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be of any use to it; and among the rest, agreed to make an attempt ou the ambafladors of the Allobrogians, a warlike, mutinous, faithless people, inhabiting the countries now called Savoy ana Dauphiny, greatly disaffected to the Roman power, and already ripe for rebellion. These ambassadors, who were preparing to return home, much out of humour wiih the senate, and without any redress of the grievances which they were sent to complain of,received the proposal at first very greedily, and promised to engage their nation to assist the conspirators with what they prin* cipally wanted, a good body of horse, whenever they should begin the war: but reflecting afterwards, in their cooler thoughts, on the difficulty of the enterprize, and the danger of involving themselves and their country in so desperate a cause, they resolved to discover what they knew to, Fabius Sanga, the patron of their city, who immediately gave intelligence of it to the consul. Cicero's instructions upon it were, that the ambassadors should continue to feign the same zeal which they had hitherto shewn, and promise every thing which was required of them, till they had got a full insight into the extent of the plot, with distinct proofs against the particular actors in it; upon which, at their next conference with the conspirators, they insisted on having some credentials from them to shew to their people at home, without which they would never be induced to enter into an engagement so hazardous. This was thought reasonable, and presently complied with, and Vulturcius was appointed to go along wjth the ambassadors, and introduce them tp Cataline on their road, in order to confirm the agreement, and exchange assurances also with him; to whom Lentulus sent at the same time a particular letter under his own hand and seal, though without his name. Cicero being punctually informed of all these facts, concerted privately with the ambassadors the time arid manner of their leaving Rome in the night, and that on the Milvian bridge, about a mile from the city, they should be arrested with their papers and letters about
them, by two of the prætors, L. Flaccus ard C. Pontinius, whom he had instructed for that purpose, and ordered to lie in ambush near the place, with a strong guard of friends and soldiers: all which was successfully executed, and the whole company brought prisoners to Cicero's house by break of day. The rumour of this accident presently drew a resort of Cicero's principal friends about him, who advised him to open the letters before he produced them in the senate, lest, if nothing of moment were found in them, it might be thought rash and imprudent to raise an unnecessary terror and alarm through the city. But he was too well informed of the contents, to fear any censure of that kind; and declared, that in a case of public danger, he thought it his duty to lay the matter entire before the public council. He summoned the senate therefore to meet immediately, and sent at the same time for Gabinius, Statilius, Cethegus, and Lentulus, who all came presently to his house, suspecting nothing of the discovery; and being informed also osa quantity pf arms provided by Cethegus for the use of the conspiracy, he ordered C. Sulpicius, another of the prætors, to go and search his house, where he found a great number of swords and daggers, with other arms, all newly cleaned, and ready for present service. With this preparation he set out to meet the senate in the temple of Concord, with a numerous guard of citizens, carrying the ambassadors and the conspirators with him in custody; and after he had given the assembly an account of the whole affair, the several parties were called in and examined, and an ample discovery made of the whole progress of the plot. After the criminals and witnesses were with-; drawn, the senate went into a debate upon the state of the republic, and came unanimously to the following resolutions: That public thanks should be decreed to Cicero in the amplest manner, by whose virtue, counsel, and providence, the republic was delivered from the greatest dangers; that Flaccus and Pontinius the prætors, should be thanked likewise, for; their vigorous and punctual execution of Cicero's orders: that Antonius, the other consul, should be "praised, for having removed from his counsels all those who were concerned in the conspiracy: that Lentulus, after having abdicated the praetorfhip, and divested himself of his robes; and Cethegus, Statilitrs, and Gabinius, with their other accomplices also when taken, Catfius, Oeparius, Furius, Chilo, and Umbrenas, should be committed to safe custody; and that a public thanksgiving should be appointed in Cicero's name, for his having preserved the city from a conflagration, the citizens from a massacre, and Italy from a war. The senate being dismissed, Cicero went directly into the Rostra 4 and, in the following speech, gave the people an account of the discovery that had been made, with the resolutions of the senate consequent thereupon.
