6. Verres attempted to buy up the court in advance, but, on the selection of the present jury, lost heart (sects. 16, 17). The election of Hortensius to the consulship gave him fresh courage (sect. 17). A significant incident on election day (sects. 18-20). Cicero here returns to the subject of bribery. He has already asserted (sects. 3-10) that this had always been the sole hope of Verres; he has pointed out that Verres need not expect to corrupt the present tribunal (sect. 10), and that his guilt is so enormous and so notorious that no honest jury could fail to convict him (sects. 10-14). He now goes on to show that in endeavoring to postpone the trial Verres is, as heretofore, trying to defeat justice by corrupt means. In establishing this point, the orator reviews the several schemes of bribery, thus leading up to the matter immediately before the court and bringing out the fact that it is like the devices that had preceded it.
eloquentiam,etc.: see note on p. 31, l. 12. potentia,control of the courts: a stronger word than gratia ("personal influence") or auctoritate ("official influence") and indicating a kind of domination over the courts. simulat, proponit:notice the emphatic position of these verbs, as opposed to what Verres is reallydoing. proponit,puts forward (i.e. as his backers). inania, idle: i.e. mere names, because Verres does not really rely upon these men, but upon a scheme which Cicero details in the following sections. noti, notorious simulat:cf. note on simulat,l. 30, above.
redemptio:a contract with another party for buying up the court. mansit . . . pacto,held on to the terms of the bargain (hendiadys): until the jury was actually made up, the bargain could not be absolutely concluded; when the character of the jury was known, the contract was annulled. rejectio:after Cicero's careful challenging, the lot had fortunately given a trustworthy jury. istorum,i.e. the partisans of Verres.
praeclare,admirably well for the cause of justice. libelli,lists. color:a covert allusion to a former case, in which Hortensius had been counsel, and in which colored ballots were given to the bribed jurors in order to make sure that they voted as they had agreed (see sect. 40). sententiis:this is the word regularly used for a formal and official expression of opinion in the Senate (vote) or in a court of justice (verdict). cum, whereupon (inversion): § 546, a (325, b); B. 288, 2; G. 581; H. 600, i, I (521, ii, I); H.-B. 566, a. ex alacri, from being, etc.; cf. the Latinism in Milton, Par. Lost, ix, 563: "How cam'st thou speakable of mute?" his diebus paucis, a few days ago: the consular and other elections were held this year, as usual, toward the end of July. famae fortunis,dat. after insidiae comparantur. per eosdem homines,i.e. the same professional bribers (the redemptor, etc., referred to in sect. 16). aperto, etc., when the door to suspicion had once been opened.