Cicero : Pro Murena

Sections 1-57

This speech was delivered for L. Murena, in 63 B.C.

The translation is by H.E.D. Blakiston (1894). Click on the L symbols to go to the Latin text of each section. Click on ** to go to the translator's footnotes.

[1.] L   [1] The prayer which I offered to the immortal gods, gentlemen of the jury, in due observance of the usages of our forefathers, on the solemn day on which after the performance of the religious rites at the Centuriate Assembly I declared L. Murena duly elected consul, praying that his election might prove to be for the welfare and prosperity of me and of my high office, of the People and Commons of Rome, that same prayer I now address to the same immortal powers for the confirmation in the consulship by your acquittal to-day of the man you then elected, and therein that your inclinations and your verdict may accord with the will of the Roman people as expressed by their votes, and that your act may bring to you and to the Roman people peace and quiet, security and harmony. But if that venerable prayer, hallowed as it is by the auspices taken at the election of a consul, possesses as much religious force as the high estate of Rome demands, it involved a special prayer from me personally, that my act might be for the good fortune, felicity, and prosperity, of those persons who had received the consulship from an assembly of electors convened by me. [2] This being admitted, gentlemen, and seeing that in this matter the entire authority of the immortal gods has been either wholly delegated or at least imparted to you, I as consul commit to your consciences the decision which as consul on the former occasion I committed to the immortal powers, to the end that my client, declared consul-elect and defended as consul-elect by one and the same man, myself, may retain the honour then conferred upon him by the Roman people, to the welfare of you and of all Roman citizens. And now, since in my discharge of this duty the warmth with which I am defending my client, and even my conduct in taking up the case at all, have been adversely criticised by the prosecution, before I open L. Murena's case, I will say a few words on my own behalf; not indeed because I think it more important at a crisis such as this to vindicate my principles than to save my client, but with the object of presenting my action to you in the right light, and so securing a higher moral influence for my efforts to repulse those who are assailing Murena's new-won honours, his good name, and his general prosperity.

[2.] L   [3] So first and foremost, my good friend M. Cato, who directs his life by a definite philosophical rule and accurately balances the relative weight of all moral duties, shall have a statement as to my idea of my duty in this matter. Cato considers it immoral in me, as the consul of the year, and as the promoter of a bill to deal with bribery, and at the close of so strict an administration, to connect myself in any way with L. Murena's case : and Cato's censure makes me extremely anxious to explain the grounds of my action to the satisfaction not only of you, gentlemen, whom it is my chief duty to satisfy, but even of that great authority on morality and purity of motive, Cato himself. I will ask you then at once, M. Cato, by whom it is more natural that a consul should be defended than by another consul ? Who can be, who ought to be, more closely bound to me in political life than the man to whose shoulders I transfer simultaneously [with the honour of the consulship] the heavy administrative duties which I have borne at great trouble and risk to myself? Yes, if in suits involving the title to real property, the person who bound himself by his contract of vendor, is obliged to guarantee the purchaser against any other claims, surely it is even more morally right that, if a consul-elect is being prosecuted, the brother magistrate who declared him duly elected consul, should be the person obliged to guarantee the honour conferred on him by the Roman people, and to indemnify him against any danger. [4] And again, if counsel for the defence were to be in this case ap pointed by the state, as is usual in some countries, surely the man thus deputed would be, since the office assailed is the highest office, precisely that man who had been thought worthy of the same office himself, and so would bring to his task as much moral influence as ability. And yet again, if when men are putting out of harbour, those others, who have at last reached the haven and escaped the perils of the deep, usually do their utmost to give them their experience as to storms and pirates and routes (because we naturally incline to feel well towards those who are about to encounter the dangers which we have surmounted), how, I ask you, ought I to feel, when just sighting land after so stormy a voyage, towards my friend here, whom I see destined to face the most violent disturbances in the political atmosphere ? Accordingly, if it is admitted that a good consul is bound to take thought for the future as well as to observe the present, I will demonstrate elsewhere how essential it is to the public safety that there should be two consuls holding office on the first of January. [5] And if this is the case, then clearly I have been appealed to, not so much by the call of duty towards a personal friend, as by the claims of patriotism on me as consul to safeguard the welfare of the community.

[3.] L   It is true that I have been the promoter of a bill against bribery ; but I am certain that I have promoted it on the understanding that I have not thereby repealed the law which I long ago made for my own conduct in defending my fellow-countrymen. Of course if I admitted that money had been distributed, and maintained that such a proceeding was right, I should be acting discreditably, even if some one else had been the promoter of the bill ! But since it is my contention that there has been no breach of the law, what reason is there why my having promoted the bill should debar me from appearing on behalf of my friend ? [6] You tell me, Cato, that my present conduct in speaking for L. Murena is inconsistent with the strenuous severity with which, when Catilina was plotting within the walls of Rome the ruin of constitutional government, I drove him from the city by my invectives, and by all but an exercise of my official powers. I however know well that I have always delighted to act the mild and merciful parts to which nature has prompted me, and that I have never been ambitious for a role involving harshness and rigour, though when cast for such a part by the exigencies of public life, I have played it with a due regard to the claims of this responsible office in times of extreme peril to my fellow-countrymen. But if, on occasions when the political situation required rigorous energy, I overcame my natural bent and was as severe as I was forced to be and not as I wished to be, with what enthusiasm may I not now, pray, when I have every reason to listen to the appeal of compassion and considerateness, feel the obligation to adhere to my natural and habitual course ? As to the sense of duty, then, which leads me to defend and as to the theories which lead you to prosecute, I shall perhaps have something to say in another part of my speech.

[7] But at present, gentlemen of the jury, I was less agitated by the definite charge made by Cato than by the plaintive protest of the learned and accomplished Servius Sulpicius, who stated that he was most seriously annoyed that I had so far forgotten what is due to our intimate friendship as to defend L. Murena against him. To my friend Servius, gentlemen, I am anxious to justify my conduct, and I desire you to arbitrate between us : for just as it is a serious matter to have a true accusation brought against one by a friend, so even when the accusation is not true, it cannot be left unnoticed. Now on my side, Ser. Sulpicius, I admit that, when you were a candidate., I as an intimate friend was bound to render, and I think that I did so render you, strenuous and willing service in every respect. When you were standing for the consulship I left nothing undone which could be required from me as a friend, as an influential person, or as the consul of the year. But that occasion has passed away ; and with it the circumstances have changed. It is my opinion, it is my settled conviction, that I was bound to render you whatever assistance you made bold to ask, to pre vent L. Murena from obtaining the office, but that I am not bound to help to damage him now. [8] Nor am I bound, because I supported you then, when you were aiming at the consulship, to assist you to the same extent now, when your aim is at Murena himself. Nor can one even admit, much less commend, the principle that, if one's friends are prosecuting, one may not defend anybody one chooses, even the most complete strangers.

