48.  I say nothing about Gabinius. Why? Did not Lucius Munius,1 the most fearless and most excellent of all men, consecrate your property by your own precedent? And if, because you yourself are concerned, you say that that action ought not to be ratified, did you in that splendid tribuneship of yours establish laws which, the moment that they were turned against yourself, you repudiated, though you made use of them to ruin other people? If that consecration be legal, then what is there in your property which can be applied to other than holy uses? Or has a consecration no power, while a dedication draws with it the sanctions of religion? What then was the meaning of your summoning that flute-player to be a witness? What was the object of your brazier? What became of your prayers? What was the meaning of all your old-fashioned expressions? Did you wish to lie, to deceive, to abuse the divine reverence due to the immortal gods, in order to strike terror into men? For if that act is once ratified—I say nothing about Gabinius,—most certainly your house and whatever else you have is consecrated to Ceres. But if that was a joke of yours, what can be more impure than you who have polluted every sort of religion by lies and adulteries?  “Well, I confess,” says he, “that in the case of Gabinius I did behave wickedly.” You see now that the punishment which was established by you with reference to another has been turned against yourself. But, O man, O you who are the very model of every possible crime and wickedness, do you deny with respect to me that which you admit in the case of Gabinius,—a man the immodesty of whose childhood, the lust of whose youth, the disgrace and indigence of whose subsequent life, the open robberies of whose consulship, we have seen,—a man to whom even calamity itself could not happen undeservedly? Did do you? that that was a more solemn act which you performed with one young man alone for your witness, than it would have been if you had had the whole assembly in that character? “Oh,” says he, “a dedication is an act which carries the greatest possible quantity of sanctity with it.”
This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
THE SPEECH OF M. T. CICERO FOR HIS HOUSE. ADDRESSED TO THE PRIESTS
THE SPEECH OF M. T. CICERO AGAINST PUBLIUS VATINIUS; CALLED ALSO, THE EXAMINATION OF PUBLIUS VATINIUS.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.