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tvidently, as to be clearly seen by the senate and people of Rome. Accordingly the consuls of that year ordered the statue to be placed in the manner directed: but from the slow progress of the work, neither they, nor their successors, nor I myself, could get it finished till that very day.
Can any man after this be such an enemy to truth, so rash, so mad, as to deny, thit all things which we see, and above all, that this city is governed by the power aed providence of the gous? For when the soothsayers declared, that massacres, conflagrations, and the entire ruin of the tiate were then devising; crimes! the enormity of whose guilt rendered the prediction to some incredible: yet are yon now sensible, that all this has been by wicked citizens not only devised, but even atempted. Can it then be imputed to aar thing but the immediate interposition of the great Jupiter, that this morning, while the conspirators and witnesses were by my order carried through the forum to tfte temple of Concord, in that very moment the statue was fixed in its place? And being fixed, and turned to look upon yoa and the senate, both you and the senate sa*- all the treasonable designs against the public safety, clearly detected and exposed. The conspirators, therefore, juJUy merited the greater punishment and detestation, for endeavouring to involve in impious Aann, not only your houses and habitations, but the dwellings and temples of the gods themselves : nor can I, without intolerable vanity and presumption, lay claim to me merit of having defeated their attempts. It was be, it was Jupiter himself, who opposed them: to him the Capitol, to him the temples, to him this city, to him you are all indebted for your preservation. It was from the immortal fjods, Romans* that I derived my resolution and foresight; and by their providence, that I was enabled to make such important discoveries. The attempt to engage the Allobrogians in the conspiracy, *nd the infatuation of Lentulus and his associates, in trusting affairs and letters of such moment to men barbarous and unknown to them, can never surely be accounted for, but by supposing the gods to have confounded their understandings.
Aad that the ambassadors of the Gauls, a Mtion so disaffected, and the only one at
present that seems both able and willing
tq aalte ^ Upon the Roman people,
should slight the hopes of empire and dominion, and the advantageous offers of men of patrician rank, and prefer your safety to their own interest, must needs be the effect of a divine interposition; especially when they might have gained their ends, not by fighting, but by holding their tongues.
Wherefore, Romans, since a thanks* giving has been decreed at all the shrines) of the gods, celebrate the fame religiously with your wives and children. Many are the proofs of gratitude you have justly paid to the gods on former occasions, but never surely were more apparently due than at present. You have been snatched from a most cruel and deplorable sate ; and that too without slaughter, without blood, without an army, without fighting. Jn the habit of citizens, and under me your only leader and conductor in the robe of peace, you have obtained the victory. For do but call to mind, Romans, all the civil dissensions in which we have been involved; not those only you may have heard of, but those too within your own memory and knowledge. L. Sylla destroyed P. Sulpicius; drove Marius, the guardian of this empire, from Rome; and partly banished, partly slaughtered, a great number of the most deserving citizens. Cn. Octavius, when consul, expelled his colleague by force of arms, from the city. The forum was filled with carcases, and flowed with the blood of the citizens. Cinna afterwards, in conjunction with Marius, prevailed : and then it was that the very lights of our country were extinguished by the slaughter of her most illustrious men. Sylla avenged this cruel victory; with what massacre of the citizens, with what calamity to the state, it is needless to relate. M. Lepidus had a difference with, Q^CatuIus, a man of the most distinguished reputation and merit. The ruin brought upon the former was not so afflicting to the republic, as that of the rest who perished upon the same occasion. Yet all these dissensions, Romans, were of such a nature, as tended only to a change in the government, not to a total destruction of the state. It was not the aim of the persons concerned, to extinguish the commonwealth, but to be leading men in it; they desired not to see Rome in flames, but to rule in Rome. And yet all these civil differences, none of which tended to the overthrow of the state, were so obstinately kept up, that they never ended in a reconciliation of the parx ties, ties, but in a massacre of the citizens. But in this war, a war the fiercest and most implacable ever known, and not to be paralleled in the history of the most barbarous nations; a war in which Lentulus, Cataline, Cassius and Cethegus laid it down as a principle, to consider all as enemies who had any interest in the well being of the state ; I have conducted myself in such a manner, Romans, as to preserve you all. And though your enemies imagined that no more citizens would remain, than what escaped endless massacre; nor any more of Rome be left standing, than was snatched from a devouring conflagration; yet have I preserved both city and citizens from barm.
