right, custom, equity, the edicts of all his predecessors. "According to the edict of the city praetor,—if any doubt arises about an inheritance, if the possessor does not give security..." What is it to the praetor which is the possessor? Is not this the point which ought to be inquired into, who ought to be the possessor? Therefore, because he is in possession, you do not remove him from the possession. If he were not in possession, you would not give him possession. For you nowhere say so; nor do you embrace anything else in your edict except that cause for which you had received money. What follows is ridiculous. 117"If any doubt arises about an inheritance, and if testamentary papers are produced before me, sealed with not fewer seals than are required by law, I shall adjudge the inheritance as far as possible according to the testamentary papers." So far is usual. This ought to follow next: "If testamentary papers are not produced..." What says he? That he will adjudge it to him who says he is the heir. What, then, is the difference whether testamentary papers are produced or not? If he produces them, though they may have only one seal less than is required by law, you will not give him possession; but if he produces no such papers at all, you will. What shall I say now? That no one else ever issued a similar edict afterwards? A very marvellous thing, truly, that there should have been no one who chose to be considered like that fellow! He himself, in his Sicilian edict, has not this passage. No; for he had received his payment for it. And so in the edict which I have mentioned before, which he issued in Sicily, about giving possession of inheritances, he laid down the same rules which all the praetors at Rome had laid down besides himself. From the Sicilian edict,—"If any doubt arise about an inheritance..."


118 But, in the name of the immortal gods, what can possibly be said of this business? For I ask of you now a second time, as I did just now, with reference to the affair of Annia, about the inheritance of females,—I ask you now, I say, about the possession of inheritances,—why you were unwilling to transfer those paragraphs into your provincial edict? Did you think those men who were living in the province more worthy to enjoy just laws than we were? Or is one thing just in Rome and another in Sicily? For you cannot say in this place that there are many things in the province which require to be regulated differently from what they would if they existed at Rome; at all events not in the case of taking possession of inheritances, or of the inheritances of women. For in both these cases I see that nor only all other magistrates, but that you yourself, have issued edicts word for word the same as those which are accustomed to be issued at Rome. The clauses which, with great disgrace and for a great bribe, you had inserted in your edict at Rome, those alone, I see, you omitted in your Sicilian edict, in order not to incur odium in the province for nothing. 119And as, while he was praetor elect, he composed his whole edict at the pleasure of those who bought law of him to secure their own advantage; so also, when he had entered on his office, he used to make decrees contrary to his edict without the slightest scruple. Therefore, Lucius Piso filled many books with the affairs in which he had interposed his authority, because Verres had decreed in a manner contrary to his edict. And I think that you have not forgotten what a multitude and what respectable citizens used to assemble before Piso's seat while that man was praetor, and unless he had had him for a colleague, he would have been stoned in the very forum. But his injuries at that time appeared of less importance, because there was a refuge always ready in the justice and prudence of Piso, whom men could apply to without any labour, or any trouble, or any expense, and even without a patron to recommend them. 120For, I entreat you, recall to your recollection, O judges, what licence that fellow took in determining the law; how great a variation there was in his decrees, what open buying and selling of justice; how empty the houses of all those men who were accustomed to be consulted on points of civil law, how full and crammed was the house of Chelidon. And when men had come from that woman to him, and had whispered in his ear, at one time he would recall those between whom he had just decided, and alter his decree; at another time he, without the least scruple, gave a decision between other parties quite contrary to the last decision which he had given only a little while before. 121Hence it was that men were found who were even ridiculous in their indignation; some of whom, as you have heard, said that it was not strange that such piggish[16] justice should be worthless. Others were colder; but still, because they were angry they seemed ridiculous, while they execrated Sacerdos who had spared so worthless a boar. And I should hardly mention these things, for they were not extraordinarily witty, nor are they worthy of the gravity of the present subject, if I did not wish you to recollect that his worthlessness and iniquity were constantly in the mouths of the populace, and had become a common proverb.


