19.  I have proved what I first promised to prove, O Caius Aquillius, that there was absolutely no cause why he should make this demand; that neither was any money owed, and that if it were owed ever so much, nothing had been done to excuse recourse being had to such measures as these. Remark now, that the goods of Publius Quinctius could not possibly have been taken possession of in accordance with the praetor's edict. Recite the edict. “He who for the sake of fraud has lain hid.” That is not Quinctius, unless they be hid who depart on their own business, leaving an agent behind them. “The man who has no heir.” Even that is not he. “The man who leaves the country in exile.” At what time, O Naevius, do you think Quinctius ought to have been defended in his absence, or how? Then, when you were demanding leave to take possession of his goods? No one was present, for no one could guess that you were going to make such a demand; nor did it concern any one to object to that which the praetor ordered not to be done absolutely, but to be done according to his edict.  What was the first opportunity, then, which was given to the agent of defending this absent man? When you were putting up the placards. Then Sextus Alphenus was present: he did not permit it; he tore down the notices. That which was the first step of duty was observed by the agent with the greatest diligence. Let us see what followed on this. You arrest the servant of Publius Quinctius in public: you attempt to take him away. Alphenus does not permit it; he takes him from you by force; he takes care that he is led home to Quinctius. Here too is seen in a high degree the attention of an illustrious agent. You say that Quinctius is in your debt; his agent denies it. You wish security to he given; he promises it. You call him into court; he follows you. You demand a trial; he does not object. What other could be the conduct of one defending a man in his absence I do not understand.  But who was the agent? I suppose it was some insignificant man, poor, litigious, worthless, who might be able to endure the daily abuse of a wealthy buffoon. Nothing of the sort: he was a wealthy Roman knight; a man managing his own affairs well: he was, in short, the man whom Naevius himself as often as he went into Gaul, left as his agent at Rome.
This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
The speech of M. T. Cicero as the advocate of P. Quinctius.
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.