Cicero : Pro Quinctio

Sections 54-99

This speech was delivered for P. Quinctius in 81 B.C.

The translation is by by J.H. Freese (1930). Click on the L symbols to go to the Latin text of each section. Click on ** to go to the translator's footnotes.

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[17.] L   [54] I will now consult these gentlemen on your behalf, in regard to a matter that is now past and with which I am not concerned, since you forgot to consult them at the proper time on what was your personal affair. I ask you the following questions, Gaius Aquilius, Lucius Lucilius Balbus, Publius Quinctilius, and Marcus Claudius Marcellus. ** A partner and relative of mine has not answered to his recognisances ; I have long been intimate with him, but have recently been engaged in a dispute with him about money matters. Am I to make application to the praetor to authorise me to take possession of his goods ? or, since he has a house, a wife, and children at Rome, should I rather leave a notice at his house ? I should like to know your opinion on this matter. If I have rightly gauged your kindly feelings and good sense, I have certainly little doubt of the answer you would make if you were consulted : in the first place wait ; then, if the man seems to be keeping out of the way and making a fool of you for any length of time, have an interview with your friends, ask who his agent is, and give notice at his house. It is difficult to say how many things there are which you would advise should be done before being compelled to resort to this extreme measure. What says Naevius to this ? [55] No doubt he laughs at our folly in desiring to find in his life any regard for duty or looking for the principles of men of honour. "What have I to do with such severe morality and caution ?" says he ; "let men of honour attend to the fulfilment of such obligations ; but, as for me, let them ask, not what I possess, but how I have acquired it, the circumstances of my birth, and the manner in which I was brought up. I remember that there is an old saying: it is much easier for a buffoon to become rich than a good head of a household." [56] This is what in reality he openly declares by his deeds, though he does not venture to say it inso many words. For if indeed he desires to live according to the principles of honourable men, he must learn and unlearn much - two things equally difficult for him at his time of life.

[18.] L   "I did not hesitate," says he, "to put up his goods for sale, since he had forfeited his recognisances." Shameless rascal! since, however, that is what you claim as your right, and demand that it should be allowed, let us allow it. But what if he never forfeited his recognisances at all, if your plea is entirely a tissue of lies, invented by you with the greatest roguery and malice ; what if no engagement for his appearing was ever made between you and Quinctius ? by what name ought we to call you then? A rascal? But even if he had forfeited his recognisances, in making your application to the praetor and in advertising his goods for sale you still showed yourself to be an utter rascal. Full of malice? You do not deny it. Fraudulent? That is a name which you have already claimed for yourself and glory in it. Audacious, avaricious, perfidious ? These terms are commonplace and out-of-date ; but the act is unprecedented and unheard of. What term then am I to use? [57] By Hercules! I am afraid of using expressions so harsh that they would outrage nature, or not so strong as the cause demands. You assert that Quinctius forfeited his recognisances. As soon as he returned to Rome, he asked you to tell him on what day he had given bail to appear. You immediately answered : on the 5th of February. On leaving you, Quinctius tried to remember the day on which he set out from Rome for Gaul. On consulting his diary, he found that the day on which he set out was the 29th of January. ** If he was at Rome on the 5th of February, we admit there is no reason why he should not have entered into an engagement with you to appear. [58] But how can this be verified ? Lucius Albius, an extremely honourable man, set out with him ; he will give evidence. Some friends accompanied both Albius and Quinctius ; they also will give evidence. The letters of Quinctius, those numerous witnesses, all of whom had the strongest reasons for being able to know the truth and none for lying, shall be confronted with your assistant stipulator. **

[59] And is it in a cause of this nature that Quinctius shall be in difficulty ? Shall he any longer live miserably in the midst of such fear and peril ? Shall he be more terrified by the influence of his opponent than reassured by the integrity of the judge? O yes, for he has always led a rude and boorish life; he has always been naturally melancholy and reserved ; he never frequented the sundial, ** nor the Campus Martius, nor banquets ; he has always made it his aim to keep his friends by treating them with respect, and his property by economy ; he loved the old-fashioned principle of duty, all the brightness of which amid our modern manners has become dim and antiquated. Yet, if, in a cause in which the rights on both sides were equal, he were to be seen coming off defeated, even then there would be cause for complaint; but now, in a cause in which his rights are superior, he does not even demand to be considered on an equality ; he is willing that he come off defeated, but only so far as not to be handed over with all his goods, fame, and fortunes to the greed and cruelty of Sextus Naevius.