TO-Day, Romans, you behold the commonwealth, your lives, estates, fortunes, your wives and children, the august feat of this renowned empire, this fair and flourishing city, preserved and restored to you, rescued from fire and sword, and almost snatched from the jaws or fate, by the distinguished love of the immortal gods towards you, and by means of my toils, counsels and dangers. And if the days in which we are preserved from ruin, be no less joyous a<nd memorable than those of our birth; because the pleasure of deliverance is certain, the condition to which we are born uncertain; and because we enter upon life without consciousness, but are always sensible to the joys of preservation: 1 urely, since our gratitude and esteem for Romalus, the founder of this city, has induced us to rank him amongst the immortal gods; he cannot but merit honour with you and posterity, who has preserved the same city, with all its accessions of strength and grandeur. For we have extinguished the flames that were dispersed on all sides, and just ready to seize the temples, sanctuaries, dwellings, and walls of this city; we have blunted the swords that were drawn against the state i and turned aside the daggers that were pointed at your throats. And as all these particulars have been already explained, cleared, and fully proved by me in the senate; I shall now, Romans,lay them briefly before you, that such as are strangers
to what has happened, and wait with impatience to be informed, may understand what a terrible and manifest destruction hung over them, how it was traced out, and in what manner discovered. And first, ever since Cataline, a few days ago, fled from Rome; as he left behind him the partners of his treason, and the boldest champions of this execrable war, I have always been upon the watch, Romans, and studying how to secure you amidtt such dark and complicated dangers.
For at that time, when I drove Cataline from Rome (for I now dread no reproach from that word, but rather the cenlure of having suffered him to escape alive) I say, when I forced him toquit Rome, I naturally concluded, that the rest of his accomplices would either follow him, or, being deprived of-his assistance, would proceed with less vigour and firmness. But when I sound that the most daring and forward of the conspirators still continued with us, and remained in the chy, I employed myself night and day to unravel and fathom all their proceedings and designs; that since my words found less credit with you, because of the inconceivable enormity of the treason, I might lay the whole so clearly before you, as to compel you at length to take measures for your own safety, when you could no longer avoid seeing the danger that threatened you. Accordingly, when I found, that the ambassadors of the Allobrorians had been solicited by P. Lentulus to kindle a war beyond the Alps, and raise commotions in Hither Gaul; that they had been font to engage their state in the conspiracy, with orders to confer with Cataline by the way, to whom they had letters and instructions; and that Vuhurcius was appointed to accompany them, who was likewise entrusted with letters to Cataline; I thought a fair opportunity offered, not only of satisfying myself with regard to the conspiracy, but likewise of clearing it up to the senate and you, which had always appeared a matter of the greatest difficulty, and been the constant subject of my prayers to the immortal gods. Yesterday, therefore, I sent to the p'a:tor$ L. Flaccus, and C. Pontinius, men of known courage, and distinguished zeal for the republic. 1 laid the whole matter before them, and made them acquainted with what 1 designed. They, full of the noblest and most generous sentiments with regard to their country, undertook the business without delay or hesitation; and T t 4 upon
upon the approach os night, privately repaired to the Milvian bridge, where they disposed themselves in such manner in the neighbouring villages, thr.t they formed two bodies, with tjie river and bridges between them. They likewise carried along with them a great number of brave soldiers, without the least suspicion; and I dispatched from the præsecture of Reate several chosen youths well armed, whose assistance I had frequently used in the defence of the commonwealth. In the mean time, towards the close of the third watch, as the deputies of the Allobrogians, accompanied by Vulturcius, began to pass the bridge with a great retinue, our men came out against them, and (words were drawn on both fides. 1 he affair was known to the prætors alone, none else being admitted into the secret.
Upon the coming up of Pontinius and Flaccus, the conflict ceased; all the letters they carried with them were delivered sealed to the prætors; and the deputies, with their whole retinue being 'eized, were brought before me towards the dawn of day. I then sent fer Gabinius Cimber, the contriver cf all these detestable treasons, who suspected nothing of what had passed: L. Slatilius was summoned next, and then Ccthegus: Lentulus came the last of all, probably because, contraiy to custom, he Jird been up the greatest part of the night beicie, m:.king out the dispatches. Many of the greatest and most illustrious men in Rome, hearing what had passed, crowded to my house in the morning, and advised me to open the letters before I communicated them to the senate, lell, if nothing material was found in them, 1 should be blamed for tastily occasioning so great an alarm in the city. But I refused to comply, that an affair which threatened public danger, might come entire before the public council of the state. For, citizens, had the inforniaticns given me appeared to be without foundation, I had yet little reason to apprehend, that any censure would befal me for my over-diligence in so dangerous an alpect of things. I immediately assembled, as you saw, a very su'l senate; and at the same time, in confc.uence <>f a hint from the Allobrogian deputies, dispatched C. Sulpicius the prætor, a n an of known courage, to search the heu'e of Cethegus, where he found a great Ti mber of iwordi and daggers.
