« PreviousContinue »
For what is there, Cataline, that can now Yet you cease not to concert, and enter. give you pleasure in this city? wherein, prize. How often has that dagger been if we except the profligate crew of your wrested out of thy hands. How often, by accomplices, there is not a man but dreads some accident, has it dropped before the and abhors you? Is there a domestic ftain moment of execution? yet you cannot refrom which your character is exempted ? solve to lay it aside. How, or with what Have you not rendered yourself infamous rites you have consecrated it, is hard to by every vice that can brand private life? say, that you think yourfelf thus obliged What scenes of lust have not your eyes to lodge it in the bosom of a consul! beheld? What guilt has not stained your What are we to think of your present hands? What pollution has not defiled situation and conduct ? For I will now adyour whole body? What youth, entangled dress you, not with the detestation your by thee in the allurements of debauchery, actions deserve, but with a compaflion to haft thou not prompted by arms to deeds which you have no just claim. You came of violence, or feduced by incentives into fame time ago into the fenate. Did a the snares of sensuality? And lately, when fingle person of this numerous assembly, by procuring the death of your former not excepting your most intimate relations wife, you had made room in your house and friends, deign to salute you? If there for another, did you not add to the enor- be no instance of this kind in the memory mity of that crime, by a new and unpa- of man, do you expect that I should emralled measure of guilt! But I pass bitter with reproaches, a doom confirmed over this, and chuse to let it remain in by the filent deteftation of all present ? filence, that the memory of fo monstrous Were not the benches where you fit fora piece of wickedness, or at least of its faken, as soon as you was observed to ap. having been committed with impunity, may proach them? Did not all the consular fe. not descend to posterity. I pass over too nators, whose destruction you have so often the entire ruin of your fortunes, which you plotted, quit immediately the part of the are sensible muft befal you the very next house where you thought proper to place month; and shall proceed to the mention yourself? How are you able to bear all of such particulars as regard not the in- this treatment? For my own part, were famy of your private character, nor the my flaves to discover such a dread of me, distresses and turpitude of your domestic as your fellow-citizens exprefs of you, I life ; but such as concern the very being should think it necessary to abandon my of the republic, and the lives and safety own house: and do you hesitate about of us all.Can the light of life, or the leaving the city? Was I even wrongfully air you breathe, be grateful to you, Ca- suspected, and thereby rendered obnoxious taline ; when you are conscious there is to my countrymen, I would sooner withnot a man here present but knows, that on draw myself from public view, than be bethe last of December, in the consulfhip of held with looks full of reproach and indigLepidus and Tullus, you appeared in the nation. And do you, whose conscience Comitium with a dagger? That you had tells you that you are the object of an uni. got together a band of ruffians, to assafli- versal, a just, and a long merited hatred, nate the consuls, and the most considerable delay a moment to escape from the locks men in Rome and that this execrable and and presence of a people, whose eyes and frantic design was defeated, not by any senses can no longer endure you among awe or remorse in you, but by the pre- them: Should your parents dread and vailing good fortune of the people of hate you, and be obstinate to all your enRome. But I pass over those things, as deavours to appease them, you would being already well known: there are others doubtless withdraw fomewhere from their of a later date. How many attempts have fight. But now your country, the comyou made upon my life, fince I was no- mon parent of us all, hates and dreads you, minated consul, and since I entered upon and has long regarded you as a parricide, the actual execution of that office? How intent upon the dcfign of destroying her. many thrufts of thine, so well aimed that And will you neither respect her authority, they seemed unavoidable, have I parried submit to her advice, nor stand in awe of by an artful evasion, and, as they term it, her power? Thus does the reason with you, a gentle defledion of body? You attempt, Cataline ; and thus does the, in some meayou contrive, you set on foot nothing, of sure, address you by her filence: not an which I have not timely information, enormity has happened these inany years,
but fear. nor shall I be able to sustain the weight of her as a consul; and your impious treason the public indignation, shouldlt thou, by will be deemed the efforts, not of an ene. order of the consul, retire into exile. But my, but of a robber. if you mean to advance my reputation and And now, conscript fathers, that I may glory, march off with your abandoned obviate and remove a complaint, which crew of ruffians; repair to Manlius; rouze my country might with some appearance every desperate citizen to rebel; separate of justice urge against me; attend diliyourself from the worthy; declare wargently to what I am about to say, and treaagainst your country; triumph in your im- sure it up in your minds and hearts. For pious depredations; that it may appear should my country, which is to me much you was not forced by me into a foreign dearer than life, should all Italy, should treason, but voluntarily joined your affo. the whole ftate thus accost me, What are ciates. But why should I urge you to this you about, Marcus Tullius? Will you sufstep, when I know you have already sent fer a man to escape out of Rome, whom forward a body of armed men, to wait you you have discovered to be a public enemy? at the Forum Aurelium: When I know whom you see ready to enter upon a war you have concerted and fixed a day with againit the state? whose arrival the conManlius ? When I know you have sent off fpirators wait with impatience, that they the silver eagle, that domestic thrine of may put themselves under his conduct? your impieties, which I doubt not will the prime author of the treason; the conbring ruin upon you and your accom- triver and manager of the revolt; the man plices ? Can you absent yourself longer who enlists all the slaves and ruined citizens from an idol to which you had recourse in he can find? will you suffer him, I say, to every bloody attempt? And from whose escape; and appear as one rather sent altars that impious right-hand was fre- againit the city, than driven from it? will quently transferred to the murder of your you not order him to be put in irons, to be countrymen?