[4.] L   Now I can say, gentlemen, that there exists a firm friendship of long standing between Murena and myself ; and in this trial, which involves his civil rights, I will certainly not allow that friendship to be overborne by Ser. Sulpicius, because it gave way to his claims when an official position only was the object of competition. And even if I had not this reason, still such is the personal distinction of my client and such is the dignity of the office which he has secured, that my conduct would have been justly stigmatised as the most utter pride and heartlessness, if I had chosen to decline a case so critically important to a career of such brilliant personal and political successes. I have indeed no choice ; nor is it possible for me not to do all I can to assist those who are in peril. For knowing as I do that I have received an unprecedented recognition of my labours in this field, I feel that, if one has taken people up, ** to turn one's back upon them after securing one's position, would indicate low cunning and ingratitude combined. [9] But if I may withdraw, if you sanction such a course, if I incur no imputation of laziness, of pride, of heartlessness, then I withdraw with alacrity. If however to shirk hard work implies sloth, if to reject entreaties implies pride, if to desert one's friends indicates the possession of a bad heart, I cannot withdraw ; for it is easy to see that this case is one on which no strenuous, no kind-hearted, no punctilious man could turn his back. And this position you can explain to yourself, Servius, by the analogy of your own professional etiquette. If you as a lawyer think yourself obliged to advise even your own friends' opponents who happen to consult you, and if you think it personally discreditable that your client should be worsted even when you have previously appeared against him, do not be so unfair as to hold that, while even your enemies may draw freely from the wells of your learning, we are bound to refuse a draught even to our friends. [10] The fact is, that if my intimacy with you had kept me out of this case, and if the same accident had prevented the appearance of the illustrious Q. Hortensius and M. Crassus, and all the other persons whom I know to value your favour highly, the result would have been that a consul-elect would be without an advocate in a country in which former generations were anxious that even the humblest citizen should not be unrepresented by counsel. And personally, gentlemen, I should consider my conduct abominable, if I failed a friend, heartless, if I deserted the distressed, and haughty, if I declined to help a consul. I will therefore meet the claims of friendship in a generous spirit ; I will deal with you, Servius, as tenderly as if my own brother, the man most dear to me, were in your place ; the requirements of duty, of honour, and of conscience I will meet with such moderation as to show that I am not unmindful that I am defending one friend who is in danger against the impetuosity of another friend.

[5.] L   [11] I have observed, gentlemen of the jury, that the charges made by the prosecution have fallen into three divisions ; and that of these the first consists of reflections on L. Murena's private life, the second of a comparison of the qualifications of the two men, and the third of definite charges of corrupt practices. Now the first of these three divisions of the attack, which ought to have been the most serious, was of a character so weak and frivolous, that it appeared to be rather some general rule for the conduct of prosecutions than any real power of making damaging statements which obliged them to say something about Murena's mode of life. For instance, the mere name of the province of Asia has been used as a taunt against him. Yet Asia is not a country which he visited in the pursuit of pleasure and extravagance, but a province over which he travelled in the course of his military duties : and if he had not, when a young man, served in his father's army, people would have thought either that he was afraid of the enemy or of his father's discipline, or that his father had rejected his services. The youthful sons of victorious generals are usually chosen to bestride the horses of the triumphal car ; and was my client to shrink from adorning his father's triumph with the spoils lie himself had gained in war, so as well-nigh to share the triumph enjoyed by his father for the victories they had won together ? [12] My client, gentlemen, was in Asia, and in Asia moreover his gallant father found him a great assistance in his dangers, a great consolation in his difficulties, and a great source of satisfaction in his successes. And if Asia is not unjustly suspected of luxuriousness, it is not the never having visited Asia which is meritorious, but the having lived without extravagance in Asia. Murena should not then be taunted with the mere name of the province of Asia, a province from which his family has won credit, his race renown, and his own name honour and glory; but a definite allegation should be made of some scandal or disgrace incurred in Asia or brought home from Asia. But by seeing service in a campaign, which was the only war as well as the greatest in which the Roman people was then engaged, he has shown his energy ; by serving cheerfully under his father's command he has exhibited his dutifulness ; and the fact that his service was ended by the victory and triumph of his father, has proved him to be fortunate. Surely then there is no room left for vilification at this period of his life, seeing that all such charges have been anticipated by well-deserved commendation.

[6.] L   [13] Again, Cato describes L. Murena as a dancer. ** The taunt is one which, even if the imputation is true, indicates bitterness on the part of the prosecutor ; if it is false, the man who employs it is an abusive calumniator. Therefore a man in a position as influential as yours, Marcus, has no right to catch up any scurrilous epithet out of the streets or from the vulgar squabbles of toadies, and recklessly describe a consul of the Roman people as a dancer ; he should reflect what other vices must inevitably have left their mark on the man to whom this term can properly be applied. For there is hardly any one who dances, if he is sober, unless he happens to be half-witted, or when he is alone, or when he is at an orderly and respectable entertainment : banquets commenced at an early hour, fascinating surroundings, and luxuries of every kind are required to lead up to such an excess as dancing. I find you selecting for purposes of abuse a vice which can only be the last step in a vicious career ; you pass over the other vicious habits, the absence of which renders the appearance of this vice impossible. You do not produce any instances of disreputable parties, of intrigues, debauches, licentiousness, or extravagance : and when you do not find those habits, which, close as is their connexion with vice, are still denominated pleasures, do you imagine that you will find luxury's satellite where you cannot find luxury in person? [14] Not a word then can be said against L. Murena's private life, not one single word, I repeat,, gentlemen ; my defence of this consul-elect is so complete that no single instance of falsehood, avarice, treachery, callousness, or ill-nature in his past life can be brought up against him. So far so good : I have cleared the ground for my defence of him. I will not avail myself now of the eulogies of his friends, to which I will appeal hereafter ; but at present I say that we are entitled by all but the actual acknowledgment of his enemies to maintain him to be a good and honourable man.

[7.] L   And having established this, I shall proceed with less difficulty to the comparison of the claims of the two candidates, which formed the second division of the arguments for the prosecution.