[19.] L   [60] I have fulfilled my first promise, Aquilius ; I have proved that there was no reason at all why Naevius should apply to the praetor, since no money was owing to him and, even if there had been, nothing had been done to justify a resort to such an extreme method of procedure.

Now let me call your attention to the fact that the goods of Quinctius could not possibly have been possessed in accordance with the praetor's edict. Examine the edict. ONE WHO HAS KEPT OUT OF THE WAY WITH FRAUDULENT INTENT. This does not apply to Quinctius, unless those are keeping out of the way, who went away on business leaving an agent behind. HE WHO HAS NO HEIR. ** This does not apply to Quinctius either. HE WHO HAS LEFT HIS COUNTRY TO GO INTO EXILE. This cannot be said of Quinctius. HE WHO HAS NOT BEEN LEGALLY DEFENDED IN HIS ABSENCE. Nor even that. ** When or how, Naevius, do you think that Quinctius ought to have been defended in his absence ? At the time when you made application to the praetor to take possession of the property ? There was certainly no one there then, for no one could foresee that you would make such a request, nor was it anyone's business to object to what the praetor ordered, not to be done, but to be done in accordance with his edict. ** [61] What then was the first opportunity the agent had of defending the absent man? When you advertised the sale of the property. Then Sextus Alfenus came forward ; he did not allow this; he tore down the placards. His first duty as an agent was most carefully discharged by him.

Let us see what followed next. You seized a slave belonging to Quinctius in the street and attempted to carry him off. Alfenus refused to allow it, he took him away from you by force and had him taken back to Quinctius's house. In this also the duty of a zealous agent is shown to have been admirably performed. You assert that Quinctius is in your debt, his agent denies it; you wish to bind him over to appear in court, he promises to appear; you summon him before the magistrate, ** he follows you; you demand a trial, he does not refuse it. If this is not defending an absent man, I do not know what is. [62] But who was the agent? I suppose some beggar had been chosen, a litigious rascal, capable of putting up with the daily insults of a wealthy buffoon. Anything but that; he was a wealthy Roman knight, one who managed his own affairs well, and lastly, he was the man whom Naevius left as his agent in Rome, whenever he went into Gaul. [20.] L   And do you dare, Sextus Naevius, to deny that Quinctius was defended during his absence, seeing that he was defended by the same man who used to defend you? seeing that he who offered to stand trial on behalf of Quinctius was the man to whom, when going on a journey, you were in the habit of entrusting and committing the care of your fortune and reputation, do you attempt to say that there was no one to defend Quinctius in court? [63] "I demanded," says Naevius, "that he should give security for payment of the judgement." You were wrong in your demand ; so at least you appeared to be ** ; Alfenus refused. "Yes, but the praetor was going to order that he must give it." That is why an appeal was made to the tribunes. "Here," says Naevius, "I have got you; to appeal to the tribunes is neither submitting to a trial nor defending in court." When I consider how clever Hortensius is, I do not think that he will make this objection ; but when I hear that he has already done so and consider the cause in itself, I do not see what else he can say. For he admits that Alfenus tore down the placards ; that he promised to appear in court ; that he did not refuse to stand trial in identically the same terms as those proposed by Naevius, with the reservation, however, that in accordance with custom and the established law, the order should be made by the magistrate appointed for the purpose of assisting the citizens. ** [64] It is necessary, then, either that these things have not taken place or that such a man as Gaius Aquilius should on his oath lay down as law in this state: that one whose agent has not consented to stand trial on any issue, whatever the terms in which the claim may have been drawn up, one whose agent has ventured to appeal from the praetor to the tribunes, is not defended; that his goods may be legally possessed ; that it may be thought fit that the unhappy man, during his absence, ignorant of what is happening to him, may be stripped with the greatest disgrace and ignominy of all that makes life honourable. [65] But if such an interpretation of the law cannot be admitted by anyone, certainly everyone must admit that Quinctius during his absence was legally defended. This being so, his goods were not possessed in accordance with the edict. But you say the tribunes did not even listen to the appeal. If this is the case, I grant that the agent ought to have obeyed the decree of the praetor. What? if Marcus Brutus ** openly declared that he would intervene unless Alfenus himself and Naevius came to some agreement, does it not appear that the appeal to the tribunes and their intervention was intended, not for the purpose of causing delay, but of affording protection ?