but has had thee for its author: not a ment. Observe now, Cataline; mark the crime has been perpetrated without thee: silence and composure of the assembly. the murder of so many of our citizens, the Does a fingle fenator remonftrate, or jo oppression and plunder of our allies, has much as offer to speak? Is it needful through thee alone escaped punifhment, they should confirm by their voice, what and been exerciled with unrestrained vio. they so expressly declare by their filence ? lence : thou hast found means not only to But had I addresled myself in this mantrample upon law and justice, but even to ner to that excellent youth P. Sextius, or sabvert and deftroy them. Though this to the brave M. Marcellus, the senate paft behaviour of thine was beyond all pa- would ere now have risen up against me, tience, yet have I borne with it as I could. and laid violent hands upon their consul But now, to be in continual apprehension in this very temple ; and justly too. But from thee alone; on every alarm to tremble with regard to you, Cataline, their filence at the name of Cataline; to see no designs declares their approbation, their acquiefformed against me that speak not thee for cence amounts to a decree, and by saying their author, is altogether insupportable. nothing they proclaim their consent. Nor Be gone then, and rid me of my present is this true of the senators alone, whole terror; that if just, I may avoid ruin; authority you affect to prize, while you if groundless, I may at length cease to make no account of their lives ; but of
these brave and worthy Roman knights, Should your country, as I said, address and other illustrious citizens, who guard you in these terms, ought she not to find the avenues of the fenate; whole numbers obedience, even fupposing her unable to you might have fee:), whose sentiments you compel you to such a step? But did you might have known, whose voices a little not even offer to become a prisoner? Did while ago you might have heard; and you not say, that, to avoid fufpicion, you whose swords and hands I have for some would submit to be confined in the house time with difficulty restrained from your of M. Lepidus? When he declined re- perion: yet all these will I easily engage ceiving you, you had the assurance to come to attend you to the very gates, if you but to me and request you might be secured consent to leave this city, which you have at my house. When I likewise told you, so long devoted to destruction. that I could never think myself safe in the But why do I talk, as if your resolation same house, when I judged it even dan- was to be shaken, or there was any room gerous to be in the same city with you, to hope you would reform! Can we exyou applied to Q. Metellus the prætor, pect you will ever think of fight, or enBeing repulsed here too, you went to the terrain the design of going into banishexcellent M. Marcellus, your companion; ment? May the immortal gods inspire who, no doubt, you imagined would be you with that refolution! Though I clearvery watchful in confining you, very quick ly perceive, should my threats frighten in discerning your secret practices, and very you into exile, what a storm of envy will resolate in bringing you to justice. How light upon my own head; if not at prejustly may we pronounce him worthy of sent, whilst the memory of thy crimes is irons and a jail, whose own conscience con- fresh, yet surely in future times. But I demns him to restraint? If it be so then, little regard that thought, provided the Cataline, and you cannot submit to the calamity falls on myself alone, and is not thought of dying here, do you hesitate to attended with any danger to my country. retire to some other country, and commit But to feel the itings of remorse, to dread to flight and folitude a life, so often and the rigour of the laws, to yield to the exifo juftly forfeited to thy country? But gencies of the state, are things not to be say you, put the question to the senate, (for expected from thee. Thou, Cataline. fo you affect to talk) and if it be their art none of those, whom shame reclaims pleasure that I go into banishment, I am from difhonourable pursuits, fear from ready to obey. I will put no such quer- danger, or reason from madness. Be gone tion; it is contrary to my cemper: yet then, as I have already often said : and if will I give you an opportunity of know- you would swell the measure of popular ing the sentiments of the senate with re- odium against me, for being, as you give gard to you. Leave the city, Cataline ; out, your enemy, depart directly into badeliver the republic from its fears; go, if nishment. By this step you will bring you wait only for that word, into banith- upon me an insupportable load of censure;