1 introduced Vulturcius without the Gallic dcpu.ies; and by order of the house,
offered him a free pardon in the name of the public, if he would faithfully discover all that he knew: upon which, after some hesitation, he confessed, that he had letters and instructions from Lentulus to Cataline, to press him to accept the assistance of the staves, and to lead his army with all expedition towards Rome, to the intent that when, according to the scheme previously settled; nd concerted among them.it should be set on sire in different places, and the eneral massacre begun, he might be at and to intercept those who escaped, and join with his friends in the city. The ambassadors were next brought in, who declared that an oath of secrecy had been exacted from them, and that they had received letters to their nation from Lentulus, Ccthegus, and Statilius; that these three, and L. Caffius also, required them to send a body of herse as soon as possible into Italy, declaring, that they had no occasion for any foot: that Lentulus had assured them from the Sibylline books, and the answers of soothsayers, that he was the third Cornelius, who was destined to empire, and the sovereignty of Rome, which 'Cinna and Sylla had enjoyed before him; and that this was the fatal year marked for the destruction of the city and empire, being the tenth from the acquittal of the vestal virgins, and the twentieth from the burning of the capitol: that there w as some dispute between Cethegus and the rest about the time of siring the city; because, while Lentulus and the other conspirators were for fixing it on the feast of Saturn, Cethegus thought that day tco remote and dilatory.
But not to be tedious, Romans, I at last ordered the letters to be produced, which were said to be sent by the different parties. I first shewed Cethegus hi.-- seal; which he owning, 1 opened and read the letter. It was written with his own hand, and addressed to the senate and people of the Allobrogians, signifying that he would make good what he had promised to their ambassadors, and entreating them also to perform what the ambassadors had undertaken for them. Then Cethegus, who a little before, being interrogated about the arms that were found at his house, had answered that he was always particularly fond of neat arms; upon hearing his letter read, was so dejected, confounded, cr.d self-convicted, that he could not utter a word in his own defence. Siarilius was then brouglt in, and acknowledged his
The proofs being thus laid open and cleared, I consulted the senate upon the measures proper to be taken for the public safety. The most severe and vigorous resolutions were proposed by the leading men, to which the senate agreed without the least opposition. And as thedecree is not yet put into writing, I lhall, as far as my memory servei, give you an account of the whole proceeding. First of all, public thanks were decreed to me in the amplest manner, for having by my courage, counsel, and foresight, delivered the republicfrom the greatest dangers: then the prætors L. Flaccus.and C. Pontinius were likewise thanked, for their vigorous and punctual execution of my orders. My colleague, the bravo Antonius was praised, for having removed from his own and the counsels of the republic, all those who were concerned in the conspiracy. They thencame to a resolution, that P. Lentulus, after having abdicated the prxtorlhip. mould be committed to safe custody; that C. Cethcgus, L. Statilius, P. Gabinius, all three then present, mould likewise remain in confinement; and that the same sentence should be extended to L. Cassius, who had offered himself to the task os siring the city; to M. Ceparius, to whom, as appeared, Apulia had been assigned for raising the shepherds; to P. Furius, who belonged to the colonies setts d by Syila at Fclulæ; to Q_ Magius Chilo, who had always seconded this Furius, in his application to the deputies ot the Allobrogians; and to P. Umbrcnus, the son of a freedman, who was proved to have first introduced the Gauls to Gabinius. The senate chose to proceed with this lenity, Romans, from a persuasion that though the conspiracy was indeed formidable, and the strength aud n-jmbsr of our domestic enemies very great; yet by the punilhment of nine of the most desperate, they should be able to preserve the state, and reclaim all the rest. At the same time, a public thanksgiving was decreed in my name to the immortal gods, for their signal care cf the commonwealth; the first, Romans, since the building of Rome, that was ever decreed to any man in the gown. It was conceived in these words: " Because I had "preserved the city from a conflagration, "the citizens from a maflacre, and Italy "from a war." A thanksgiving, my countrymen, which,if compared with others of the fame kind, will be found to differ from them in this; that all others were
hand and seal; and when his letter was read, to the fame purpose with that of Cethegus, he confessed it to be his own. Then Lentnlus's letter was produced. I asked if he knew the seal: he owned he did. It is indeed, said I, a well known seal; the head of your illustrious grandfather, so dillinguished for his love to hi:, country and fellow-citizens, that it is amazing the very fight of it was not sufficient to restrain ycu from so black a treason. His letter, directed to the senate and people of the Allobroges, was of the fame import with the other two: but having leave to speak for himself, heat first denied the whole charge, «r:d began to question the ambassadors and Vuiturcius, what business they ever had *ith him. and on wha" occasion they came to his house; to which they gave clear and distinct answers; signifying by whom, and how often, they had been introduced to hiai; and then asked him, in their turn, whether he had never mentioned any thing to them about the Sibylline oracles; upon which being confounded, or infatuated rather by the fense of his guilt, he gave a remarkable proof of the great foree of conscience: for not only his usual parts and eloquence, but his impudence too, in which he outdid all men, quite failed him; so that he confessed his crime, to the lurprise of the whole assembly. Then Vuiturcius desired, that the letter to Cataline, which Lentulus had sent by him, might be opened; where Lentulus again, though greatly disordered, acknowledged his hand and seal. It was written without any name, but to this effect: " You will know who I *' Jin, from him whom I have sent to ycu. "Take care to shew yourself a man, and "recollect in what situation you are, and "consider what is now necessary for you. "Ee sure to make use of the assistance os "aD, even of the lowest." Gabinius ws then introduced, and behaved impudeady for a while; but at last denied nothing of what the ambassadors charged him with. And indeed, Romans, though their letters, seals, hands, and lastly their several voluntary confessions, were strong and convincing evidences of their guilt; ye: had I still clearer proofs of it from their looks, change of colour, countenance;, and silence. For such was their amazement, such their downcast looks, such their stolen glances one at another, that they seemed *ot so much convicted by the information °sothers, as detected by the consciousness e; their own guilt.
