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[12]

Suppose he has escaped from the court about peculation. Let him think of the generals of the enemy, for whose release he has accepted bribes; let him consider what answer he can make about those men whom he has left in his own house to substitute in their places;1 let him consider not only how he can get over our accusation, but also how he can remedy his own confession. Let him recollect that, in the former pleadings, being excited by the adverse and hostile shouts of the Roman people, he confessed that he had not caused the leaders of the pirates to be executed; and that he was afraid even then that it would be imputed to him that he had released them for money. Let him confess that, which cannot be denied, that he, as a private individual, kept the leaders of the pirates alive and unhurt in his own house, after he had returned to Rome, as long as he could do so for me. If in the case of such a prosecution for treason it was lawful for him to do so, I will admit that it was proper. Suppose he escapes from this accusation also; I will proceed to that point to which the Roman people has long been inviting me.


1 This refers to the following act of Verres:—A single pirate ship had been taken by his lieutenant; the captain bribed Verres to save his life, but the people were impatient for the execution of him and his chief officers. Verres, who had in his dungeons many Roman citizens who had offended him, muffled up their faces, so that they could not speak and could not be recognised, and produced them on the scaffold, and put them to death as the pirates for whose execution the people were clamouring.

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