122But shall I first speak of his arrogance towards the Roman people, or his cruelty? Beyond all question, cruelty is the graver and more atrocious crime. Do you think then that these men have forgotten how that fellow was accustomed to beat the common people of Rome with rods? And indeed a tribune of the people touched on that matter in the public assembly, when he produced in the sight of the Roman people the man whom he had beaten with rods. And I will give you the opportunity of taking cognisance of that business at its proper time. 123But who is ignorant with what arrogance he behaved? how he disregarded every one of a low condition, how he despised them, how he did not account the poor to be free men at all? Publius Trebonius made many virtuous and honourable men his heirs; and among them his own freedman. He had had a brother, Aulus Trebonius, a proscribed man. As he wished to make provision for him, he put down in his will, that his heirs should take an oath to manage that not less than half of each man's share should come to Aulus Trebonius, that proscribed brother of his. The freedman takes the oath; the other heirs go to Verres, and point out to him that they ought not to take such an oath; that they should be doing what was contrary to the Cornelian law, which forbids a proscribed man to be assisted. They obtain from him authority to refuse the oath. He gives them possession; that I do not find fault with. Certainly it was a scandalous thing for any part of his brother's property to be given to a man who was proscribed and in want. But that freedman thought that he should be committing a wickedness if he did not take the oath in obedience to the will of his patron. 124Therefore Verres declares that he will not give him possession of his inheritance, in order that he may not be able to assist his proscribed patron; and also in order that that might serve as a punishment for having obeyed the will of his other patron. You give possession to him who did not take the oath. I admit your right to do so; it is a privilege of the praetor. You take it from him who has taken the oath. According to what precedent? He is aiding a proscribed man. There is a law; there is a punishment established in such a case. What is that to him who is determining the law? Do you blame him because he assisted his patron, who was in distress at the time, or because he attended to the wishes of his other patron, who was dead, from whom he had received the greatest of all benefits? Which of these actions are you blaming? And then that most admirable man, sitting on his curule chair, said this: "Can a freedman be heir to a Roman knight of such great wealth?" O how modest must the class of freedmen be, since he departed from that place alive! 125I can produce six hundred decrees in which, even if I were not to allege that money had interrupted justice, still the unprecedented and iniquitous nature of the decrees themselves would prove it. But that by one example you may be able to form your conjectures as to the rest, listen to what you have already heard in the previous pleading.


There was a man called Caius Sulpicius Olympus. He died while Caius Sacerdos was praetor. I don't know whether it was not before Verres had begun to announce himself as a candidate for the praetorship. He made Marcus Octavius Ligur his heir. Ligur thus entered upon his inheritance; he took possession while Sacerdos was praetor, without any dispute. After Verres entered on his office, in accordance with his edict, an edict such as Sacerdos had not issued, the daughter of the patron of Sulpicius began to claim from Ligur a sixth part of the inheritance. Ligur was absent. His brother Lucius conducted his cause; his friends and relations were present. That fellow Verres said that, unless the business was settled with the woman, he should order her to take possession. Lucius Gellius defended the cause of Ligur. He showed that his edict ought not to prevail with respect to those inheritances which had accrued to the heirs before his praetorship; that, if this edict had existed at that time, perhaps Ligur would not have entered upon the inheritance at all. This just demand, and the highest authority of influential men, was beaten down by money. 126Ligur came to Rome; he did not doubt that, if he himself had seen Verres, he should have been able to move the man by the justice of his cause and by his own influence. He went to him to his house; he explains the whole business; he points out to him how long ago it was that the inheritance had come to him and, as it was easy for an able man to do in a most just cause, he said many things which might have influenced any one. At last he began to entreat him not to despise his influence and scorn his authority to such an extent as to inflict such an injury upon him. The fellow began to accuse Ligur of being so assiduous and so attentive in a business which was adventitious, and only belonging to him by way of inheritance. He said that he ought to have a regard for him also; that he required a great deal himself; that the dogs whom he kept about him required a great deal. I cannot recount those things to you more plainly than you have heard Ligur himself relate them in his evidence. 127What are we to say, then, O Verres? Are we not to give credence to even these men as witnesses? Are these things not material to the question before us? Are we not to believe Marcus Octavius? Are we not to believe Lucius Ligur? Who will believe us? Who shall we believe? What is there, O Verres which can ever be made plain by witnesses, if this is not made so? Or is that which they relate a small thing? It is nothing less than the praetor of the city establishing this law as long as he remains in office,--that the praetor ought to be co-heir with all those to whom an inheritance comes. And can we doubt with what language that fellow was accustomed to address the rest of the citizens of an inferior rank, of inferior authority, and of inferior fortune; with what language he was accustomed to address country people from the municipal towns; with what language he was accustomed to address those whom he never thought free men,—I mean, the freedmen; when he did not hesitate to ask Marcus Octavius Ligur, a man of the highest consideration as to position, rank, name, virtue, ability, and influence, for money for deciding in favour of his undoubted lights?


