If any one in times past, O judges, was used to wonder what was the reason why in a republic of such power, and in an empire of such dignity, there were not found any great number of citizens endowed with so fearless and magnanimous a spirit as to dare to expose themselves and their personal safety to danger on behalf of the constitution of the state and of the general liberty; from henceforward he must wonder if he ever sees any virtuous or intrepid citizens, rather than if he occasionally finds one timid, and caring more for his own interests than for those of the republic. For without calling to mind and considering the case of each separate individual, you can see at one survey those men who joined the senate and all virtuous citizens in raising up our afflicted country, and delivering it from a horde of domestic robbers, now with sad countenances and mourning garments struggling as defendants for their freedom, for their characters, for their rights as citizens, for their fortunes, and for their children; and those who have polluted, and attacked, and thrown into confusion, and overturned all divine and human laws, going about the city merry and joyful, and, while they are without any provocation, contriving danger for the bravest and best of the citizens, in no fear whatever for themselves.
This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
THE SPEECH OF M. T. CICERO IN DEFENCE OF PUBLIUS SESTIUS.
THE SPEECH OF M. T. CICERO AGAINST PUBLIUS VATINIUS; CALLED ALSO, THE EXAMINATION OF PUBLIUS VATINIUS.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.
An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.