12. And all the rest of the year did any one consider you as consul? Did any one obey you? Did any one ever rise up to show respect to you when you came into the senate house? Did any one ever think it worth his while to answer you when you asked his opinion? In short, is that year at all to be counted in the republic when the senate was mute, the courts of justice silent,—when all good men were mourning, when the violence of your troops of banditti was raging over the whole city, and when not one citizen only had departed from the city, but when the city itself had yielded to the wickedness and frenzy of you and Gabinius?  But even then, O you impious Caesoninus, you did not emerge from the miserable vileness of your nature, when after a time the reawakened virtue of a most illustrious man quickly demanded the restoration of one who was his own true friend, and a citizen who had deserved well of the state, and of the ancient customs and principles of the republic. Nor would that great man permit the pestilence of your wickedness to remain any longer in that republic, which he himself had embellished and whose power he had extended. But when that Gabinius, such as he is, a man who is surpassed in infamy by you alone, recollected himself,—with difficulty, indeed, but still he did recollect himself,—he contended against his dear friend Clodius, at first only feignedly, then very unwillingly, but at last with genuine ardour and vehemence, in support of Cnaeus Pompeius. And in that spectacle the impartiality of the Roman people was very admirable. It looked on like a master of gladiators, and whichever of them perished, it thought would he an equal advantage to itself; but if both fell, that indeed would be a most heavenly blessing.  But still your colleague did do something. He upheld the austerity of a most admirable man. He was himself a wicked man; he was a mere ruffian and gladiator himself; but still he was fighting against one who was as wicked and as much a gladiator and ruffian as himself. You, forsooth, religious and conscientious man that you were, were reluctant to violate the treaty which you had ratified in my blood concerning the bargain made about the provinces. For that fellow, the adulterer with his own sister, had made this bargain for himself, that if he gave you a province, if he gave you an army, if he gave you money torn from the very life-blood of the republic, you were to give yourself up to him as his partner and assistant in all his crimes. Therefore, in that tumult the fasces were broken; you yourself were wounded; every day there were weapons, stonings, and banishments. At last a man was arrested close to the senate, armed with a sword, who it was notorious had been placed there for the purpose of assassinating Pompeius.
This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
THE SPEECH OF M. T. CICERO AGAINST PUBLIUS VATINIUS; CALLED ALSO, THE EXAMINATION OF PUBLIUS VATINIUS.
THE ORATION OF M. T. CICERO AGAINST LUCIUS CALPURNIUS PISO.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.
An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.