And as to how he behaved in the matter of putting the public buildings in proper repair, what shall I say? They have said, who felt it. There are others, too, who are speaking of this. 128Notorious and manifest facts have been brought forward, and shall be brought forward again. Caius Fannius, a Roman knight, the brother of Quintus Titinius, one of your judges, has said that he gave you money. Recite the evidence of Caius Fannius. [Read.] Pray do not believe Caius Fannius when he says this; do not believe—you I mean, O Quintus Titinius—do not believe Caius Fannius, your own brother. For he is saying what is incredible. He is accusing Caius Verres of avarice and audacity; vices which appear to meet in any one else rather than in him. Quintus Tadius has said something of the same sort, a most intimate friend of the father of Verres, and not unconnected with his mother, either in family or in name. He has produced his account-books, by which he proves that he had given him money. Recite the particulars of the accounts of Quintus Tadius. [Read.] Recite the evidence of Quintus Tadius. [Read.] Shall we not believe either the account-books of Quintus Tadius, or his evidence? What then shall we follow in coming to our decision? What else is giving all men free licence for every possible sin and crime, if it is not the disbelieving the evidence of the most honourable men, and the account books of honest ones? 129For why should I mention the daily conversation and daily complaints of the Roman people?—why that fellow's most impudent theft, I should rather say, his new and unexampled robber? how he dared in the temple of Castor, in that most illustrious and renowned monument, a temple which is placed before the eyes and in the daily view of the Roman people, to which the senate is often summoned, where crowded deliberations on the most momentous affairs take place every day, why should I mention his having dared to leave in that place, in contempt of anything any one can say, an eternal monument of his audacity?


130Publius Junius, O judges, had the guardianship, of the temple of Castor. He died in the consulship of Lucius Sulla and Quintus Metellus. He left behind him a young son under age. When Lucius Octavius and Caius Aurelius the consuls had let out contracts for the holy temple, and were not able to examine all the public buildings to see in what repair they were; nor could the praetors to whom that business had been assigned, namely, Caius Sacerdos and Marcus Caesius; a decree of the senate was passed that Caius Verres and Publius Caelius, the praetors should examine into and decide about those public buildings as to which no examination or decision had yet taken place. And after this power was conferred on him, that man, as you have learnt from Caius Fannius and from Quintus Tadius, as he had committed his robberies in every sort of affair without the least disguise and with the greatest effrontery, wished to leave this as a most visible record of his robberies, which we might, not occasionally hear of, but see every day of our lives. 131He inquired who was bound to deliver up the temple of Castor in good repair. He knew that Junius himself was dead; he desired to know to whom his property belonged. He hears that his son is under age. The fellow, who had been in the habit of saying openly that boys and girls who were minors were the surest prey for the praetors, said that the thing he had so long wished for had been brought into his bosom. He thought that, in the care of a monument of such vast size, of such laborious finish, however sound and in however thorough a state of repair it might be, he should certainly find something to do, and some excuse for plunder. 132The temple of Castor ought to have been entrusted to Lucius Rabonius. He by chance was the guardian of the young Junius by his father's will. An agreement had been made between him and his ward, without any injury to either, in what state it should be given up to him. Verres summons Rabonius to appear before him he asks him whether there is anything which has not been handed over to him by his ward, which might be exacted from him. When he said, as was the case, that the delivery of the temple had been very easy for his ward; that all the statues and presents were in their places, that the temple itself was sound in every part; that fellow began to think it a shameful thing if he was to give up so large a temple and so extensive a work without enriching himself by booty, and especially by booty to be got from a minor.


133He comes himself into the temple of Castor; he looks all over the temple; he sees the roof adorned all over with a most splendid ceiling, and all the rest of the building as good as new and quite sound. He ponders; he considers what he can do. Some one of those dogs, of whom he himself had said to Ligur that there were a great number about him, said to him—"You, O Verres, have nothing which you can do here, unless you like to try the pillars by a plumb-line." The man, utterly ignorant of everything, asks what is the meaning of the expression, "by a plumb-line." They tell him that there is hardly any pillar which is exactly perpendicular when tried by a plumb-line. "By my truth," says he, "that is what we must do; let the pillars be tested by a plumb-line." 134Rabonius, like a man who knew the law, in which law the number of the pillars only is set down, but no mention made of a plumb-line, and who did not think it desirable for himself to receive the temple on such terms, lest he should be hereafter expected to hand it over under similar conditions, says that he is not to be treated in that way, and that such an examination has no right to be made. Verres orders Rabonius to be quiet, and at the same time holds out to him some hopes of a partnership with himself in the business. He easily overpowers him, a moderate man, and not at all obstinate in his opinions; and so he adheres to his determination of having the pillars examined. 135This unprecedented resolve, and the unexpected calamity of the minor, is immediately reported to Caius Mustius, the step-father of the youth, who is lately dead; to Marcus Junius, his uncle, and to Publius Potitius, his guardian, a most frugal man. They report the business to a man of the greatest consideration, of the greatest benevolence and virtue, Marcus Marcellus, who was also a guardian of the minor. Marcus Marcellus comes to Verres; he begs of him with many arguments, in the name of his own good faith and diligence in his office, not to endeavour to deprive Junius his ward of his father's fortune by the greatest injustice. Verres, who had already in hope and belief devoured that booty, was neither influenced by the justice of Marcus Marcellus's argument, nor by his authority. And therefore he answered that he should proceed with the examination, according to the orders which he had given. 136As they found that or all applications to this man were ineffectual, all access to him difficult, and almost impossible, being, as he was, a man with whom neither right, nor equity, nor mercy, nor the arguments of a relation, nor the wishes of a friend, nor the influence of any one had any weight, they resolve that the best thing which they could do, as indeed might have occurred to any one, was to beg Chelidon for her aid, who, while Verres was praetor, was not only the real judge in all civil law, and in the disputes of all private individuals, but who was supreme also in this affair of the repairs of the public buildings.


