When the collectors were in the habit of saying this all over the province, and mixing up your name with so base and infamous a business, did it never come into your mind to take care of your own character? Did it never occur to you to look to your liberty and fortunes? When the terror of your name was constantly present to the ears and minds of the cultivators,—when the collectors made use, not of their own power, but of your wickedness and your name to compel the cultivators to come to terms with them,—Did you think that there would be any tribunal at Rome so profligate, so abandoned, so mercenary that any protection from its judgment would be found for you?—when it was notorious that, when the tenths had been sold contrary to the regulations, the laws, and the customs of all men, the collectors, while employed in seizing the property and fortunes of the cultivators, were used to say that the shares were yours, the affair yours, the plunder yours; and that you said nothing, and though you could not conceal that you were aware of it, were still able to bear and endure it, because the magnitude of the gain obscured the magnitude of the danger, and because the desire of money had a good deal more influence over you than the fear of judgment.
This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
The first oration against Verres.
THE FIRST BOOK OF THE SECOND PLEADING AGAINST CAIUS VERRES.
THE SECOND BOOK OF THE SECOND PLEADING AGAINST CAIUS VERRES.
THE THIRD BOOK OF THE SECOND PLEADING IN THE ACCUSATION AGAINST CAIUS VERRES.
THE FOURTH BOOK OF THE SECOND PLEADING IN THE PROSECUTION OF VERRES.
The Fifth Book of the Second Pleading in the Prosecution against Verres.
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