[21.] L   [66] What happened next? In order that everyone might be able to understand that Quinctius was legally defended and to prevent the slightest suspicion arising, unfavourable either to the way in which he had discharged his duty as agent or to Quinctius's reputation, Alfenus summoned several honourable citizens ; he called them to witness, in the hearing of Naevius, that, considering the friendship which united him to both parties, he first appeals to him not to attempt to take severe measures against Quinctius in his absence ; but if, on the other hand, he persists in carrying on his prosecution in a most unfriendly and hostile manner, that he is ready to maintain, by all honourable and legal means, that the money he demands is not owing, and to stand trial in any form of action given notice of by the plaintiff. [67] Several honourable gentlemen signed the minutes of the facts and conditions. There cannot be any doubt about their genuineness. Affairs being thus in their original position, Quinctius's goods being neither proscribed nor possessed, the result was that Alfenus promised Naevius that Quinctius should appear in court. He appears to his recognisances. The affair remains in dispute for two years, owing to the slanders spread abroad by that fellow ** until a method could be found whereby it could be diverted from the ordinary course of procedure and the whole cause could be included within the limits of this remarkable form of trial.

[68] What part of an agent's duty can be mentioned, Gaius Aquilius, which appears to have been neglected by Alfenus? What reason is there for denying that Quinctius was defended in his absence? Or am I to suppose what Hortensius will put forward, because he has recently thrown out a hint of it and Naevius is always loudly proclaiming it, is that Naevius was not contending on equal terms with Alfenus at that particular time, when that particular party ** was in power? If I am willing to admit this, I think they will concede to me that, far from not having any agent, Quinctius had one who was very popular. But for gaining my cause, it is sufficient that there was an agent, against whom Naevius could have brought an action; what kind of a man he was, provided he defended his absent client by legal means and through a lawful magistrate, I do not think has anything to do with the question.

[69] "Yes, but," says he, "Alfenus belonged to the dominant party." Why not? a man who had been brought up in your house, whom you had taught from his boyhood not to have respect for any kind of nobility, not even for a noble ** gladiator. If Alfenus wished the same thing as you earnestly desired, in what respect was the struggle between you unequal ? "He was an intimate friend of Brutus," says he, "and therefore Brutus intervened." On the other hand, you were an intimate friend of Burrienus, who gave an unfair decision, in short, of all those to whom at that time violence and crime gave the greatest power, and who dared to do all that they had the power to do. Or did you wish all those to be victorious who are now working so hard that you may obtain the victory ? Dare to say so: not openly, but merely to those whom you have summoned to your assistance. [70] However, I do not wish to recall the memory of an event, which in my opinion ought to be entirely forgotten and blotted out. [22.] L   I have only one remark to make: if his zeal for a political party made Alfenus powerful, then Naevius was most powerful ; if Alfenus, on the strength of his personal influence, demanded anything that was somewhat unfair, Naevius obtained privileges that were far more unfair. For, in my opinion, there was no difference between you in party zeal, but in natural ability, cunning, and trickery, you were easily first. Leaving other things out of the question, it is enough to say that Alfenus perished with those and for the sake of those whom he loved, whereas you, after those who were your friends were unable to obtain the victory, managed to make friends of those who were victorious. **