137Caius Mustius, a Roman knight, a farmer of the revenues, a man of the very highest honour, came to Chelidon. Marcus Junius, the uncle of the youth, a most frugal and temperate man, came to her; a man who shows his regard for his high rank by the greatest honour, and modesty, and attention to his duties. Publius Potitius, his guardian, came to her. Oh that praetorship of yours, bitter to many, miserable, scandalous? To say nothing of other points, with what shame, with what indignation, do you think that such men as these went to the house of a prostitute? men who would have encountered such disgrace on no account, unless the urgency of their duty and of their relationship to the injured youth had compelled them to do so. They came, as I say, to Chelidon. The house was full; new laws, new decrees, new decisions were being solicited: "Let him give me possession." ... "Do not let him take away from me."... "Do not let him give sentence against me." ... "Let him adjudge the property to me." Some were paying money, some were signing documents. The house was full, not with a prostitute's train, but rather with a crowd seeking audience of the praetor. 138As soon as they can get access to her, the men whom I have mentioned go to her. Mustius speaks, he explains the whole affair, he begs for her assistance, he promises money. She answers, considering she was a prostitute, not unreasonably: she says that she will gladly do what they wish, and that she will talk the matter over with Verres carefully; and desires Mustius to come again. Then they depart. The next day they go again. She says that the man cannot be prevailed on, that he says that a vast sum can be made of the business.


I am afraid that perhaps some of the people, who were not present at the former pleading, (because these things seem incredible on account of their consummate baseness,) may think that they are invented by me. You, O judges, have known them before. 139Publius Potitius, the guardian of the minor Junius, stated them on his oath. So did Marcus Junius, his uncle and guardian. So would Mustius have stated them if he had been alive; but as Mustius cannot, Lucius Domitius stated that while the affair was recent, he heard these things stated by Mustius; and though he knew that I had had the account from Mustius while he was alive, for I was very intimate with him; (and indeed I defended Caius Mustius when he gained that trial which he had about almost the whole of his property ;) though, I say, Lucius Domitius knew that I was aware that Mustius was accustomed to tell him all his affairs, yet he said nothing about Chelidon as long as he could help it; he directed his replies to other points. So great was the modesty of that most eminent young man, of that pattern for the youth of the city, that for some time, though he was pressed by me on that point, he would rather give any answer than mention the name of Chelidon. At first, he said that the friends of Verres had been deputed to mention the subject to him; at last, after a time, being absolutely compelled to do so, he named Chelidon. 140Are you not ashamed, O Verres, to have carried on your praetorship according to the will of that woman, whom Lucius Domitius scarcely thought it creditable to him even to mention the name of?


Being rejected by Chelidon, they adopt the necessary resolution of undertaking the business themselves. They settle the business, which ought to have come to scarcely forty thousand sesterces, with Rabonius the other guardian, for two hundred thousand. Rabonius reports the fact to Verres; as it seems to him the exaction has been sufficiently enormous and sufficiently shameless. He, who had expected a good deal more, receives Rabonius with harsh language, and says that he cannot satisfy him with such a settlement as that. To cut the matter short, he says that he shall issue contracts for the job. 141The guardians are ignorant of this; they think that what has been settled with Rabonius is definitely arranged—they fear no further misfortune for their ward. But Verres does not procrastinate; he begins to let out his contracts, (without issuing any advertisement or notice of the day,) at a most unfavourable time—at the very time of the Roman games, and while the forum is decorated for them. Therefore Rabonius gives notice to the guardians that he renounces the settlement to which he had come. However, the guardians come at the appointed time; Junius, the uncle of the youth, bids. Verres began to change colour: his countenance, his speech, his resolution failed him. He begins to consider what he was to do. If the contract was taken by the minor, if the affair slipped through the fingers of the purchaser whom he himself had provided, he would get no plunder. Therefore He contrives—what? Nothing very cleverly, nothing of which any one could say, “it was a rascally trick, but still a deep one.” Do not expect any disguised roguery from him, any underhand trick; you will find everything open, undisguised, shameless, senseless, audacious. 142"If the contract be taken by the minor, all the plunder is snatched out of my hands; what then is the remedy? What? The minor must not be allowed to have the contract." Where is the usage in the case of selling property, securities, or lands adopted by every consul, and censor, and praetor, and quaestor, that that bidder shall have the preference to whom the property belongs, and at whose risk the property is sold? He excludes that bidder alone to whom alone, I was nearly saying, the power of taking the contract ought to have been offered. "For why,"—so the youth might say—"should any one aspire to my money against my will! What does he come forward for? The contract is let out for a work which is to be done and paid for out of my money. I say that it is I who am going to put the place in repair, the inspection of it afterwards will belong to you who let out the contract. You have taken sufficient security for the interests of the people with bonds and sureties; and if you do not think sufficient security has been taken, will you as praetor send whomsoever you please to take possession of my property, and not permit me to come forward in defence of my own fortune?"