[15] I recognise that you, Servius Sulpicius, display in its brightest form all the lustre derived from nobility of family, uprightness of mind, industry of life, and all those various distinctions on which a man should very properly rely when he is a candidate for the consulship. But I recognise that these qualifications are equally brilliant in L. Murena, so equally indeed that his position is neither inferior to yours nor yet at all superior. Now you have expressed your contempt for Murena's family; you have boasted of your own : but if in this contrast you are making the assumption that no one who does not happen to be a patrician can be of good family, you make us feel that the plebeians will have once again to secede to the Aventine. If on the contrary there are plebeian families of distinguished and honourable position, then I can assure you that L. Murena's great-grandfather and grandfather were praetors, and that his father obtained the reward of a very honourable and distinguished triumph for his services when praetor, and so made it the easier for my client to mount the next step to the consulship, because the father had already earned it when the son solicited it. [16] Your high birth however, Ser. Sulpicius, exalted as it is, is perhaps better known to men of letters [and antiquarians] than to the people and those who canvass the people. Your father indeed was only a knight ; your grandfather was not widely renowned for any special distinction. Thus your title to nobility is not remembered as a recent topic of interest, but has to be dug out of our ancient registers. For this reason I have always reckoned you as belonging to the same class of public men as myself; because it was due to your own worth and energy, that though only the son of a Roman knight, you should still have been thought worthy of the highest public distinctions. And I have ever recognised as much worth in Q. Pompeius, a self-made man and a most gallant gentleman, as in the high born M. Aemilius ; for surely it shows precisely the same practical and intellectual ability to leave to one's children, as Pompeius did, a name more distinguished than it was when inherited, and to revive, as Scaurus did, by his personal worth the almost extinct reputation of his ancient family. [8.] L   [17] Although, gentlemen, I was certainly under the impression that my exertions had rendered obsolete the reproach of inferiority of family brought against many excellent persons, men who though they could bring forward the names not only of brave ancestors among the ancient Curii, Catones, and Pompeii, but also of more recent Marii, Didii, and Caelii, were nevertheless slighted. And so, being the man who after so many generations broke down the aristocratic monopoly and secured that the consulship should be henceforward, as it was in our past history, as open and accessible to merit as to high birth, I certainly did not suppose that on an occasion when a consul-elect of ancient and illustrious descent was being defended by the consul in office, himself the son of a Roman knight, my friends opposite would talk about newly-risen families. In fact, it actually happened to me to stand for the consulship against two patricians, one a desperate and dangerous villain, the other a most excellent and unassuming man. But I had the advantage over Catilina in political position and over Galba in popularity. But if my success ought to have been considered criminal in a self-made man, surely there would have been plenty of people who hated and envied me sufficiently. [18] Let us therefore say no more about the question of birth, since both candidates belong to distinguished families ; let us survey the other points of comparison.

We stood for the quaestorship together, and I was declared elected before him. I need not answer every statement you make. You must all see, gentlemen, that in an election at which many persons of equally good position are being elected and only one of them can occupy the first place, precedence in rank and precedence on the list do not necessarily coincide, because on the list the persons elected must be arranged in some order of seniority, while the rank of all of them is very often the same. But the duties allotted to these two as quaestors were of very nearly equal importance. Murena held under the Titian law a quiet and insignificant post ; to you fell the charge of the port of Ostia, the assignment of which at the drawing for the quaestorships is usually received with a derisive cheer, a post far less influential and attractive than it is troublesome and annoying. In neither case did the quaestorship bring the holder's name before the public ; the duties allotted to you gave no scope for an exhibition of your respective abilities.

[19] For the subsequent period in their careers a similar comparison is challenged ; this they employed in very different ways. [9.] L   Servius remained at Rome and enlisted himself with us in the anxious and irritating occupation of giving opinions, drawing up instruments, and taking legal precautions ; he devoted himself to civil jurisprudence ; he watched late and toiled long ; he was of great service to many clients ; he put up with much folly, bore with much presumption, and swallowed much cantankerousness ; his life was at the beck and call of others, and not at his own disposal. This is a creditable career ; and it is very gratifying to society that one man should work hard at a branch of know ledge which is likely to benefit large numbers. [20] What was Murena's occupation ? He was second in command to a very gallant and able man, the eminent general L. Lucullus. In this capacity he had charge of an army, commanded in the field, led his men into battle, defeated immense masses of the enemy, captured cities by assault or blockade, and lived in that province of Asia which you stigmatise as wealthy and luxurious so simply that he has not left behind him any trace of greed or extravagance. In short, in a very great war he took so prominent a part, that though he has carried out many operations Without his chief, the general has done nothing without him. And though I am making these statements in the presence of L. Lucullus, still for fear you should imagine that he is conniving at misrepresentation on my part in order to shelter my client, I may remind you that all this is borne out by the evidence of the official despatches, in which L. Lucullus lavishes an amount of praise on my client which a self-seeking or jealous commander need not have bestowed on a subordinate in assigning him his share of the honour.

[21] Both Sulpicius and Murena then possess the highest distinctions of character and position ; and for my part, if Servius would allow me, I should look upon their merit as equal and identical. But he does not permit this : he makes a dead set at the military profession ; he disparages everything connected with our military command ; he supposes that attention to business, the daily routine of the law, is the only avenue to the consulship. With the army, I see, he says, so many years ! Quite out of touch with political life ! Have you been absent so long, to return at last and compete for position with men who have lived in the forum ? Well, to begin with, my dear Servius, these business habits of ours, you don t seem to know how much they sometimes disgust and fatigue the outer world. Personally I admit that it was a distinct gain to me that my merits were kept well before the public ; still it was only by strenuous efforts that I prevented people from tiring of my performances, and the same perhaps has been the case with you. On the whole, a chance of being missed for a time would have done neither of us any harm. [22] But let us leave this special question and return to our task of comparing your respective pursuits and professions. How can there be any doubt that for the attainment of the consulship much more prestige is conferred by a display of military success than by any fame as a lawyer ? You are up before daybreak to advise your clients ; the soldier, to reach his destination with his forces in good time. You are waked by the crowing of the cock ; the soldier by the bugle-call. You are arraying an action, and he a battalion. You are guarding against the surprise of your client, he against the surprise of town or camp. He is bent on checking an enemy's advance, you on checking the acquirement of a right to an easement of rain-water. He is occupied in the extension, you in the regulation of frontiers. So it is not strange, for I must say what I feel, that success in the military profession is superior to any other distinction. [10.] L   Military success has exalted the name of Roman, military success has won undying fame for Rome ; it has forced the whole world to bow to her rule ; all affairs of civil life, all these famous pursuits of ours and the meritorious profession of the law are overshadowed as they are protected and preserved from harm by the valour of military men ; and as soon as a whisper of approaching war is heard, our legal studies at once hold their peace.