[71] But if you think that at that time you had not the same legal rights as Alfenus, because in spite of all he was able to call in someone as his legal adviser against you, because a magistrate was found before whom his cause could be maintained, what course of action should Quinctius decide upon in his present circumstances? He has not yet found an impartial magistrate ; the usual form of action has not been granted him ; no condition, no engagement, in short, no demand has ever been made - say nothing of a fair demand, but one that up to the present has never been heard or spoken of. I wish to plead on a question of money. "That is not permitted." But that is the point at issue. "That has nothing to do with me; you must plead on a charge involving your political rights." Make the charge then, since this course is necessary. "No, not unless you speak first, according to the new rule." If I must, I must. "The number of hours allowed for your pleading will be fixed in advance as we think fit; the judge himself will be kept within limits." [72] What then? "You will find some advocate, a man with the old-fashioned sense of duty, a man to treat our brilliant counsel and influence with indifference ** ; Lucius Philippus ** will fight for me, a man of the greatest eminence in the state for his eloquence, dignity, and position ; Hortensius will speak for me, a man distinguished for his ability, nobility, and reputation ; further, I shall have the support of men of the highest birth and the greatest power, men whose numbers and presence would make not only Quinctius tremble, who is fighting for his political rights, but even anyone who is beyond the risk of any such danger." [73] This is an unequal contest, not that in which you skirmished against Alfenus; you have not even left Quinctius a place where he could make a stand against you.

Wherefore you must either prove that Alfenus denied that he was my client's agent, that he did not tear down the placards, that he refused to stand trial; or, since these facts are established, you must admit that you did not take possession of Quinctius's goods in accordance with the edict.

[23.] L   For if you did take possession in accordance with the edict, I ask why the goods were not sold, why the rest of the sureties ** and creditors did not meet. Was there no one to whom Quinctius owed money? Yes, there were several creditors, because his brother Gaius had left a considerable amount of debts. What, then, was the reason of this? They were all total strangers to him, and money was owing to them ; yet not one among them was found capable of such remarkable wickedness as to venture to attack the reputation of Quinctius in his absence. [74] There was only one, his kinsman, his partner, his intimate friend, Sextus Naevius, who, although he was even himself in debt to Quinctius, ** as if some extraordinary reward had been offered for his crime, made the most passionate efforts to deprive his kinsman, crushed and overthrown by him, not only of property honestly acquired, but even of the light of day that is common to all. Where were the rest of the creditors? Indeed, where are they now? Who is there who can say that Quinctius kept out of the way with fraudulent intent, or can deny that he was defended during his absence ? No one can be found to make such statements. [75] On the contrary, all those who have or have had dealings with him are here to support and defend him, and are doing their utmost to prevent my client's good faith, well known in many places, from being disparaged by the perfidious slanders of Naevius. In the case of an "engagement" like this, he ought to produce witnesses from among them to depose as follows: "He has forfeited his recognisances with me; he has cheated me ; he asked for time to pay a debt which he had denied ; I could not get him to court ; he kept out of the way ; he left no agent." Nothing of the kind is said. Witnesses are being procured to say it. Well, I suppose we shall look into that after they have said it. Yet let them remember this one thing - that claiming to be men of weight, their evidence can only carry weight on condition that they keep to the truth; but if they neglect it, they so lose all weight that every one sees that authority is an aid to proving the truth, not to backing up a lie. ** [24.] L   [76] I put these two questions : first, on what grounds was it that Naevius did not finish the business which he had undertaken ; that is, why did he not sell the goods of which he was in possession in accordance with the edict; secondly, why, among so many creditors, did no one else fall in with Naevius's plan ? I ask these questions that you may be forced to admit that there was no one among them so rash, and that you yourself have been unable to persist in and complete the disgraceful business you had undertaken. What if you yourself, Sextus Naevius, have proved that the goods of Publius Quinctius were not taken possession of according to the edict? I think that your evidence, which would have little weight in a matter which had nothing to do with you, ought to have the greatest weight in a matter which concerns you personally, because it goes against you. You bought the goods of Sextus Alfenus, which the dictator Lucius Sulla caused to be put up for sale ; you gave out that Quinctius was your partner in their purchase. ** I say no more. Did you form a voluntary partnership with the man who had cheated you in an hereditary partnership? Did you by your own judgement show your esteem for a man who, in your opinion, had been deprived of his reputation and his fortunes ?