143It is worth while to consider the words of the contract itself. You will say that the same man drew it up who drew up that edict about inheritance. "The contract for work to be done, which the minor Junius's..." Speak, I pray you, a little more plainly. "Caius Verres, the praetor of the city, has added..." The contracts of the censors are being amended. For what do they say? I see in many old documents, "Cnaeus Domitius, Lucius Metellus, Lucius Cassius, Cnaeus Servilius have added..." Caius Verres wants something of the same sort. Read. What has he added? "Admit not as a partner in this work any one who has taken a contract from Lucius Marcius and Marcus Perperna the censors; give him no snare in it; and let him not contract for it." Why so? Is it that the work may not be faulty? But the inspection afterwards belonged to you. Lest he should not have capital enough? But sufficient security had been taken for the people's interest in bonds and sureties, and more security still might have been had. 144If in this case the business itself, if the scandalous nature of your injustice had no weight with you;—if the misfortune of this minor, the tears of his relations, the peril of Decimus Brutus, whose lands were pledged as security for him, and the authority of Marcus Marcellus his guardian had no influence with you, did you not even consider this, that your crime would be such that you would neither be able to deny it, (for you had entered it in your account-books,) nor, if you confessed it, to make any excuse for it? The contract is knocked down at five hundred and fifty thousand sesterces, while the guardians kept crying out that they could do it even to the satisfaction of the most unjust of men, for eighty thousand. In truth, what was the job? 145That which you saw. All those pillars which you see whitewashed, had a crane put against them, were taken down at a very little expense, and put up again of the same stone as before. And you let this work out for five hundred and sixty thousand sesterces. And among those pillars I say that there are some which have never been moved at all by your contractor. I say that there are some which only had the outer coat scraped off, and a fresh coat put on. But, if I had thought that it cost so much to whitewash pillars, I should certainly never have stood for the aedileship. Still, in order that something might appear to be really being done, and that it might not seem to be a mere robbery of a minor—"If in the course of the work you injure anything, you must repair it."


146What was there that he could injure, when he was only putting back every stone in its place? "He who takes the contract must give security to bear the man harmless who has taken the work from the former contractor." He is joking when he orders Rabonius to give himself security. "Ready money is to be paid." Out of what funds? From his funds who cried out that he would do for eighty thousand sesterces what you let out at five hundred and sixty thousand. Out of what funds? out of the funds of a minor, whose tender age and desolate condition, even if he had no guardians, the praetor himself ought to protect. But as his guardians did protect him, you took away not only his paternal fortune, but the property of the guardians also. 147"Execute the work in the best materials of every sort." Was any stone to be cut and brought to the place? Nothing was to be brought but the crane. For no stone, no materials at all were brought; there was just as much to be done in that contract as took a little labour of artisans at low wages, and there was the hire of the crane. Do you think it was less work to make one entirely new pillar without any old stone, which could be worked up again, or to put back those four in their places? No one doubts that it is a much a better job to make one new one. I will prove that in private houses, where there has been a great deal of expensive carriage, pillars no smaller than these are contracted for to be placed in an open court for forty thousand sesterces apiece. 148But it is folly to argue about such manifest shamelessness of that man at any greater length, especially when in the whole contract he has openly disregarded the language and opinion of every one, inasmuch as he has added at the bottom of it, "Let him have the old materials for himself." As if any old materials were taken from that work, and as if the whole work were not done with old materials. But still, if the minor was not allowed to take the contract, it was not necessary for it to come to Verres himself: some other of the citizens might have undertaken the work. Every one else was excluded no less openly than the minor. He appointed a day by which the work must be completed—the first of December. He gives out the contract about the thirteenth of September: every one is excluded by the shortness of the time. What happens then? How does Rabonius contrive to have his work done by that day?