[23] And now since I see you fondling that legal learning of yours so paternally, I shall not allow you to remain under the delusion of supposing your cherished accomplishment, whatever it is, to be anything very remarkable. You have other virtues, temperance, steadiness, justice, conscientiousness, everything to qualify you, as I have always held, for the consulship and for every other office. As to your study of civil law, I will not say it is so much labour thrown away, but I will say distinctly that there is no royal road to the consulship to be found in such a course of study. All professions which are to engage the enthusiasm of the Roman people in our favour, ought to possess some prestige which easily attracts admiration and some serviceableness which secures great popularity. [11.] L   [24] The really highest prestige attaches to those who are pre-eminent for military success ; for they are looked upon as the guardians and protectors of every part of our empire and of our constitution. They possess also the quality of serviceableness in the highest degree, since the public and private security which we enjoy depends on the skill they display and the risks they incur. Men of action have moreover an influence and a prestige, which has often told at the election of a consul, in the power of giving direction by their sound sense and eloquence to the inclinations of the senate, the popular assembly, and the courts of law. We want for the office of consul a man whose words can sometimes control reckless tribunes, sway an excited people, resist financial extravagance. It is not surprising if even men of unaristocratic origin have often been raised to the consulship by the possession of this power, especially as the same quality is apt to attract the most widespread gratitude, the sincerest friendships, and the warmest supporters : but in your technical skill there is nothing of this, Servius.

[25] In the first place no prestige can attach to a branch of learning so slight as yours : for the facts it deals with are insignificant, and almost entirely mere questions of single letters and stops. Secondly, even if our forefathers found something to wonder at in your legal pursuits, wonder has long been lost in contempt since the general disclosure of legal mystifications. Whether an action would lie or not, was once a thing only known to a few persons. The legal calendar was not yet in the hands of the public ; and great was the ascendency of legal advisers. The lawyers were applied to, like Chaldean astrologers, for lucky days. But at last a clerk appeared [one Cn. Flavius], who has cut the claws of the legal harpies, and by learning up the court-days one by one put the calendar before the public [and filched their exclusive information from the cautious keepers of the law]. So the lawyers in a rage, afraid that the general publication of the arrangements as to court-days would make legal proceedings possible without their aid, invented certain formulas, to render their presence on all occasions indispensable. [12.] L   [26] Though it would do beautifully in a case for one suitor to say, 'That Sabine estate is mine', and the other, 'No, it is mine,' and then get the decision, they soon stopped that. 'The estate,' says the lawyer, 'which is situated in the district commonly called the Sabine district.' Wordy enough, one would think ; but give me the next clause. 'That estate I maintain to be my property under the common law of Rome.' What follows ? 'And for the reason alleged I call upon you to join hands with me out of court upon the said estate.' Of course the defendant in a case had no answer ready for a claimant so talkative. So the same lawyer changes sides, like a Latin flute-player in an accompaniment. 'For the said reason for which you allege that you have called upon me to join hands with you out of court, I in my turn call upon you to join hands with me upon the said estate.' And for fear the praetor should congratulate himself on his fine position and cut in with a remark on his own account, a sort of incantation was composed for his use too, in all respects ridiculous, but especially in this phrase : 'Both parties having their witnesses now present in court, I bid you proceed to the estate in question ; proceed accordingly.' Then the wiseacre of a lawyer popped up, to tell them how to proceed. 'Return to the court :' and he personally conducted their return. Even at that early date these formulas, I imagine, seemed absurd to our bearded forefathers ; and absurd it was, that people after appearing in due course at the proper place, should be ordered to go away, merely to return at once to the place they had just quitted. The whole business is thickly plastered with the same sillinesses, with such formulas as, 'Since I perceive you to be present in court,' and 'Will you allege the grounds upon which you have founded your claim ?' As long as these forms were kept secret, application had necessarily to be made to those who were in possession of them; but when they became public property, and were roughly handled and examined, they were found to be absolutely devoid of sense, but full of folly and chicanery. [27] There existed, for instance, many excellent arrangements established by law; but most of them have been spoilt and perverted by the ingenuity of the lawyers. Our ancestors intended that women, as deficient in judgment, should be under the control of trustees : the lawyers discovered various classes of trustees, who would be subject to the control of the women. It was thought undesirable that family rites should be allowed to lapse : the ingenuity of the legal mind devised the plan of procuring aged men to enter into marriage contracts for the purpose of extinguishing the rites. In fact in every branch of civil law they deserted the spirit and clung to the letter of the statutes ; so much so, that because they found a certain name used as an illustration in someone's treatises, they imagined that all women making a contract of marriage were called Gaia. And I at least often feel surprised that so many ingenious men have not been able to determine even now after so many years, whether one ought to say in legal phraseology 'the third day,' or 'the day after to-morrow,' 'adjudicator' or 'arbitrator', 'case' or 'suit.'

[13.] L   [28] Therefore, as I have said, this branch of learning of yours never possessed any of the prestige which makes a man consul, since it is entirely concerned with fictions and inventions ; and of popularity it is even more devoid : for no sort of popularity can attach to the exercise of an acquirement which is at everyone's disposal and is equally ready to serve me or my adversary. Therefore you lawyers have lost not only all possible chance of investing your services profitably, but even the honour you enjoyed in early days of the 'May I be allowed to take your opinion?' No one can get a reputation for real wisdom by a practical dexterity which is no use outside Rome nor even in Rome during the vacation. No one can be respected for shrewdness in these matters, because there can be no difference of opinion about what is known accurately by everyone. Furthermore a study is not held to be one of great difficulty, because it is comprised in a very few writings and those anything but mysterious. And so, if you provoke me to it, busy man as I am, I will profess myself learned in the law after three days study. The fact is that everything that is transacted by written forms, is actually in the manuals ; and yet nothing is expressed with such conciseness that I cannot add yet another with reference to the case under the consideration of the court. To answer the questions which are brought to the lawyer, involves very little risk. If you give the right answer, people say that you have given the same answer as my friend Servius; if your answer is different, they will think that you are actually detecting and investigating a disputable point of law.

