I ask you then, O Vatinius, whether any one in the state since the first foundation of the city, has ever appealed to the tribunes of the people to interpose and save him from having to plead his case? Has any criminal ever mounted up to the tribunal of the president of the court which tried him and driven him down from thence by violence? and upset all the benches? and overturned all the balloting urns? and in short, in disturbing the court of justice committed all those crimes on account of which courts of justice were instituted? Are you aware that Memmius fled at that time? that your accusers were with difficulty saved from your hands and those of your friends? that the judges were even driven away out of the tribunals which were near? that in the forum, in broad daylight in the sight of the Roman people, the investigation was put an end to, and the magistrates, and the usages of our ancestors, and the laws, and the judges, and the defendant and the penalty, were all alike disregarded and trampled on? Do you know that all these circumstances were, by the diligence of Caius Memmius, entered and proved in the public records? And moreover, I ask you this, when, after you had had an accusation preferred against you, you returned from your lieutenancy, in order that no one might think that you wished to avoid a trial; and when you used to say that, though you might have done whichever you pleased, still you preferred pleading your cause, as you had been accused; I ask, I say, how it was consistent with that conduct of yours, in being unwilling to avail yourself of the door of escape which your lieutenancy opened to you, for you to have recourse to an impious source of assistance by means of a most dishonest appeal?
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THE SPEECH OF M. T. CICERO AGAINST PUBLIUS VATINIUS; CALLED ALSO, THE EXAMINATION OF PUBLIUS VATINIUS.
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