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35. [98]

In a case so evident as this must we seek for arguments, or hunt for conjectures? Do you not seem, O judges, actually to behold with your own eyes what you have been hearing? Do you not see that unhappy man, ignorant of his fate, returning from supper? Do you not see the ambush that is laid? the sudden attack? Is not Glaucia before your eyes, present at the murder? Is not that Titus Roscius present? Is he not with his own hands placing that Automedon in the chariot, the messenger of his most horrible wickedness and nefarious victory? Is he not entreating him to keep awake that night? to labour for his honour? to take the news to Capito as speedily as possible? [99] Why was it that be wished Capito to be the first to know it? I do not know, only I see this, that Capito is a partner in this property. I see that, of thirteen farms, he is in possession of three of the finest. [100] I hear besides, that this suspicion is not fixed upon Capito for the first time now; that he has gained many infamous victories; but that this is the first very splendid 1 one which he has gained at Rome; that there is no manner of committing murder in which he has not murdered many men; many by the sword, many by poison. I can even tell you of one man whom, contrary to the custom of our ancestors, he threw from the bridge into the Tiber, when he was not sixty years of age; 2 and if he comes forward, or when he comes forward, for I know that he will come forward, he shall hear of him. [101] Only let him come; let him unfold that volume of his which I can prove that Erucius wrote for him, which they say that he displayed to Sextus Roscius, and threatened that he would mention everything contained in it in his evidence. O the excellent witness, O judges; O gravity worthy of being attended to; O honourable course of life! such that you may with willing minds make your oaths depend upon his testimony! In truth we should not see the crimes of these men so clearly if cupidity, and avarice, and audacity, did not render them blind.


1 The Latin word is lemniscatus, literally, adorned with ribbons hanging down all from a garland or crown. Palma lemniscata is a palm branch (i.e. a token of victory,) given to a gladiator or general when the victory was very remarkable. Cicero understands it of a murder which was connected with very great gains. Riddle, Lat. Dict. v. Lemniscatus.

2 There is a pun here on the word pons. Pons means not only a bridge, but also the platform over which men passed to give their votes at elections; and men above sixty had no votes, and all having none were called depontati or dejecti de ponte.

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load focus Notes (J. B. Greenough, G. L. Kittredge)
load focus Latin (Albert Clark, Albert Curtis Clark, 1908)
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