For all these important services, Romans, I desire no other reward of my zeal, no other mark of honour, no other monument ofpraife, but the perpetual remembrance of this day. It is in your breasts alone, that I would have all my triumphs, all my titles of honour, all the monuments of my glory, all the trophies of my renown, recorded and preserved. Lifeless statues, silent testimonies of fame; in sine, whatever can be compassed by men of inferior merit, has no charms for me. In your rememb'-ance, Romans, shall my actions be cherished, from your praises (hall they derive growth and nourishment, and in your annals shall they ripen and be immortalized: nor will this day, I flatter myself, ever cease to be propagated, to the safety of the city, and the honour of my consulship: but it shall eternally remain upon record, that there were two citizens living at the fame time in the republic, the one of whom was terminating the extent of the empire by the bounds of the horizon itself; the other preserving the seat and capital of that empire.
But as the fortune and circumstances of my actions aie different from those of your generals abroad, in as much as I must live with those whom 1 have conquered and subdued, whereas they leave their enemies either dead or enthralled; it is your part, Romans, to take care, that if the good actions of others are beneficial to th.-m, mine prove not detrimental to me. I have baffled the wicked and bloody purposes formed against you by the most daring offenders; it belongs to you to baffle their attempts against me j though as to myself, I have in reality no cause to fear any thing, since I shall be protected by the guard of all honest men,
whose friendship I have for ever secared by the dignity of the republic itself, which will never cease to be my silent defender; and by the power of conscience, which all those must needs violate, who shall attempt to injure me. Such too is my spirit, Romans, that I will never yield to the audaciousness of any, but even provoke and attack all the wicked and the profligate: yet if all the rage of our domestic enemies, when repelled from the people, shall at last turn singly upon me, you will do well to consider, Romans, what effect this may afterwards have upon those, who are bound to expose themselves to envy and danger for your safety. As to myself in particular, what have I farther to wish for in life, since both with regard to the honours you confer, and the reputation flowing from virtue, I have already reached the highest point of my ambition. This however I expressly engage for, Romans, always to support and defend ia my private condition, what I have acted in my consulship; that if any envy be stirred up against me for preserving the slate, it may hurt the envious, but advance my glory. In short, I shall lb behave in the republic, as ever to be mindful of my pall actions, and shew that what I did was not the effect of chance, but of virtue. Do you, Romans, since it is now night, repair to your several dwellings, and pray to Jupiter, the guardian of this city, and of your lives: and though the danger he now over, keep the fame watch in your houses as before. 1 shall take care to put a speedy period to the necessity of these precautions, and to secure you for the future in uninterrupted peace.
§ S. Oratim agaiiijl Cat aline.
Though the design of the conspiracy was in a great measure defeated, by the commitment of the most considerable of those concerned in it, yet as they had many secret favourers and well-wishers within the city, the people were alarmed with the rumor of fresh plots, formed by the slaves and dependants of Lentulus and Cethegus for the rescue of their masters, which obliged Cicero t6 reinforce his guards; and for the prevention of all such attempts, to put an *nd to the whole affair, by bringing the question of their punishment, without farther delay, before>the senate; which he accordingly summoned for that purpose. The debate was of great delicacy and importance; to decide upon the lives of citizens of the first rank. Capital punishments were rare, and ever odious in Rome, whose laws were of all others the least sanguinary; baniflunent, with confiscation of goods, being the ordinary punishment for the greatest crimes. The senate indeed, as has been said above, in cases of sodden and dangerous tumults, claimed the prerogative of punishing the leaders with death, by the authority of their own decrees. But this was looked upon as a stretch of power, and an infringement of the rights of the people, which nothing could excuse but the necessity of times, and the extremity of danger. For there was an old law of Porcius Læca, a tribune, which granted all criminals capitally condemned, an appeal to the people; and a later one of C. Gracchus, to prohibit the taking away the life of any citizens, without a formal hearing before the people: ib that some senators, who had concurred in all the previous debates, withdrew themselves from this, to (hew their dislike of what they expected to be the issue of it, and to have no hand in putting Roman citizens to death by a vote of the senate. Here then was ground enough for Cicero's enemies to act upon, if extremes methods were pursued: he himself was aware of it, and saw, that the public interest called for the severest punishment, his private interest the gentlest: yet he came resolved to sacrifice all regards for his own quiet, to the consideration of the public safety. As soon therefore as he had moved the question, What was to be done with the conspirators.' Silanus, the consul elect, being called upon to speak the first, advised, that those who were then in custody, with the rest who should afterwards be taken, should all bi put to death. To this all who spoke after him readily assented, till it tame to Julius Cæsar, then prætor elect, who, in an elegant and elaborate sp ech, treated that opinion, not as cruel, since death, he
said, was not a punishment, but relief to the miserable, and left no fense either of good or ill beyond it; but as new and illegal, and contrary to the constitution of the republic: and though the- heinousoess of the crime would justify any severity, yet the example was dangerous in a free state ; and the salutary use of arbitrary power in good hands, had been the cause of fatal mischiefs when it fell into bad; of which he produced several instances, both in other cities and their own; and though no danger could be apprehended from these times, or such a consul as Cicero; yet in other times, and under another consul, when the sword was once drawn by a decree of the senate, no man could promise what mischief it might not do before it was sheathed again: his opinion therefore was, that the estates of the conspirators soould be confiscated, and their persons closely confined in the strong towns of Italy ; and that it soould be criminal for any one to move the senate or the people for any favour towards them. These two contrary opinions being proposed, the next question was, which of them soould take place: Cæsar's had made a great impression on the assembly, and staggered even Silanus, who began to excuse and mitigate the severity of his vote; and Cicero's friends were going forwardly into it, as likely to create the least trouble to Cicero himself, for whose future peace and safety they began to be solicitous : when Cicero, observing the inclination of the house, and rising up to put the question, made this fourth' speech on the subject of this conspiracy; in which he delivers his sentiments with all the skill both of the orator and statesman; and while he seems to soew a perfect neutrality, and to give equal commendation to both the opinions, artfully labours all the while to turn the scale in favourof Silanus's, which he considered as a necessary example of severity in the present circumstances of the republic.