appointed for some particular services to therepublic, this alone forsaving it. What required our first care was first executed and dispatched. For P. Lentulus, though in consequence of the evidence brought against him, and his own confession, the senate had adjudged him to have forfeited not only the prætorship, but the privileges of a Roman citizen, divested himself of his magistracy: that the consideration of a public character, which yet had no weight with the illustrious C. Marius, when he put to death the prætor C. Glancia, against whom nothing had been expressly decreed, might not occasion any scruple to n» in yunishing P. Lentulus, now reduced to the condition of a private man.
And now, Romans, as the detestable leaders of this impious and unnatural refcellion are seized and in custody, you may justly conclude, that Cataline's whole strength, power, and hopes are broken, and the dangers that threatened the city dispelled. For when I was driving him ©ut of the city, Romans, I clearly foresaw, that if he was once removed, there would be nothing to apprehend from the drowsiness of Lentulus, the fat of Cassius, or the rashness of Cethegus. He was the alone formidable person of the whole number, yet no longer so, than while he remained within the walls of the city. He knew every thine; he had access in all places; he wanted neither abilities nor boldness to address, to tempt, to solicit. He had a head to contrive, a tongue to explain, and a hand to execute any undertaking. He had select and proper agents to be employed in every particular enterprise; and never took a thing to be done, because he had ordered it; but always pursued, urged, attended, and saw it done himself; declining neither hunger, pold, nor thirst. Had 1 not driven this pan, so keen, so resolute, so daring, so (Crafty, so alert in mischief, so active in desperate designs, from his secret plots within the city, into open rebellion in the fields, I could never so easily, to speak my real tiioughts, Romans, have delivered the republic From its dangers. He would not have fixed upon the feast of Saturn, nor name tire fatal day for our destruction so long before-hand, nor suffered his hand and seal to be brought against him, as manifest proofs of Jus guilt. Yet all this has been so managed in his absence, that no theft in any private house was evermore clearly detected than this whole conspiracy. But if Cata
line had remained in the city till this day; though to the utmost I would have obstructed and opposed all his designs; yet, to fay the least, we milst have come at last to open force; nor would we have found it possible, while that traitor was in the city, to have delivered the commonwealth from such threatening dangers with so much ease, quiet, and tranquillity.
Yet all these transactions, Romans, have been so managed by me, as if the whole was the pure effect of a divine influence and foresight. This we may conjecture, not only from the events themselves being above the reach of human counsel, but because the gods have so remarkably interposed in them, as to (hew themselves almost visibly. For not to mention the nightly streams of light from the western sky, the blazing of the heavens, the thunders, the earthquakes, with the other many prodigies which have happened in my consullhip, that seem like the voice of the gods predicting these events; surely, Romans, what I am now about to fay, ought neither to be omitted, nor pass without notice. For, doubtless, you must remember, that under the consulship of Cotta and Torquatus, several turrets of the capitol were struck down with lightning: that the images of the immortal gods were likewise overthrown, the statues of ancient heroes displaced, and the brazen tables pf the laws melted down: that even Romulus, the founder of this city, eseaped not unhurt; whose gil; statue, representing him as an infant sucking a wolf, you may remember to have seen in the capitol. At that time the soothsayers, being called together from all Etruria, declared, that fire, slaughter, the overthrow of the laws, civil war, and the ruin of the city and empire, were portended, unless the gods, appeased by all sorts of means, could be prevailed with to interpose, and bend in some measure the destinies themselves. In consequence of this answer, solemn games were celebrated for ten days, nor was any merhod of pacifying the gods omitted. The fame soothsayers likewise ordered a larger statue of Jupiter to be made, and placed on high, in a position contrary to that of the former image, with its face turned towards the east; intimating, that if his statue, which you now behold, looked towards the rising fun, ithe forum, and the senate-house; then all secret machinations against the city and empire would be detected so