O ye immortal gods! If you had driven away out of the whole of Sicily a hundred and seventy cultivators of the soil, could you, with impartial judges, escape condemnation? When the one district of Agyrium is less populous by a hundred and seventy cultivators, will not you, O judges, form your conjectures of the state of the whole province? And you will find nearly the same state of things in every district liable to the payment of tenths, and that those to whom anything has been left out of a large patrimony, have remained behind with a much smaller stock, and cultivating a much smaller number of acres, because they were afraid, if they departed, that they should lose all the rest of their fortunes; but as for those to whom he had left nothing remaining which they could lose, they have fled not only from their farms, but from their cities. The very men who have remained—scarcely a tenth part of the old cultivators of the soil—were about to leave all their lands too, if Metellus had not sent letters to them from Rome, saying that he would sell the tenths according to the law of Hiero; and if he had not entreated them to sow as much land as they could, which they had always done for their own sakes, when no one entreated them, as long as they understood that they were sowing, and labouring, and going to expense for themselves and for the Roman people,—not for Verres and Apronius.
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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