1. If any one of you, O judges, or of these who are present here, marvels perhaps at me, that I, who have for so many years been occupied in public causes and trials in such a manner that I have defended many men but have prosecuted no one could now on a sudden change my usual purpose, and descend to act as accuser;—he, if he becomes acquainted with the cause and reason of my present intention, will both approve of what I am doing, and will think, I am sure, that no one ought to be preferred to me as manager of this cause.  As I had been quaestor in Sicily, O judges, and had departed for that province so as to leave among all the Sicilians a pleasing and lasting recollection of my quaestorship and of my name, it happened, that while they thought their chief protection lay in many of their ancient patrons, they thought there was also some support for their fortunes secured in me, who, being now plundered and harassed, have all frequently come to me by the public authority, entreating me to undertake the cause and the defence of all their fortunes. They say that I repeatedly promised and repeatedly assured them, that, if any time should arrive when they wanted anything of me, I would not be wanting to their service.  They said that the time had come for me to defend not only the advantages they enjoyed, but even the life and safety of the whole province, that they had now not even any gods in their cities to whom they could flee, because Caius Verres had carried off their most sacred images from the very holiest temples. That whatever luxury could accomplish in the way of vice, cruelty in the way of punishment, avarice in the way of plunder, or arrogance in the way of insult, had all been borne by them for the last three years, while this one man was praetor. That they begged and entreated that I would not reject them as suppliants, who, while I was in safety, ought to be suppliants to no one.
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THE SPEECH AGAINST QUINTUS CAECILIUS.
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