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32. He spake : when, behold, the fair Geraldine's form
33. And now did the portrait a twin-sister seem
34. 'T was the fairy herself! but, alas, her blue eyes
35. “I am lost!” said the fiend, and he shook like a leaf,
36. “I am lost!” said the fiend, and he fell like a stone ; Then, rising, the fairy, in ire, With a touch of her finger, she loosened her zone (While the limbs on the wall gave a terrible groan), And she swelled to a column of fire.
37. Her spear, now a thunderbolt, flashed in the air,
38. Then over the picture thrice waving her spear,
LESSON CLXVII. Extract from an Oration before the Roman Senate. — CICERO.
1. The time has come, fathers, when that which has long been wished for, towards allaying the envy your order has been subject to, and removing the imputations against trials,
is effectually put into your power. An opinion has long prevailed, not only here at home, but likewise in foreign countries, both dangerous to you and pernicious to the state, that, in prosecutions, men of wealth are always safe, however clearly convicted.
2. There is now to be brought upon his trial before you, to the confusion, I hope, of the propagators of this slanderous imputation, one whose life and actions condemn him in the opinion of impartial persons; but who, according to his own reckoning, and declared dependence upon his riches, is already acquitted ; I mean Caius Verres.*
3. I demand justice of you, fathers, upon the robber of the public treasury, the oppressor of Asia Minor and Pamphylia, the invader of the rights and privileges of Romans, the scourge and curse of Sicily. If that sentence is passed upon him which his crimes deserve, your authority, fathers, will be venerable and sacred in the eyes of the public: but if his great riches should bias you in his favor, I shall still gain one point — to make it apparent to all the world, that what was wanting in this case was not a criminal nor a prosecutor, but justice and adequate punishment.
4. To pass over the shameful irregularities of his youth, what does his quæstorship, the first public employment he held, what does it exhibit, but one continued scene of villainies ? Cneius Carbo plundered of the public money by his own treasurer, a consul stripped and betrayed, an army deserted and reduced to want, a province robbed, the civil and religious rights of a people violated.
5. The employment he held in Asia Minor and Pamphylia, what did it produce but the ruin of those countries? In which houses, cities, and temples, were robbed by him. What was his conduct in his prætorship here at home? Let the plundered temples, and public works neglected, that he might embezzle the money intended for carrying them on, bear witness.
6. How did he discharge the office of a judge ? Let those who suffered by his injustice answer.
But his prætorship in Sicily crowns all his works of wickedness, and furnishes a lasting monument to his infamy. The mischiefs done by him in that unhappy country, during the three years of his iniquitous administration, are such, that many years, under the wisest and best of prætors, will not be sufficient to restore things to the condition in which he found them ; for it is notorious, that during the time of his tyranny the Sicilians neither enjoyed the protection of their own original laws, of the regulations made for their benefit by the Roman senate upon their coming under the protection of the commonwealth, nor of the natural and unalienable rights of men.
* Verres, was the Prætor, or Roman governor, of Sicily. His cruelties caused the Sicilians to bring accusations against him before the Roman senate.
7. His nod has decided all causes in Sicily, for these three years. And his decisions have broken all law; all precedent, all right. The sums he has, by arbitrary taxes and unheard of impositions, extorted from the industrious poor, are not to be computed. The most faithful allies of the commonwealth have been treated as enemies. Roman citizens have, like slaves, been put to death with tortures. The most atrocious criminals, for money, have been exempted from the deserved punishments; and men of the most unexceptionable characters condemned and banished unheard.
8. The harbors, though sufficiently fortified, and the gates of strong towns, have been opened to pirates and ravagers. The soldiery and sailors, belonging to a province under the protection of the commonwealth, have been starved to death; whole fleets, to the great detriment of the province, suffered to perish.
9. The ancient monuments of either Sicilian or Roman greatness, the statues of heroes and princes, have been carried off, and the temples stripped of their images. Having, by his iniquitous sentences, filled the prisons with the most industrious and deserving of the people, he then proceeded to order numbers of Roman citizens to be strangled in the jails ; so that the exclamation, “I ain a citizen of Rome !” which has often, in the most distant regions and among the most barbarous people, been a protection, was of no service to them ; but, on the contrary, brought a speedier and a more severe punishment upon them.
