4.  In this cause, O judges, although I think both these points plain, yet I will dilate upon each, and first on that which ought to have the greatest influence with you, that is to say, on the inclination of those to whom the injuries have been done; of those for whose sake this trial for extortion has been instituted. Caius Verres is said for three years to have depopulated the province of Sicily, to have desolated the cities of the Sicilians, to have made the houses empty, to have plundered the temples. The whole nation of the Sicilians is present, and complains of this. They fly for protection to my good faith, which they have proved and long known; they entreat assistance for themselves from you and from the laws of the Roman people through my instrumentality; they desire me to be their defender in these their calamities; they desire me to be the avenger of their injuries, the advocate of their rights, and the pleader of their whole cause.  Will you, O Quintus Caecilius, say this, that I have not approached the cause at the request of the Sicilians? or that the desire of those most excellent and most faithful allies ought not to be of great influence with these judges? If you dare to say that which Caius Verres, whose enemy you are pretending to be, wishes especially to be believed,—that the Sicilians did not make this request to me,—you will in the first place be supporting the cause of your enemy, against whom it is considered that no vague presumption, but that an actual decision has been come to, in the fact that has become notorious, that all the Sicilians have begged for me as their advocate against his injuries.  If you, his enemy, deny that this is the case, which he himself to whom the fact is most injurious does not dare to deny, take care lest you seem to carry on your enmity in too friendly a manner. In the second place, there are witnesses, the most illustrious men of our state, all of whom it is not necessary that I should name, those who are present I will appeal to; while, if I were speaking falsely, they are the men whom I should least wish to be witnesses of my impudence. He, who is one of the assessors on this bid, Caius Marcellus, knows it; he, whom I see here present, Cnaeus Lentulus Marcellinus, knows it; on whose good faith and protection the Sicilians principally depend, because the whole of that province is inalienably connected with the name of the Marcelli.  These men know that this request was not only made to me, but that it was made so frequently and with such earnestness, that I had no alternative except either to undertake the cause, or to repudiate the duty of friendship. But why do I cite these men as witnesses, as if the matter were doubtful or unknown? Most noble men are present here from the whole province, who being present, beg and entreat you, O judges, not to let your judgment differ from their judgment in selecting an advocate for their cause. Deputations from every city in the whole of Sicily, except two, 1 are present; and if deputations from those two were present also, two of the very most serious of the crimes would be lessened in which these cities are implicated with Caius Verres.  But why have they entreated this protection from me above all men? If it were doubtful whether they had entreated it from me or not, I could tell why they had entreated it; but now, when it is so evident that you can see it with your eyes, I know not why it should be any injury to me to have it imputed to me that I was selected above all men.  But I do not arrogate any such thing to myself, and I not only do not say it, but I do not wish even to leave any one to believe that I have been preferred to every possible advocate. That is not the fact but a consideration of the opportunities of each individual and of his health, and of his aptitude for conducting this cause, has been taken into account. My desire and sentiments on this matter have always been these, that I would rather that any one of those who are fit for it should undertake it than I; but I had rather that I should undertake it myself than that no one should.
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THE SPEECH AGAINST QUINTUS CAECILIUS.
1 Cicero means Syracuse and Messana, which did not join in the outcry against Verres, because Verres had resided at Syracuse, and had enriched that city with some of the plunder which he had taken from other cities; and he had treated Messana in the same way, which place he had made the repository of his plunder till he could export it to Italy.
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