[29] The result is this. Not only must one rank military distinction high above your formulas and processes, but even experience in public speaking is very decidedly superior to your learned exertions as a qualification for high office. And I suppose that most persons originally preferred decidedly the former qualification ; and then when they found themselves unsuccessful, fell back upon your profession. And as it is said in Greece of professional musicians, that flute-players are those who have failed to learn the harp, so we see some persons coming down to the pursuit of the law from inability to succeed as barristers. The barrister's work is hard, his aim high, his practice dignified, and his chance of popularity very great : for to you men look to keep their affairs in a healthy state, to their counsel at the bar to rescue them from actual peril. Besides, your answers and opinions are often upset by a speech in court, and cannot be maintained without the aid of a practised speaker. If I had won a prominent position at the bar myself, I should speak less freely in praise of the profession : as it is, I do not refer to myself, but to those who are now, or have been in the past, eminent as barristers.

[14.] L   [30] To conclude : there are two pursuits only which can plant a man securely on the highest step of the ladder of official distinction ; the one is the profession of the general, the other that of the successful barrister. The latter helps men to retain what makes life attractive in time of peace ; the former shields them from peril in time of war. Of course all the other qualifications of character are valuable in themselves, such as justice, honour, self-respect, and soberness of mind ; and everyone recognises, Servius, your pre-eminence in these virtues : but I am discussing now the pursuits which qualify for high office, and not the natural graces of personal character. All such pursuits as yours we find quickly flung aside, as soon as any new conjuncture of events raises the alarm of war. In fact, as a brilliant poet and shrewd observer has well said, ** when war's 'standards fly, men banish' not only your long-winded imitation of common-sense, but even the sovereign lady of the world, 'wisdom ; violence rules the hour. They spurn' not only your tiresome garrulity in speaking but 'sound speech ; they love the soldier rude :' your profession however is absolutely disregarded. 'No formal joining hands,' he says; 'the sword reclaims the state.' If this be true, then the forum must, I think, yield to the camp, legal leisure to military exertion, the pen to the sword, the sedentary to the active life. Yes, the leading influence in the state must be that of the men who have made Rome the leading power in the world.

[31] My friend Cato, however, is trying to prove that I am using phrases which overstate this point, and that I have forgotten that the whole of our war with Mithridates was waged against an effeminate race. But I hold a widely different opinion, gentlemen ; and I will say a few words only on the point : for the case does not depend wholly on this question. If all our wars against Greeks are to be held contemptible, then one must scoff at M'. Curius's triumph over King Pyrrhus, T. Flamininus's over Philip, M. Fulvius's over the Aetolians, L. Paulus's over King Perses, Q. Metellus's over Pseudo-Philippus, L. Mummius's over the Corinthians. But if all these were very serious wars and the victories which concluded them very gratifying, why do you pour contempt on the races of Asia and our great Asiatic enemy ? I, on the contrary, find from the records of our past history that the war with King Antiochus was perhaps the greatest war the Roman people ever waged : and the successful general in that war, L. Scipio, who won in it distinction equal to his brother's renown, adopted the same means of recording his success as Publius Scipio had adopted after the conquest of Africa, by assuming an additional surname derived from the name of the province of Asia. [32] It was a war in which your great-grandfather, M. Cato, displayed conspicuous gallantry ; but it was a war to which he, being (as I will assume him to have been) a man of the same great qualities as I observe in you, would never have gone, if he had imagined that it was waged against an effeminate race. Nor yet would the senate have prevailed upon P. Africanus to accompany his brother as second in command, a few years after Africanus had by ejecting Hannibal from Italy, driving him out of Africa, and crushing Carthage, saved Rome from the utmost peril, if it had not thought the war in the East really grave and formidable. [15.] L   And surely if you consider carefully what were the powers and the achievements and the personal ability of Mithridates, you will most certainly rank that sovereign far above all the monarchs against whom the Roman people has ever waged wars. He was a king with whom L. Sulla with his large and tried army, a combative and dashing and not inexperienced commander, to say no more of him, made a peaceable settlement, after he had carried the war over the whole of Asia : whom L. Murena, my client's father, after the most strenuous and unceasing efforts to crush him, was obliged to leave only partially repressed and not completely subdued. He was a king who, after spending several years in strengthening his position for war and preparing supplies, was so sanguine and daring as to think he would ally the Atlantic with the Euxine [and the forces of Sertorius with his own]. [33] To this war were despatched two consuls, one instructed to pursue Mithridates, the other to cover Bithynia : but the result was that the disasters which befell the latter by land and by sea enormously increased the king's power and reputation. L. Lucullus's campaign was however so successful that it may be reckoned one of our most extensive, one of our most skilfully and bravely conducted campaigns. For when the whole strength of the enemy had been concentrated against the walls of Cyzicus, and Mithridates, regarding that town as the key to Asia, had formed the opinion that, if he could force his way in there, the province would be at his mercy, Lucullus was completely successful in all his plans both in protecting the town of our most trusty allies and in wasting all the king's forces by the prolongation of the blockade. Yes ! think of the sea fight off Tenedos, when the enemy's fleet, with favourable winds and captains fired with excitement, was making for Italy, full of hope and spirit do you think that that was only a moderately critical engagement, or a pitched battle of small importance ? But I say nothing of pitched battles ; I pass over cases of towns taken by assault : yet even when Mithridates was at last finally ejected from his kingdom, his strategy and influence were still so powerful that he secured the adhesion of the King of Armenia and renewed the struggle with fresh forces and supplies. [16.] L   If it were my duty on the present occasion to expound on the exploits of our army and our general, I could mention very many very important engagements ; but that is not my business now. [34] I only say this : if the war and the enemy in question, if that great king had been contemptible, the senate and people of Rome would never have been so anxious as to the conduct of affairs, nor would L. Lucullus have carried on war for so many years with so much distinction ; nor indeed would the Roman people have been so eager in delegating to Cn. Pompeius the final completion of the war. And of all Pompeius's innumerable battles, to my mind the most hotly contested was the engagement in which he met Mithridates and fought it out with him. And even when Mithridates had saved himself by flight from that field and escaped to the Bosporus, where our army could not reach him, even as a fugitive in the direst extremity he still clung to the title of king. Thus Pompeius himself, after having annexed the kingdom, and driven his foe from every part of it and from every familiar refuge, still thought that so much depended on a single life, that, though he was in victorious occupation of all the territories that the king had won or attempted or hoped to win, he did not think he had really put the finishing stroke to the war till he had wrung from him his life as well. Is this the enemy, Cato, whom you consider contemptible ? a foe with whom so many of our generals for so many years fought so many battles ? a foe whose life even after he had been routed and driven out of his kingdom was considered so important by Pompeius, that till the news of his death arrived, he did not think the war really at an end ? We contend then that in this war L. Murena, as second in command, exhibited extreme gallantry, supreme wisdom, and surpassing energy ; and we maintain that this service of his was quite as honourable and as likely to win the consulship for him as energy devoted to the duties of our own profession.

