27. On this, I, angry and disgusted, said, “No; from Sicily.” And then, some one else, with the air of a man who knew everything, said, “What! do not you know that Cicero has been quaestor at Syracuse?” I need not make a long story of it; I gave over being angry, and was content to be considered one of those who had come to Puteoli for the waters.  But I do not know, O judges, whether what happened then did not do me more good than if every one had congratulated me. For after I learnt from this that the people of Rome had deaf ears, but very sharp and active eyes, I gave up thinking what men would have said of me; but took care that they should every day see me in their presence: I lived in their sight; I stuck to the forum; neither my porter nor even sleep was allowed to prevent any one from having access to me. Need I say anything about my time which was devoted to business, when even my leisure time was never my own? For the very orations which you say, O Cassius, that you are in the habit of reading when you are at leisure, I wrote on days of festival and on holidays, so that I never was at leisure at all. In truth, I have always thought that saying of Marcus Cato, which he put at the head of his Origines, a splendid and admirable one: “That eminent and great men ought to lay down a regular plan for their leisure as well as for their business.” And, therefore, if I have any credit, I hardly know how much I have; it has all been acquired at Rome and earned in the forum. And public events have sanctioned my private counsels in such a way that even at home I have had to attend to the general interests of the republic, and to preserve the city while in the city. The same road, O Cassius, is open to Laterensis, the same path by virtue to glory.  And it will be the easier to him perhaps on this account that I have mounted up hither without having any family interest to push me on and relying solely on my self; but his admirable virtues will be assisted by the recommendation which the virtues of his ancestors supply him with. However, to return to Plancius, he has never been absent from the city unless any lot which he may have drawn or some law, or some necessity compelled him to be so. He did not excel in those things in which some men perhaps do but he did excel in diligence, he did excel in paying attention to his friends, he did excel in liberality. He kept himself before men's eyes; he stood for offices; he has followed at all times that course of life by which, while there is less danger that way of incurring unpopularity, the greatest number of new men have attained the same honours which he has.
This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
THE SPEECH OF M. T. CICERO IN DEFENCE OF CNAEUS PLANCIUS.
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.
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.