I am sure that you clearly perceive how advantageous this would be for the Sicilians not because of the justice of such a condition, but in the way of choosing the least of two evils; for the man who had given Verres a thousand modii for the granary as his share of the contribution required, would have given two, or, at most, three thousand sesterces, but the same man has now been compelled for the same quantity of corn to give eight thousand sesterces. A cultivator could not stand this for three years, at least not out of his own produce. He must inevitably have sold his stock. But if the land can endure this contribution and this tribute,—that is to say, if Sicily can bear and support it, let it pay it to the Roman people rather than to our magistrates. It is a great sum, a great and splendid revenue. If you can obtain it without damage to the province, without injury to our allies, I do not object at all. Let as much be given to the magistrates for their granary as has always been given. What Verres demands besides, that, if they cannot provide it, let them refuse. If they can provide it, let it be the revenue of the Roman people rather than the plunder of the praetor.
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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