[17.] L   [35] But you urge that when they stood for the praetorship together, Servius was declared elected before Murena. Do you really intend to bring the electors to book, as if they had contracted that, whatever precedence they have once given to any person in any office, they must observe in awarding subsequent honours ? Do you think that any straits of the sea, that even an Euripus ebbs and flows with so fast a tide or has such changeable currents as are felt in the disturbed waters and shifting tides of an ordinary election at Rome ? The short interval of a single day or the intervention of a single night often deranges everything, and the faintest breeze of gossip frequently reverses every expectation. Often too, anticipations are falsified without any ostensible cause, and some times so completely that the electors are as amazed at the actual result as if they were not themselves responsible. [36] There is nothing more inconstant than the public mind, nothing more unpredictable than human favour, nothing less to be relied on than the whole system of popular election. Who supposed that L. Philippus with his great ability, wealth, popularity, and rank, could be defeated by M. Herennius ? That Q. Catulus, whose culture, wisdom, and probity were pre-eminent, could be defeated by Cn. Manlius ? That that most dignified of men, that exceptional citizen, that most gallant of senators, M. Scaurus, could be defeated by Q. Maximus ? Not only were all these defeats unexpected, but even after they had taken place, no one could understand how they had come about. As storms often arise after some clear and definite warning in the atmosphere, often burst upon us unexpectedly and with no assignable reason, but from some unknown cause, so in the gusts of popular feeling at the elections, often you may have seen the indications of the gathering excitement, often it is so mysterious that it appears to be the result of mere chance. [18.] L   [37] But to recur, if I am to account for this result, Murena when standing for the praetorship felt very distinctly the want of two recommendations, to both of which he was greatly indebted when standing for the consulship. The first of these was the anticipation of a liberal display in the public games, which had reached a considerable height owing to a report which was prevalent and to the rivalry and emulation among the candidates. The other thing he wanted was this ; the soldiers, any of whom could have testified to his generosity and valour when he was second in command in Asia, had not yet left the province. In these two points Fortune held back her favours till he was standing for the consulship. In the first place the army of L. Lucullus, which had attended his triumph, was ready at Rome to support L. Murena ; secondly, a magnificent show, the absence of which was felt at his election to the praetorship, was supplied by his action as praetor. [38] Can you say that you think these considerations do nothing to assist a man to obtain the consulship ? Is the support of the soldiers nothing ? The military voters are not only important numerically, and by reason of their influence with their friends, but besides that their help in canvassing has much weight with the Roman people generally in the selection of a consul ; very properly so ; for in electing consuls we are choosing military commanders and not legal commentators. So such speeches as these are influential : So and so tended me when I was wounded ; he gave me prize-money ; he was in command when we captured a camp here and fought a battle there ; he never imposed more on the rank and file than he took upon himself; he was as fortunate as he was brave. Don't you consider this sort of thing effective in influencing men's language and feelings ? Surely if there is such respect for tradition at the consular elections that the vote given by the tribe which secures precedence has hitherto been always regarded as a sign, is it surprising that in Murena's case the widespread report of his good fortune should have won the day for him ? [19.] L   But even if you belittle these considerations, which are really most weighty, and if you rank the support of civilians in canvassing above that of the soldiers, do not treat with utter scorn the splendour of Murena's games and the sumptuous theatrical show which he provided ; because in fact they assisted him enormously. Why indeed need I refer to the fact that the people, the ignorant masses, are greatly fascinated by the games ? The fact is not surprising : and yet that fascination is sufficient to prove my contention ; for the people and the masses have the elections in their own hands. So, if the people are attracted by lavishness in celebrating the games, it is no wonder that L. Murena's lavishness recommended him to the people. [39] And if even we ourselves, notwithstanding the fact that we are always occupied by business matters and can find in our own occupations many other sources of pleasure, still find some special pleasure and attraction in the games, need you wonder at the attractiveness they possess for the uneducated masses ? [40] My friend, the gallant L. Otho, has restored to the knights as a class not only a position of privilege but also a source of gratification : and so his law relating to the games is extremely popular, because a most illustrious order has had not only a great distinction but a substantial gratification restored to it. In fact, the games, I assure you, do give pleasure, even to those who pretend not to care, as well as to those who display their delight ; and I found this to be true when I was a candidate myself: for I too had to deal with the rivalry of a theatrical show. But if I, who had paid for three sets of games, when I was aedile, was not unaffected by Antonius's display, do you suppose that you, who happened not to have celebrated any games, did not suffer from Murena's silver stage-decorations, which you are now deriding ?

[41] But let us assume that all these recommendations are equally balanced ; let us suppose the legal profession to be as popular as the military ; that the canvassing of soldiers is not more influential than that of civilians ; that there is no difference between having celebrated very sumptuous games and having celebrated none at all. Even so, in the duties of the praetorship, do you think that there was no inequality between the office which fell to you and that allotted to him ? [20.] L   He was fortunate enough to secure, what I and all your friends were hoping would fall to you, the administration of justice [as Praetor of the City] ; a position in which the importance of the duty confers distinction, and the dispensation of justice attracts popularity ; and an intelligent man like Murena, if he is praetor for this department, while he avoids giving offence by the equitableness of his decisions, secures general good-will by the politeness of his attention. It is a quite exceptional sphere of duty, and one likely to advance its holder towards the consulship ; and in it the credit gained by impartiality, incorruptibility, and courteousness, culminates in the popularity due to the gratification afforded by the games. [42] What were the duties which fell to you ? Gloomy and severe. You were president of the court for embezzlement cases; lamentable looks and mourning attire on one hand, gaolers and informers on the other. You have to impress reluctant jurors, and retain them against their will. You convict a public secretary; and the whole class is up in arms against you. You criticise Sulla's grants ; and many brave men, almost half Rome, are annoyed. You assess the damages in a case severely ; the party you please forgets your award, the party you displease remembers it. Finally, you did not choose to take a province. Personally I cannot blame you for adopting a course which I have sanctioned by my own action as praetor and consul : but I must say that L. Murena's provincial government has won him much sterling gratitude as well as a very considerable reputation. On his way there from Rome he levied troops in Umbria. The authorities gave him the opportunity of being generous at the expense of the state ; and by availing himself of this he secured several tribes which have a contingent of voters from the Umbrian municipia. He himself found other opportunities; and his just and careful administration in Gaul enabled Romans trading there to recover debts which they had supposed hopeless. You I know spent the time at Rome in serving your friends : but you must remember this, that some friends find it impossible to keep up their enthusiasm for those whom they understand to look with contempt upon provincial governorships.