I PERCEIVE conscript fathers, that every ook, that eve y eve is fived upon is.*. J fee you solicitous no-, only for your
own own and your country's danger, but was that repelled, for mine also. This proof of your affection is grateful to me in sorrow, and pleasing in distress : but by the immortal gods I conjure you! lay it all aside; and without any regard to my safety, think only of yourselves, and of your families. For should the condition of my consulship be such as to subject me to all manner of pains, hardships, and sufferings; I will bear them not only resolutely but chearfully, if by my labours 1 can secure your dignity and safety, with that of the people of Rome. Such, conscript fathers, has been the fortune of my consulship, that neither the serum, that centre os all equity, nor the field of Mars, consecrated by consular auspices, nor the senate-house, the principal refuge of all nations, nor domestic walls, the common asylum of all men; nor the bed, destined to repose ; nay, nor even this honourable feat, this chair of state, have been free from perils and the snares of death. Many things have I dissembled, many have I suffered, many have I yielded to, and many struggled with in silence, for your quiet. But if the immortal gods would grant that issue to my consulship, of saving you, conscript fathers, and the people of Rome, from a massacre; your wives, your children, and the vestal virgins, from the bitterest persecution; the temples and altars of the gods, with this our fair country, from sacrilegious flames; and all Italy from war and desolation ; let what sate soever attend me, I will be content with it. For if P. Lentulus, upon the report of soothsayers, thought his name portended the ruin of the state; why should not I rejoice, that my consulship has been as it were reserved by fate for its preservation.
Wherefore, conscript fathers, think of your own safety, turn your whole care upon the state, secure yourselves, your wives, your children, your fortunes; guard the lives and dignity of the people of Rome, and cease your concern and anxiety for me. For first, 1 have reason to hope, that alt the gods, the protectors of this city, will reward me according to my deserts. Then, should any thing extraordinary happen, I am prepared to die with an even and constant mind. For death can never be dishonourable to the brave, nor premature to one who has reached the dignity of consul, nor afflicting to the wise. Not that I am so hardened against
all the impressions of humanity, as to remain indifferent to the grief of a dear and affectionate brother here present, and the tears of all those by whom you see me surrounded. Nor can I forbear to own, that an afflicted wife, a daughter dispirited with fear, an infant son, whom my country seems to embrace as the pledge of my coufulfhip, and a son-in-law, whom I behold waiting with anxiety the issue of this day, often recal my thoughts homewards. All these objects affect me, yet in such a manner, that 1 am chiefly concerned for their preservation and yours, and scruple not to expose myself to any hazard, rather than that they and all of us should be involved in one general ruin. Wherefore, conscript fathers, apply yourselves wholly to the safety of the state, guard against the storms that threaten us on every side, and which it will require your utmost circumspection to avert. It Is not a Tiberius Gracchus, caballing for a second tribuneship; nor a Caius Gracchus, stirring up the people in favour of his Agrarian law; nor a Lucius Satuminus, the murderer of Caius Memmiiu, who is now in judgment before you, and exposed to the severity of the law; but traitors, who remained at Rome to fire the city, to massacre the senate, and to receive Cataline. Their letters, their seal;, their hands; in short, their several confessions, are in your custody; and clearly convict them of soliciting the Allobrogians, spiriting up the slaves, and sending for Cataline. The scheme proposed was, to put all, without exception, to the sword, that not a soul might remain to lament the fate of the commonwealth, and the overthrow of so mighty an empire.