10. I ask now, Verres, what thou hast to advance against this charge ? Wilt thou pretend to deny it? Wilt thou pretend that anything false, that even anything aggravated, is alleged against thee? Had any prince, or any state, committed the same outrage against the privilege of Roman citizens, should we not think we had sufficient ground for demanding satisfaction ?
11. What punishment ought, then, to be inflicted upon a tyrannical and wicked prætor, who dared, at no greater distance than Sicily, within sight of the Italian coast, to put to the infamous death of crucifixion that unfortunate and innocent citizen, Publius Gavius Cosanus, only for his having asserted his privilege of citizenship, and declared his intention of appealing to the justice of his country, against the cruel oppressor, who had unjustly confined him in prison at Syracuse, whence he had just made his escape ?
12. The unhappy man, arrested as he was going to embark for his native country, is brought before the wicked prætor. With eyes darting fury, and a countenance distorted with cruelty, he orders the helpless victim of his rage to be stripped, and rods to be brought; accusing him, but without the least shadow of evidence, or even of suspicion, of having come to Sicily as a spy. It was in vain that the unhappy man cried out, I am a Roman citizen: I have served under Lucius Pretius, who is now at Panormus, and will attest my inno
13. The blood-thirsty prætor, deaf to all he could urge in his own defense, ordered the infamous punishment to be inflicted. Thus, fathers, was an innocent Roman citizen publicly mangled with scourging; whilst the only words he uttered, amidst his cruel sufferings, were, “I am a Roman citizen !”
14. With these he hoped to defend himself from violence and infamy. But of so little service was this privilege to him, that while he was thưs asserting his citizenship, the order was given for his execution,
- for his execution upon the cross ! O'Liberty! O sound once delightful to every Roman ear! O sacred privilege of Roman citizenship! once sacred! now trampled upon! But what then? is it come to this ? Shall an inferior magistrate, a governor, who holds his whole power of the Roman people, in a Roman province, within sight of Italy, bind, scourge, torture with fire and red-hot plates of iron, and at last put to the infamous death of the cross, a Roman citizen ?
15. Shall neither the cries of innocence expiring in agony, nor the tears of pitying spectators, nor the majesty of the Roman commor
nonwealth, nor the fear of the justice of his country, restrain the licentious and wanton cruelty of a monster, who, in confidence of his riches, strikes at the root of liberty, and sets mankind at defiance ?
16. I conclude with expressing my hopes, that your wisdom and justice, fathers, will not, by suffering the atrocious and unexampled insolence of Caius Verres to escape due punishment, leave room to apprehend the danger of a total subversion of authority, and the introduction of general anarchy and confusion.
Character of Cicero. - MIDDLETON.* 1. Cicero made a just distinction between bearing what we cannot help, and approving what we ought to condemn; and submitted, therefore, yet never consented, to those usurpations; and when he was forced to comply with them, did it always with a reluctance that he expresses very keenly in his letters to his friends,
2. But whenever that force was removed, and he was at liberty to pursue his principles and act without control, as in his consulship, in his province, and after Cæsar's death, — the only periods of his life in which he was truly master of himself, there we see him shining out in his genuine character of an excellent citizen, a great magistrate, a glorious patriot; there we could see the man who could declare of himself with truth, in an appeal to Atticus, as to the best witness of his conscience, that he had always done the greatest services to his country when it was in his power; or, when it was not, never harbored a thought of it but what was divine.
3. If we must needs compare him, therefore, with Cato, as some writers affect to do, it ertain that if Cato's virtue seem more splendid in theory, Cicero's will be found superior in practice; the one was romantic, the other was natural; the one drawn from the refinements of the schools, the other from nature and social life; the one always unsuccessful, often hurtful; the other always beneficial, often salutary to the republic.
4. To conclude : Cicero's death, though violent, cannot be called untimely, but was the proper end of such a life; which must also have been rendered less glorious if it had owed its preservation to Antony. It was, therefore, not only what he expected, but, in the circumstances to which he was reduced, what he seems even to have wished.
5. For he, who before had been timid in dangers, and desponding in distress, yet, from the time of Cæsar's death, roused
* Born 1683; died 1750.