[21.] L   [43] And now, having demonstrated, gentlemen, that Murena and Sulpicius, when competing for the consulship, possessed equal claims as regards rank, but had enjoyed very different fortune in their official careers, I will proceed to tell you without reserve in what particular my friend was weaker than his rival ; and I will say in your presence, though it is now too late, what I often told him in private, while action was still possible. I very often told you, Servius, that you did not know how to stand for office. Yes, in the midst of the steps which I saw you taking with such zeal and spirit, I frequently told you that I regarded you rather as an energetic member of the senate than as a far-sighted candidate for office. In the first place, those terrible threats to prosecute some one, in which you indulged daily, may testify to your courage, but they lead people to suppose that you have ceased to hope for success, and they damp the enthusiasm of your friends. This is, though I cannot say why, a general law, observed not merely in one or two instances, but in numerous cases ; as soon as people think that a candidate is intending to prosecute a rival, he is supposed to have thrown up the game. [44] Do I mean then to say that I am not in favour of retaliating for a wrong one has suffered ? Nay, I am decidedly in favour of retaliation : but there is a time for standing for office and a time for retaliating. A man who is standing for office, especially if that office is the consulship, I like to see thoroughly hopeful and in good spirits, and escorted to the forum and to the poll by large crowds of friends. I do not like to see a candidate hunting up evidence with an air which anticipates defeat, taking more trouble to collect witnesses than to find active canvassers, using threats more than flattery, and employing denunciations rather than compliments; especially as it is now the fashion for all the world to crowd into everybody's house, and draw inferences from the demeanour of the candidates as to their spirit and efficiency. [45] Don t you see so-and-so sorrowful and dejected? He is despondent, he is down on his luck, he has thrown up the game. Or a rumour spreads : Do you know that so-and-so is intending to prosecute, and hunting up evidence against the other candidates, and making investigations ? I shall elect some one else, since our man has no confidence in his own chance. Even the closest friends are upset and disheartened by a rumour of this sort about a candidate ; and they either cease altogether to trouble themselves, or else reserve their energy and influence for the time when the prosecution comes before a court. [22.] L   There is the further consideration that even the candidate himself cannot devote his whole mind and entire care, his whole energy and attention to his electioneering. He has the additional burden of the prosecution he contemplates ; and this is no light matter, but one naturally all-important. For it is a serious thing to be getting up evidence which may enable you to expel from Rome (especially if he is not without means and ability) some man who can rely on the efforts of himself and his friends and even strangers ; I say strangers, for we all combine to avert dangers, and all who are not avowed enemies are ready to defend and support in the most friendly way even the most complete strangers, when they are threatened with serious charges. [46] So I, having had experience of the comparative difficulties of soliciting an office and defending a client and getting up a prosecution, have come to this conclusion ; that in the first of these tasks the competition is the most pressing thought, in the second the sense of obligation, and in the third the mass of work to be got through. And so I am convinced that it is in no way possible to organise an election prosecution and a canvass with proper care at the same time. Few persons are equal to one of these tasks, none to both at once. Did you, Servius, when you once let yourself be outstripped in the race for office, and transferred your attention to your intended prosecution, did you really think that you could devote yourself satisfactorily to both objects at once? If so, you were grievously mistaken. [23.] L   Has there been a single day, since you first signified to the world your intention to prosecute, which you have not de voted entirely to furthering that foolish object? You clamoured for a law against bribery, though you had one ready for use : there was the Calpurnian law already in existence, and that is as strict as possible : still your wishes and your eminent position received proper attention. ** But every clause of the new law, though it might have furnished you with weapons for dealing with a rival who was guilty of bribery, distinctly damaged your chances as a candidate. [47] You urgently demanded severer penalties against the subordinates in cases of bribery : this caused agitation among the smaller men. You insisted on the punishment of members of our order by exile : the senate submitted to your proposal ; but it disliked being forced by your pressure to penalise failure even more severely. To plead illness as an excuse for non-attendance was made penal : that clause alienated many persons, who found themselves obliged to exert them selves to the injury of their health, or else as the consequence of indisposition to lose everything that makes life enjoyable. Well then, who carried these provisions ? The promoter of the new law was one who was acting in obedience to the will of the senate and your wishes ; and he was moreover one who was not in any way benefited by the new clauses. And the other clauses, which to my extreme satisfaction were struck out by a full house, do you think that they damaged your cause but slightly? You demanded mass-voting, the exhaustive voting (?) of the Manilian law, measures to do away with all distinctions of influence, position, and voting power; men of honour and great influence in their own districts and municipia, were seriously annoyed that a man in your position should have supported a scheme for levelling all gradations of rank and social influence. You also wished that the jurors in such cases should be nominated in the first instance by the prosecution, the result of which would be an outbreak of animosities, now checked and confined to secret jealousies, against the most respectable public men. [48] All these ideas no doubt prepared the way for your prosecution, but they blocked the progress of your candidature.