dragged to execution, and to atone for his · Thus will you at length repair, whither guilt by the most rigorous punishment? your frantic and unbridled rage has long what restrains you on this occasion? is it the been hurrying you. Nor does this issue custom of our ancestors? But it is well of thy plois give thee pain; but, on the known in this commonwealth, thateven per. contrary, fills thee with inexpressible de fons in a private station have often put pellight. Nature has formed you, inclina- tilent citizens to death. Do the laws relattion trained you, and fate reserved you, ing to the punishment of Roman citizens for this desperate enterprize. You never hold you in awe? Certainly traitors against took delight either in peace or war, unless their country can have no claim to the when they were flagitious and destructive. privileges of citizens. Are you afraid of You have got together a band of ruffians the reproaches of pofterity? A noble and profligates, not only utterly aban. proof indeed, of your gratitude to the doned of fortune, but even without hope, Roman people, that you, a new man, who With what pleasure will you enjoy your without any recommendation from your self? how will you exult? how will ancestors, have been raised by them through you triumph? when amongit so great a all the degrees of honour, to sovereign dig. number of your associates, you shall nei- nity, should, for the sake of any danger to ther hear nor see an honest man? To at yourself, neglect the care of the public safetain the enjoyment of such a life, have you ty. But if censure be that whereof you are exercised yourself in all those coils, which afraid, think which is to be most appreare emphatically itiled yours : your lying hended, the censure incurred for having on the ground, not only in pursuit of lewd acted with firmness and courage, or that amours, but of bold and hardy enterprizes: for having acted with sloth and pufillani. your treacherous watchfulness, not only to 'mity? When Italy shall be laid desolate take advantage of the husband's slumber, with war, her cities plundered, her dwelbut to spoil the murdered citizen. Here lings on fire; can you then hope to escape may you exert all that boasted patience of the flames of public indignation? hunger, cold, and want, by which how- . To this most facred voice of my counever you will shortly find yourself undone. try, and to all those who blame me after So much have I gained by excluding you the same manner, I shall make this short from the consulship, that you can only at- reply; That if I had thought it the most tack your country as an exile, not oppress advisable to put Cataline to death, I
would not have allowed that gladiator the from his surviving associates soon assume use of one moment's life. For if, in for- new force. Wherefore, conscript fathers, let mer days, our greateft men, and most il- the wicked retire, let them separate themluftrious citizens, instead of fullying, have felves from the honest, let them rendezvous cone honour to their memories, by the de- in one place. In fine, as I have often said, struction of Saturninus, the Gracchi, Flac- let a wall be between them and us: les cus, and many others; there is no ground them cease to lay snares for the conful in to fear, that by killing this parricide, any his own house, to be set the tribunal of the envy would lie upon me with posterity. city prætor, to invest the senate-house with Yet if the greatest was sure to be fal me, armed ruffians, and to prepare fire-balls it was always my persuasion, that envy ac- and torches for burning the city: in short, quired by virtue was really glory, not envy. let every man's sentiments with regard to But there are some of this very order, the public be infcribed on his forehead. who do not either see the dangers which This I engage for and promise, conscript hang over us, or else dissemble what they fathers, that by the diligence of the consee; who, by the softness of their votes, suls, the weight of your authority, the coucherith Cataline's hopes, and add Itrength rage and firmness of the Roman knights, to the conspiracy by not believing it; and tlie unanimity of all the honest, Cata. whose authority influences many, not only line being driven from the city, you shall of the wicked, but the weak; who, if I behold all his treasons detected, exposed, had punished this man as he deserved, crushed, and punished. With these omens. would not have failed to charge me with Cataline, of all prosperity to the republic, ading cruelly and tyrannically. Now I am but of destruction to thyself, and all those persuaded, that when he is once gone into who have joined themselves with thee in Manlius's camp, whither he actually de- all kinds of parricide, go thy way then to signs to go, none can be so filly, as not to this impious and abominable war: whilft fee that there is a plot; none fo wicked, thou, Jupiter, whose religion was establishas not to acknowledge it: whereas by ed with the foundation of this city, whom taking off him alone, though this peftilence we truly call Stator, the stay and prop of would be somewhat checked, it could not this empire, will drive this man and his be suppressed: but when he has thrown accomplices from thy altars and temples, himself into rebellion, and carried out his from the houses and walls of the city, from friends along with him, and drawn toge- the lives and fortunes of us all; and wilt ther the profligate and desperate from all destroy with eternal punishments, both parts of the empire, not only this ripened living and dead, all the haters of good plague of the republic, but the very root men, the enemies of their country, the and seed of ail our evils, will be extirpated plunderers of Italy, now confederated in with him at once.