149No one troubles Rabonius, neither on the first of December, nor on the fifth, nor on the thirteenth. At last Verres himself goes away to his province some time before the work is completed. After he was prosecuted, at first he said that he could not enter the work in his accounts; when Rabonius pressed it, he attributed the cause of it to me, because I had sealed up his books. Rabonius applies to me, and sends his friends to apply to me; he easily gets what he wishes for; Verres did not know what he was to do. By not having entered it in his accounts, he thought he should be able to make some defence; but he felt sure that Rabonius would reveal the whole of the transaction. Although, what could be more plain than it now is, even without the evidence of any witness whatever. At last he enters the work in Rabonius's name as undertaken by him, four years after the day which he had fixed for its completion. 150He would never have allowed such terms as those if any other citizen had been the contractor; when he had shut out all the other contractors by the early day which he had fixed, and also because men did not choose to put themselves in the power of a man who, if they took the contract, thought that his plunder was torn from his hands. For why need we discuss the point where the money went to? He himself has showed us. First of all, when Decimus Brutus contended eagerly against him, who paid five hundred and sixty thousand sesterces of his own money; and as he could not resist him, though he had given out the job, and taken securities for its execution, he returned him a hundred and ten thousand. Now if this had been another man's money, he clearly could not have done so. In the second place, the money was paid to Cornificius, whom he cannot deny to have been his secretary. Lastly, the accounts of Rabonius himself cry out loudly that the plunder was Verres's own. Read "The items of the accounts of Rabonius."


151Even in this place in the former pleadings Quintus Hortensius complained that the young Junius came clad in his praetexta[17] into your presence, and stood with his uncle while he was giving his evidence; and said that I was seeking to rouse the popular feeling, and to excite odium against him, by producing the boy. What then was there, O Hortensius, to rouse the popular feeling? what was there to excite odium in that boy, I suppose, forsooth, I had brought forward the son of Gracchus, or of Saturninus, or of some man of that sort, to excite the feelings of an ignorant multitude by the mere name and recollection of his father. He was the son of Publius Junius, one of the common people of Rome; whom his dying father thought he ought to recommend to the protection of guardians and relations, and of the laws, and of the equity of the magistrates, and of your administration of justice. 152He, through the wicked letting out of contracts by that man, and through his nefarious robbery, being deprived of all his paternal property and fortune, came before your tribunal, if for nothing else, at least to see him through whose conduct he himself has passed many years in mourning, a little less gaily[18] dressed than he was used to be. Therefore, O Hortensius, it was not his age but his cause, not his dress but his fortune, that seemed to you calculated to rouse the popular feeling. Nor did it move you so much that he had come with the praetexta, as that he had come without the bulla.[19] For no one was influenced by that dress which custom and the right of his free birth allowed him to wear. Men were indignant, and very indignant, that the ornament of childhood which his father had given him, the proof and sign of his good fortune, had been taken from him by that robber. 153Nor were the tears which were shed for him shed more by the people than by us, and by yourself, O Hortensius, and by those who are to pronounce sentence in this cause. For because it is the common cause of all men, the common danger of all men, such wickedness like a conflagration must be put out by the common endeavours of all men. For we have little children; it is uncertain how long the life of each individual among us may last. We, while alive, ought to take care and provide that their desolate condition and childhood may be secured by the strongest possible protection. For who is there who can defend the childhood of our children against the dishonesty of magistrates? Their mother, I suppose. No doubt, the mother of Annia, though a most noble woman, was a great protection to her when she was left a minor. No doubt she, by imploring the aid of gods and men, prevented him from robbing her infant ward of her father's fortunes. Can their guardians defend them? Very easily, no doubt, with a praetor of that sort by whom both the arguments, and the earnestness, and the authority of Marcus Marcellus in the cause of his ward Junius were disregarded.


154Do we ask what he did in the distant province of Phrygia? what in the most remote parts of Pamphylia? What a robber of pirates he proved himself in war, who had been found to be a nefarious plunderer of the Roman people in the forum? Do we doubt what that man would do with respect to spoils taken from the enemy, who appropriated to himself so much plunder from the spoils of Lucius Metellus?[20] who let out a contract for whitewashing four pillars at a greater price than Metellus paid for erecting the whole of them? Must we wait to hear what the witnesses from Sicily say? Who has ever seen that temple who is not a witness of your avarice, of your injustice, of your audacity? Who has ever come from the statue of Vertumnus into the Circus Maximus, without being reminded at every step of your avarice? for that road, the road of the sacred cars and of such solemn processions, you have had repaired in such a way that you yourself do not dare go by it. Can any one think that when you were separated from Italy by the sea you spared the allies? You who chose the temple of Castor to be the witness of your thefts which the Roman people saw every day, and even the judges at the very moment that they were giving their decision concerning you.


