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. . . . That which was then openly sought, is now endeavoured to be effected secretly by mines. For the decemvirs will say, what indeed is said by many, and has often been said,—that after the consulship of those men, all that kingdom became the property of the Roman people, by the bequest of the king Alexander. Will you then give Alexandria 1 to those men when they ask for it in an underhand way, whom you resisted when they openly fought against you? Which, in the name of the immortal gods, do these things seem to you,—the designs of sober men, or the dreams of drunken ones? the serious thoughts of wise men, or the frantic wishes of madmen?


1 Alexander, king of Egypt, had died at Tyre in the consulship of Cotta and Torquatus, two years before, and had bequeathed Alexandria and Egypt to the Roman people, and in consequence many people advocated the course of claiming that inheritance, and depriving Ptolemy the king of Egypt. The subject will be mentioned again in the next oration.

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