AU this has been proved by witnesses, the criminals themselves have confessed, and you have already condemned them by several previous acts. First, by returning thanks tome in the most honourable terms, and declaring that by my virtue and vigilance, a conspiracy of desperate men has been laid open. Next, by deposing Lentulus from the prætorship, and commtting him, with the rest of the conspirators, to custody. But chiefly, by decreeing a thansgiving in my name, an honour which was never tefore conferred upon any man in the gown. Lastly, you yesterday voted ample rewards to the deputies of the Allobrogians, and Titus Vulturcius; all which p. oceedings are of such a nature, as plainly to nuke it appear, that you already withontscruple condemn those, whom you have bynameordered into custody. But I have resolved, conscript fathers, to propose to yon anew the question both of the fact and punillment, having first premised what I thick proper to say as consul. I have long observed a spirit of disorder working in rhe state, new projects deviling, and pernicioas schemes set on foot: but never could I imagine, tb.it a conspiracy so dreadhi! and destructive, had entered into the æindj os citizens. Now whatever you do, or which ever way your thoughts and roicet shall incline, you must come to a resolution before night. You see the heitous nature of the crime laid before you; and if you think that but few are concerned in it, you are greatly mistaken. The mischief is spread wider than most people imagine, and has not only infected Italy, but crossed the Alps, and, imperceptibly creeping along, seized many provinces. You can never hope to suppress it by delay and irresolution. Whatever course you take, you must proceed with vigour Hid expedition.
There are two opinions now before you; tic Just, of D. Silanus, who thinks the projectors of so destructive a conspiracy worthy of death; the second of C. Cæsar, '•"ho, excepting death, is for every other tie mo.t rigorous method of punishing, kach, agreeably to his dignity, and the importance of the cause, Is for treating them with the last severity. The one Ainks, that those who have attempted to deprive us and the Roman people of life, to abolish this empire, and extinguish the very name of Rome, ought not to enjoy a moment's life, or breathe the vital air: and hath (hewed withal, that this punishment has often been inflicted by this state »« sedifcus citizens. The other maintains, that death was not designed by the immortal gods as a punishment, but either a= a neceflary law of our nature, or a cessation of our toils and miseries: so that 'he wife never suffer it unwillingly, the brave often seek it voluntarily: that bonds and imprisonment, especially if perpetual, "e contrived for the punishment of detestable ciimes: that therefore the criminals should be distributed among the municipal towns. In this proposal, there seems be some injustice, if you impose it upon the towns; or some difficulty, if you only desire it, Yet decree so, if you think fit. l*ill endeavour, and I hope I shall be able
to find those, who will not think it unsui'able to their dignity, to comply with whatever you shall judge netessaryfor the comwon safety. He adds a heavy penalty on the municipal towns, if any of the criminals should escape; he invests them with formidable guards; and, as the enormity of their guilt deserves, forbids, under severe penalties, all application to the senate or people, for a mitigation of their punishments. He even deprives them of hop?, the only comfort of unhappy mortals. He orders their estates also to be confiscated, and leaves them nothing but life; which, if he had taken away, he would by one momentary pang, have eased them of much anguish both of mind and body, and all the sufferings due to their crimes. For it was on this account that the ancients invented those infernal punishments of the dead; to> keep the wicked under some awe in this life, who without them would have no dread of death itself.
Now, conscript fathers, I sec how much my interest is concerned in the present debate. If you follow the opinion of C. Cæiar, who has always pursued those measures in the state, which savour most of popularity; I shall perhaps be less exposed to the arrows of public hatred, when he is known for the author and adviser of this vote. But if you fall in with the motion of D. Silanus, I know not what difficulties it may bring me under. However, let the service of the commonwealth supersede all considerations of my danger. Caesar, agreeable to his own dignity, and the merits of his illustrious ancestors, has by this proposal given us a perpetual pledge of his affection to the st.tte, and shewed the difference between the affected lenity of busy dectaimers, and a mind truly popular, which seeks nothing but the real good of the people. I observe that one of those, who affects the character of popularity, has absented himself from this day's debate, that he may not give a vote upon the life of a Roman citizen. Yet but the other day he concurred in sending the criminals to prison, voted me a thank' giving, and yesterday decreed ample rewards to the informers. Now no one can doubt what his sentiments are on the me. rits of the cause, who votes imprisonment to the accused, thanks to the discoverer ef the conspiracy, and rewards to the in* formers. But C. Cæsar urges the Sempronian law, forbidding to put Roman citizens to death. Yet here it ought to be