for I do not think that either Scylla or Charybdis was such an enemy to sailors, as that man has been in the same waters. And in one respect he is far more to be dreaded than they, because he is girdled with more numerous and more powerful hounds than they were. He is a second Cyclops, far more savage than the first; for Verres had possession of the whole island; Polyphemus is said to have occupied only Aetna and that part of Sicily. But what pretext was alleged at the time by that man for this outrageous cruelty? The same which is now going to be stated in his defence. He used to say whenever any one came to Sicily a little better off than usual, that they were soldiers of Sertorius, and that they were flying from Dianium. 1 They brought him presents to gain his protection from danger; some brought him Tyrian purple, others brought frankincense, perfumes, and linen robes; others gave jewels and pearls; some offered great bribes and Asiatic slaves, so that it was seen by their very goods from what place they came. They were not aware that those very things which they thought that they were employing as aids to ensure their safety, were the causes of their danger. For he would say that they had acquired those things by partnership with pirates, he would order the men themselves to be led away to the stone-quarries, he would see that their ships and their freights were diligently taken care of.
This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
The first oration against Verres.
THE FIRST BOOK OF THE SECOND PLEADING AGAINST CAIUS VERRES.
THE SECOND BOOK OF THE SECOND PLEADING AGAINST CAIUS VERRES.
THE THIRD BOOK OF THE SECOND PLEADING IN THE ACCUSATION AGAINST CAIUS VERRES.
THE FOURTH BOOK OF THE SECOND PLEADING IN THE PROSECUTION OF VERRES.
The Fifth Book of the Second Pleading in the Prosecution against Verres.
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