nunc:i.e. now that his former scheme has failed. hoc, this new idea. What the idea is is detailed in sects. 7, 8: viz. the reasons for desiring a postponement together with grounds for hoping for it. civis, citizens, i.e. Romans travelling or doing business in the provinces, or provincials who had received the citizenship. socios,allies: citizens of communities which, although embraced within the boundaries of Roman provinces, had, for special reasons, been allowed to retain a nominal independence, with their own laws and magistrates. auctoritatibus,documents, i.e. official testimony ("resolutions," etc.) relating to the acts of Verres.
bonis, good citizens: here, as generally in Cicero, used in a partisan sense for the aristocracy. experiatur:this violates the sequence of tenses in order to make the meaning clear; the imperf. would refer to the time of getting the money, not to the present moment; cf. § 481, N. (287, h, N.); B. 268, 7; G. 509, 1, N.; H.-B. 478. fuerit: the subj. shows that this is the thought of Verres, and not merely something thrown in by Cicero. tempus: the present scheme of the defence is by corrupt means to stave off the trial to a more advantageous time (see chs. vi-viii). posses:imperf. to express his purpose at the time of the purchase. criminum vim, the force of the charges. poterat:indic., the reason being Cicero's. (The whole passage is an instructive example of the freedom of a living language from its own trammels. Rules are made for language, not language for rules.)
eloquentia, gratia:even mere rhetorical skill or personal influence would be, to a criminal who had no case (causa), a respectable (honesto) means of escape compared with these attempts at corruption. profecto, I am sure. aucuparetur,be fishing for (lit. set nets for birds). ut . . . fieret,as to have some one chosen to be put on trial ; the Senate itself was insulted by the selection of one of its members to be set up as a man of straw, that Verres might get clear. The reference is to the trumped-up case with regard to abuses in Achaia (see sect. 6). hic, i.e. Verres. causam . . . diceret,stand trial.
quibus . . . rebus, from this (abl. of means with perspicio). consilio, panel, i.e. the body of jurors (cf. Rosc. Am., p. 24, I. 2). An obvious, and apparently a deserved, compliment. Whatever the general character of the courts, Cicero had in this instance secured a jury on whom he could rely. in rejectione . . . judicavit,decided at the challenging ("throwing out ") of the jury, i.e. on seeing the kind of men challenged by the two sides respectively. ut . . . constitueret . . . arbitraretur:subst. clauses of result (justified by the introductory ea) instead of the more regular acc. and inf. of ind. disc.; § 571, c (332,f); G. 557, R. and N1; cf. H. 571,4 (501, iii).
Crimes of Verres from his youth up. His quaestorships. His city-praetorship. His career in Sicily. His guilt is notorious.