155And he, even during his praetorship, exercised the office of judge in public cases.[21] For even that must not be passed over. A fine was sought to be recovered from Quintus Opimius before him while praetor; who was brought to trial, as it was alleged, indeed, because while tribune of the people he had interposed his veto in a manner contrary to the Cornelian law,[22] but, in reality, because while tribune of the people he had said something which gave offence to some one of the nobles. And if I were to wish to say anything of that decision, I should have to call in question and to attack many people, which it is not necessary for me to do. I will only say that a few arrogant men, to say the least of them, with his assistance, ruined all the fortunes of Quintus Opimius in fun and joke. 156Again; does he complain of me, because the first pleading of his cause was brought to an end by me in nine days only; when before himself as judge. Quintus Opimius, a senator of the Roman people, in three hours lost his property, his position, and all his titles of honour? On account of the scandalous nature of which decision, the question has often been mooted in the senate of taking away the whole class of fines and sentences of that sort. But what plunder he amassed in selling the property of Quintus Opimius, and how openly, how scandalously he amassed it, it would take too long to relate now. This I say,—unless I make it plain to you by the account-books of most honourable men, believe that I have invented it all for the present occasion. 157Now the man who profiting by the disaster of a Roman senator, at whose trial he had presided while praetor, endeavoured to strip him of his spoils and carry them to his own house, has he a right to deprecate any calamity to himself?


For as for the choosing of other judges by Junius,[23] of that I say nothing. For why should I? Should I venture to speak against the lists which you produced? It is difficult to do so; for not only does your own influence and that of the judges deter me, but also the golden ring of your secretary.[24] I will not say that which it is difficult to prove; I will say this—which I will prove,—that many men of the first consequence heard you say that you ought to be pardoned for having produced a false list, for that, unless you had guarded against it, you yourself would also have been ruined by the same storm of unpopularity as that under which Caius Junius fell. 158In this way has that fellow learnt to take care of himself and of his own safety, by entering both in his own private registers and in the public documents what had never happened; by effacing all mention of what had; and by continually taking away something, changing something (taking care that no erasure was visible), interpolating something. For he has come to such a pitch, that he cannot even find a defence for his crimes without committing other grimes. That most senseless man thought that such a substitution of his own judges also could be effected by the instrumentality of his comrade, Quintus Curtius, who was to be principal judge; and unless I had prevented that by the power of the people, and the outcries and reproaches of all men, the advantage of having judges taken from this decuria[25] of our body, whose influence it was desirable for me should be rendered as extensive an possible, while he was substituting others for them without any reason, and placing on the bench those whom Verres had approved.

[The rest of this oration is lost.]