this detestable league and partnership of It is now a long time, conscript fathers, villainy. that we have trod amidit the dangers and
Whitworth's Cicero. machinations of this conspiracy: but I know not how it comes to pass, the full ma i § 6. Oration against Cataline. turity of all those crimes, and of this long ripening rage and insolence, has now broke
THE ARGUMENT. cut during the period of my consulship. Cataline, astonished by the thunder of Should he alone be removed from this the last speech, had little to lay for powerful band of traitors, it may abate, himself in answer to it; yet with perhaps, our fears and anxieties for a downcast looks, and suppliant voice, wbile; but the danger will still remain, and he begged of the fathers, not to becontinue lorking in the veins and vitals of lieve too hastily what was said against the republic. For as men, opprefied with him by an enemy; that his birth and à severe fit of illness, and labouring under past life offered every thing to him the raging heat of a fever, are often at that was hopeful; and it was not to first seemingly relieved by a draught of be imagined, that a man of patrician cold water, but afterwards find the dis family, whose ancestors, as well as ease return upon them with redoubled fu. himself, had given many proofs of ry; in like manner, this distemper which their affection to the Roman people, has seized the commonwealth, eased a lit should want to overturn the govergble by the punishment of this traitor, will ment; while Cicero, a Itranger, and
late inhabitant of Rome, was so zea- reproaches to the very gates of Rome, L. lous to preserve it. But as he was Cataline, intoxicated with fury, breathing going on to give foul language, the se- mischief, impiously plotting the destruction nate interrupted him by a general out of his country, and threatening to lay waste cry, calling him traitor and parricide: this city with fire and sword. He is gone, upon which, being furious and de. he is filed, he has escaped, he has broke Sperate, he declared again aloud what away. No longer thalt that nionster, that he had said before to Cató, that since prodigy of mischief, plot the ruin of this he was circumvented and driven head. city within her very walls. We have gained long by his enemies, he would quench a clear conquest over this chief and ringthe flame which was raised about him leader of domestic broils. His threatenby the common ruin; and so rushed ing dagger is no longer pointed at our out of the assembly. As soon as he breasts, nor shall we now any more tremwas come io his house, and began ble in the field of Mars, the forum, the to reflect on what had passed, per- fenate-house, or within our domestic walls, ceiving it in vain to dissemble any In driving him from the city, we have longer, he resolved to enter into ac- forced his most advantageous post. We tion immediately, before the troops shall now, without opposition, carry on a of the republic were increased, or just war against an open enemy. We have any new levies made: fo that after a effectually ruined the man, and gained a Short conference with Lentulus, Ce- glorious victory, by driving him from his thegus, and the rest, about what had secret plots into open rebellion. But how been concerted in the last meeting, do you think he is overwhelmed and crushhaving given freth orders and aslü. ed with regret, at carrying away his dagrances of his speedy return at the ger unbathed in blood, at leaving the city head of a strong army, he left Rome before he had effected my death, at see. that very night with a small retinue, ing the weapons prepared for our deto make the best of his way towards ftruction wrested out of his hands: in a Eutruria. He no sooner disappeared, word, that Rome is still standing, and her than his friends gave out that he was citizens safe. He is now quite overgone into a voluntary exile at Mar- thrown, Romans, and perceives himself seilles, which was industriously spread impotent and despised, often cafting back through the city the next morning, his eyes upon this city, which he sees, with to raise an odium upon Cicero, for regret, rescued from his destructive jaws; driving an innocent man into banish- and which seems to me to rejoice for havment, without any previous trial or ing disgorged and rid herself of so peftilent proof of his guilt. But Cicero was a citizen. too well informed of his motions, to But if there be any here, who blame me entertain any doubt about his going for what I am boasting of, as you all into Manlius's camp, and into actual deed juftly may, that I did not rather seize rebellion. He knew that he had sent than send away so capital an enemy: that thither already a great quantity of is not my fault, citizens, but the fault of arms, and all the enfigns of military the times. Cataline ought long ago to command, with that filver eagle, have suffered the last pupishment; the which he used to keep with great custom of our ancestors, the discipline of superstition in his house, for its hav- the empire, and the republic itself required ing belonged to C. Marius, in his ex- it: but how many would there have been, pedition against the Cimbri. But, who would not have believed what I left the story should make an ill im- charged him with ? How many, who, pression on the city, he called the through weakness, would never have imapeople together into the forum, to gined it? how many, who would even have give them an account of what passed defended him? how many, who, through in the senate the day before, and of wickedness, would have espoused his cause? Cataline's leaving Rome upon it. But had I judged that his death would And this, makes the subject of the have put a final period to all your dan. oration now before us.
gers, I would long ago have ordered him
to execution, at the hazard not only of AT length, Romans, have we driven, public censure, but even of my life. But discarded, and pursued with the keeneft when I saw, that by fentencing him to the