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[106]

After all this was settled and determined, Verres immediately advances from his praetorian house, inflamed with wickedness, frenzy, and cruelty. He comes into the forum. He orders the naval captains to be summoned. They immediately come with all speed, as men who were afraid of nothing, and suspected nothing. He orders those unhappy and innocent men to be loaded with chains. They began to invoke the good faith of the praetor, and to ask why he did so? Then he says that this is the reason,—because they had betrayed the fleet to the pirates. There is a great outcry, and great astonishment on the part of the people, that there should be so much impudence and audacity in the man as to attribute to others the origin of a calamity which had happened entirely owing to his own avarice; or to bring against others a charge of treason, when he himself was thought to be a partner of the pirates; and lastly, they marveled at this charge not being originated till fifteen days after the fleet had been lost.


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