  1. This refers to the following act of Verres:—A single pirate ship had been taken by his lieutenant; the captain bribed Verres to save his life, but the people were impatient for the execution of him and his chief officers. Verres, who had in his dungeons many Roman citizens who had offended him, muffled up their faces, so that they could not speak and could not be recognised, and produced them on the scaffold, and put them to death as the pirates for whose execution the people were clamouring.
  2. By vote or the money was voted to the tribuni aerarii, and was paid by them to the quaestor, to be paid by him to the army.
  3. Ariminum had been betrayed by Albinovanus, Marius's lieutenant, to Sulla.
  4. It was allowed to the aediles, and it was not uncommon for them to borrow of the cities of the allies celebrated and beautiful statues to adorn the shows in the games which they exhibited; and afterwards they were restored to their owners.
  5. The custom was for the accuser to put a seal on the house and effects of the man whom he was preparing to prosecute, in order that no evidence of the theft to be imputed might be removed by the removal of the stolen goods.
  6. The quaestores aerarii were sent to take possession in the name of the people of the effects of a man who was convicted; the sectores or brokers attended them to appraise the goods seized.
  7. In some editions the passage from "Qua de re Charidemum," to "Non ad se pertinere," is transferred to the previous chapter, and inserted after "deferri opertere," but there is not the least reason for this transposition, which is contrary to the authority of every manuscript.
  8. This had happened about twelve years before, in the consulship of the younger Marius and Carbo, A.U.C. 672.
  9. Dolabella was governor of Cilicia at the time Verres was acting as his lieutenant and proquaestor. On his return from his government he was prosecuted by Scaurus for corruption, and was condemned mainly through the evidence of Verres.
  10. Cicero here, one may almost say, plays on the meanings of the word legatus, which means not only a lieutenant, but also an ambassador. The persons of ambassadors have always, by the laws of nations, been considered to be sacred but Verres was not an ambassador, but a lieutenant.
  11. It was in the month of February that the senate was used to give audience to the deputies from the provinces: and the consuls elect, as has been said before, were notoriously in the interest of Verres.
  12. "As slaves often acted as factors or agents for their masters in matters of business, and, as such, were often entrusted with property to a large amount, there arose a practice of allowing the slave to consider part of the gains as his own; this was his peculium... According to strict law the peculium was the property of the master, but according to usage it was the property of the slave... Sometimes a slave would have another slave under him, who had a peculium with respect to the first slave, just as the first slave had a peculium with respect to his master. On this practice was founded the distinction between Servi Ordinarii and Vicarii.—Smith, Dict. Ant. pp. 869, 870. v. Servus.
  13. Hottomann makes sure that there is some corruption of the MS. here, and Graevius agrees with him. "The whole passage is very obscure and the more difficult because we are not acquainted with the forms of proceeding which were followed against magistrates convicted of extortion. It is not clear, as far as appears from Cicero's speech, that, though there was a discrepancy between the accounts of Verres and that of Dolabella, the fault was necessarily in the accounts of Verres; especially as Dolabella had been justly convicted of extortion and malversation already. Undoubtedly Cicero produced witnesses who assisted to put the case in the point of view in which he wished it to be looked at."—Desmenorius.
  14. "After the praetors were appointed, before they entered on the discharge of their duties as judges, they were in the habit of issuing an edict, setting forth the principles which they intended should govern their decisions; and they used to do this in the public assembly after they had taken the oath to observe the law."&mdash'Hottoman.
  15. "By the lex Voconia it was enacted, that no person who should be included in the census, after the census of that year, BC 169, should make any female his heir. Cicero does not state that the Lex fixed the census at any sum; but it appears from other writers that a woman could not be made haeres by any person who was rated in the census at a hundred thousand sesterces. The Lex only applied to girls, and therefore a daughter or other female could inherit ab intestato to any amount. The Vestal virgins could make women their haeredes in all cases, which was the only exception to the provisions of the law. If the terms of the law are correctly reported by Cicero, a person who was not census might make a woman his haeres whatever was the amount of his property. Still there is a difficulty about the meaning of census. If it is taken to mean that a person whose property was above a hundred thousand sesterces, and who was not included in the census, could dispose of his property as he pleased by will, the purpose of the law would be frustrated and further, the "not being included in the census" (neque census esset) seems rather vague. Another provision of the law, mentioned by Cicero, forbade a person who was census to give more in amount in the form of a legacy or a donatio mortis causu to any person than the haeres or haeredes should take."—Smith, Dict. Ant. p. 1059, v. Voconia Lex, with especial reference to this passage.
  16. There is a pun here on the name of Verres, which means a pig, boar: and on the name of Sacerdos, which means also a sacrificing priest.
  17. The praetexta was a token of the tender age of the youth, as it was only worn by boys under the age of seventeen, and then was exchanged by the toga virilis.
  18. Dressed, that is, in the mourning robe in which defendants in criminal prosecutions usually appeared in court.
  19. "The bulla was an ornament of gold worn by children, suspended from their necks, especially by the children of the noble and wealthy; it was worn by children of both sexes, as a token of paternal affection and of high birth. Instead of the bulla of gold, boys of inferior rank, including the children of freedmen, wore only a piece of leather."—Smith, Dict. Ant. v. Bulla.
  20. This temple of Castor had been vowed by Postumius, the dictator at the battle of Lake Regillus. It was decorated with statues and other embellishments by Lucius Metellus surnamed Dalmaticus, out of the wealth he acquired by, and the spoils he brought back from, the war in Illyricum.
  21. The praetors appointed the judges, but had not themselves the right of sitting as judges in all criminal cases, only in a few special ones.
  22. This law had been passed by Sulla to take away from the tribunes the power of interposing their veto, but Pompeius restored it to them.
  23. In the trial between Cluentius and Oppianicus, Junius was the presiding judge. The imputation on him was, that he had used fraudulent tricks to pack the tribunal, in selecting by lot the judges who were to act instead of those who had been objected to by both parties.
  24. The allusion is to the golden ring which Verres, when leaving Sicily, had publicly decreed to his secretary, as is mentioned also in the fourth oration against Verres, that "De Re Frumentaria."
  25. "With the passing of special enactments for the punishment of particular offences was introduced the practice of forming a body of judices for the trial of such offences as the enactments were directed against. Thus it is said that the lex Calpurnia de pecuniis repetundis established the album judicum, or the body out of which the judices were to be chosen. It is not known what was the number of the judges so constituted, but it has been conjectured that the number was three hundred and fifty, and that ten were chosen from each tribe, and thus the origin of the phrase, decuriae judicum is explained."—Smith, Dict. Ant. p. 531, v. Judex.