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19. [44]

These men say that they gave Flaccus and those who were with him fifteen thousand drachmas. I have to do with a most active city, and one which is an admirable hand at keeping its accounts; a city in which not a farthing can be disposed of without the intervention of five praetors, three quaestors, and four bankers, who are elected in that city by the burgesses. Of all that number not one has been brought hither as a witness; and when they return that money as having been given to Flaccus by name, they say that they gave him also a still larger sum, entered as having been given for the repair of a temple. But this is not a very consistent story; for either everything ought to have been kept secret or else everything ought to have been returned without any disguise. When they enter the money as having been given to Flaccus, naming him expressly, they fear nothing, they apprehend nothing. When they return the money as having been given for a public work, then all of a sudden those same men begin to be afraid of the very man whom they had despised before. If the praetor gave the money, as it is set down, he drew it from the quaestor, the quaestor from the public bank, the public bank derived it either from revenue or from tribute. All this will never be like a crime, unless you explain to me the whole business both with respect to the persons and to the accounts. [45] Or, as it is written in this same decree, that the most illustrious men of the city,—men who had had the highest honours of the state conferred on them,—were circumvented by him while he was praetor, why are they not present in court or why, at all events, are they not named in the decree? For I do not suppose that Heraclides, who is pricking up his head, is the person here intended. For is he one of the most eminent of the citizens, when Hermippus brought him here for trial? a man who did not even receive his present commission to come on this deputation from his fellow-citizens by their voluntary choice, but who went all the way from Tmolus to solicit it? a man on whom no honour was ever conferred in his own city; and the only business which ever has been entrusted to him, is one which is usually entrusted to the most insignificant people. He, in the praetorship of Titus Autidius, was appointed guardian of the public corn. And when he had received money from Publius Varinius the praetor for this purpose, he concealed it from his fellow-citizens, and charged the whole of the expense to them. And after this was made known and revealed at Temnos, by letters which were sent thither by Publius Varinius, and when Cnaeus Lentulus, he who was the censor, the patron of the people of Temnos, had sent letters on the same subject, no one ever afterwards saw that man Heraclides at Temnos. [46] And that you may be thoroughly aware of his impudence, listen, I entreat you, to the cause which excited the animosity of this most worthless man against Flaccus.


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