But the greatest blow which you dealt to your own chances of success, not without a protest from me, was this : and on this subject my most able and eloquent and learned friend, Hortensius, has spoken at length and with great weight, which made my part in the speeches for the defence a more difficult post, since it involved my expressing my sentiments on the whole case, and not merely dealing with a portion of it as the last speaker, Hortensius having preceded me as well as my distinguished and industrious and eloquent friend, M. Crassus. And so I am practically going over the same ground, and yet doing my best, gentlemen, to obviate the possibility of wearying you. [24.] L   But to resume : don t you see, Servius, that you inflicted a crushing blow on your chances when you forced the Roman people to contemplate the alarming possibility of the election of Catilina to the consulship, while you, after entirely dropping and abandoning your candidature, were collecting materials for a bribery prosecution ? [49] For every one saw your investigations, your personal dejection, your friends distress ; they marked you taking notes about your rivals, collecting depositions, button-holing possible witnesses, and conferring with junior counsel, all of which proceedings usually indicate that the candidate's prospects are looking blacker. They saw Catilina all the while alert and cheerful, escorted by a dense bodyguard of young men, entrenched behind informers and assassins, buoyed up by his expectation of the support of the soldiers as well as by the promises of my colleague, of which he made no secret, parading the streets with a regular army of settlers from Arretium and Faesulae, a heterogeneous mob which was made more miscellaneous by a contingent of the men ruined by Sulla's reign of terror. His countenance was full of passion, his looks of guilt, his speech of presumption, to such an extent that one would have thought that he had secured the consulship, and had it already, so to speak, in his pocket. He looked with contempt on Murena ; he thought Sulpicius might be dangerous as a prosecutor but not as a rival ; so he threatened him with violence and the state with destruction. [25.] L   [50] Do not leave me to remind you what alarm was felt at this conjuncture by every honest man, and what a panic seized all Rome at the idea that Catilina would be elected : you can recollect it for yourselves. You remember, I say, the time when the phrases of that murderous villain had been widely circulated, the expressions he was said to have addressed to a meeting of conspirators at his own house, to the effect that it was impossible to find a trusty champion of the cause of affliction except in one who was himself afflicted : that men wounded and afflicted ought not to credit the promises of the sound and prosperous members of society : therefore let all who wished to refill their purses and recover their losses, look at him, and consider his debts, his possessions, and his daring; free from fear and absolutely ruined ought to be the man, who was to raise the standard of anarchy and lead the ruined to victory. [51] At that crisis, therefore, when this language was reported to us, you remember that the senate resolved on my motion ** that the election should not be held on the following day, so that a discussion on this matter might be raised in the senate. Accordingly on the next day in a very full house I challenged Catilina to get up and give any explanation he chose of the speeches which had been reported to me. Catilina, with his usual shameless candour, offered no excuse, but on the contrary exposed and involved himself : he rose and said that there were two parties in the state, the one a feeble body with a weak head, the other strong but headless ; but the latter party, if it treated him well, should be provided with a head if he survived. He was received with groans by a crowded house ; but the resolution passed was not as severe as the atrocity of the insult demanded. The senators were not as determined as they should have been, partly because they were not much alarmed, and partly because they really were nervous. Then he dashed out of the house in a state of frantic delight, when he should never have been allowed to leave the place alive ; especially as he had also in the same honour able assembly a few days previously answered my gallant friend, Cato, who was threatening him with judicial proceedings, with the remark that if any one tried to excite a conflagration in his affairs, he would extinguish the fire not by water but by general demolition.

[26.] L   [52] Alarmed by these events and knowing that at that very moment the conspirators sword in hand were being led down to the polling place by Catilina, I went down with my trusty escort of gallant men and wearing that massive cuirass conspicuously, not to protect my person, I knew of course that Catilina did not strike at the side or stomach but at the head and neck, but to make all honest men notice, and, seeing the consul in alarm and peril, flock together to support and protect him, as they actually did. Therefore, Servius, when people thought you had relaxed your efforts, while they saw Catilina in a fever of anticipation and greed, all those who were anxious to save Rome from his clutches, threw their weight on the side of Murena. [53] Now at the election to the consulship a sudden change of feeling is of great importance, especially when it gives additional strength to an honest man who has already many other conspicuous qualifications as a candidate ; and, when he is a man whose father and ancestors generally were of honourable rank, whose conduct as a young man was most blameless, whose military service was most distinguished, who as praetor was satisfactory in his administration of the law, popular from his celebration of the games, and brilliant in his provincial government, who had conducted his candidature with care, and with such care as neither to browbeat any one nor to submit to be browbeaten, is it surprising that such a man was greatly assisted by Catilina's sudden anticipation that he would secure the consulship ?

[54] I have now reached the third and last of the three divisions of my speech, namely the actual charges of corrupt practices : this topic has already been clearly dealt with by the counsel who have preceded me, but since it is Murena's desire, I will go over the ground again myself. And under this head I will reply to my brilliant friend, C. Postumus, on the subject of the information given by bribery agents and the sums of money which were seized ; I will answer that excellent and able young man, Ser. Sulpicius, on the classes of equestrian voters ; and my friend M. Cato, whose virtue is conspicuous in every branch of conduct, as to the charges he himself makes, as to the measures passed by the senate, and as to the political situation. [27.] L   [55] But first, I will say a few words of sympathy, which have suddenly suggested themselves to me, as to the unfortunate position of L. Murena. I have often before now, gentlemen, in reviewing the misfortunes of others and my own daily toils and cares, judged those men fortunate indeed, who, far from the pursuits of ambition, have devoted their lives to leisure and tranquillity ; and now especially when I see L. Murena in perils so serious and unexpected, I am so distressed that I can not sufficiently express my compassion for the general fate of public men or for the particular calamity which has befallen him. For in the first place, while trying to rise another step in his honourable career, a single step above the continuous official distinctions of his family and ancestors, he has incurred the risk of losing at one stroke both his inherited honours and those which he has himself acquired ; secondly, his anxiety to secure a new title to fame has endangered his ancient position of prosperity. [56] All this is hard, gentlemen, but most painful of all is the fact that he is not prosecuted by persons whom private enmity has impelled to prosecute, but by persons whose anxiety to prosecute has made them stoop to personal enmity. To say nothing of Servius Sulpicius, who I am convinced has not been instigated by any injury received from L. Murena, but by their competition for office, one of the prosecutors is a friend of his father, C. Postumus, an old neighbour and friend, as he admits, of Murena himself; who though he produced many reasons for their intimacy, could not give any for this outburst of enmity between them : another is the younger Ser. Sulpicius, whose father is a member of the same guild as Murena, and whose father's friends ought all to be supported rather than injured by the son's ability: a third is M. Cato, who has never disagreed with Murena in any matter, whose birth and position as a Roman citizen should make his resources and ability a protection to many strangers even, and destructive to hardly a single personal enemy. [57] I will therefore reply first to Postumus, who somehow or other, though only a candidate for the praetorship, seems to me in his assault on a consul like a circus-horse competing in the four-horse-chariot race. In his case, if his rivals did nothing wrong, his retirement from the contest showed a sense of their superiority ; if on the other hand any of them spent money on the contest, Postumus must be a very desirable friend, to be following up an injury to a friend before resenting one received by himself.

{ Answer ** to the charges made by Postumus. }

{ Answer to the charges made by the young Servius. }

Following sections (58-90)


1.   This sentence is so corrupt that only the general sense can be extracted from it.

2.   That is, a stage-dancer, or like the mountebanks who performed before the guests at a dinner-party.

3.   A disconnected quotation consisting of a few lines of hexameter verse, probably by Ennius.

4.   Cicero himself had recently, to meet the wishes of Sulpicius and others, introduced the Tullian Law against Bribery, a bill to amend the Calpurnian Law of 67 B.C.

5.   On October 20th.

6.   Omitted by Cicero in editing the speech for publication ; cf. Plin. Epp. I. xx. 7.

Following sections (58-90) →

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