[77] By heavens! Aquilius, I was feeling distrustful of my ability to stand my ground with sufficient courage and resolution in a cause like this. I was reflecting that, since Hortensius was to plead against me and Philippus was to listen with the greatest attention, I should be nervous and make frequent mistakes. I kept saying to Quintus Roscius, ** here present, whose sister is my client's wife, when he most earnestly begged me to undertake the defence of his kinsman, that it was very difficult for me, not only to plead so important a cause to the end, but even to attempt to utter a single word. When he pressed me still more urgently, I said to him, with the familiarity of a friend, that anyone who even attempted a stage gesture in his presence must be most brazen-faced, but that those who presumed to pit themselves against him, even if they already enjoyed a certain reputation for grace and correctness, would lose it at once, and that I was afraid that something of the kind might happen to me, when I had to speak against such an artist. **

[25.] L   [78] Then Roscius said much to encourage me ; and by Hercules! even if he had not said a word, anyone would have been greatly moved merely by the silent expression of his interest and zeal for his kinsman. For as he is such an artist that he alone seems worthy to be seen on the stage, so is he such a man that he alone seems worthy of never appearing upon it. "But," he added, "suppose that you have such a cause that you need only prove that there is no one who can walk seven hundred miles in two or at most three days, would you still be afraid that you could not maintain the truth of so simple a statement against Hortensius ?"   "Certainly not," I answered ; "but what has this to do with the matter?" '  [79] "The whole cause undoubtedly turns upon it," he replied. "How so?" I asked. He then told me of the facts and at the same time of an action of Naevius, of such a kind that its disclosure alone ought to be enough. I beg you, Aquilius, and you his assessors, to listen carefully to what I have to say. I have no doubt you will see that, from the outset, on the one side avarice and audacity have been the attackers, while on the other, truth and modesty have resisted to the utmost of their power. You make an application that you may be allowed to take possession of Quinctius's goods according to the edict. On what day? It is yourself, Naevius, whom I want to hear; I want an unprecedented act of villainy to be proved by the words of the very man who committed it. Give the date, Naevius. "On February 20." Correct. How far is it from here to your pastures in Gaul? I ask you, Naevius. " Seven hundred miles." Quite right. Quinctius is turned out of his pasture: on what day ? can you also tell us this? Why are you silent? Tell us the date, I say. He is ashamed to do so; I understand ; but his shame is too late and useless. Quinctius was turned out of his pasture on February 23; two days later, or, if we suppose that someone started running from the court immediately, in less than three days, a journey of seven hundred miles was accomplished. [80] Incredible! reckless covetousness! A winged messenger! The agents and hangers-on of Sextus Naevius reached the territory of the Segusiavi ** across the Alps from Rome in two days! Lucky man to possess such messengers or rather flying horses !

[26.] L   On this occasion, if all the Crassi ** and Antonii ** could appear in court ; even if you, Lucius Philippus, who shared their eminence, desired to join Hortensius in pleading this cause, yet I must gain the day. For eloquence does not, as you imagine, decide everything ; there are truths so evident that nothing can invalidate them. [81] Now, before applying for authority to take possession of the goods, did you send an agent to see that the owner was expelled from his own estate by force and by his own slaves ? ** Take your choice ; the one is incredible, the other is atrocious ; both are unprecedented. Do you maintain that seven hundred miles were covered in two days? Tell me. You answer no? Then you sent your agent beforehand. I like this better; for if you said the former, you would show yourself a bare-faced liar; in admitting the latter, you allow that you have been guilty of a crime which you cannot cover up even by a lie. Will a course of action, so covetous, so audacious, and so rash, meet with the approval of Aquilius and men such as his assessors ? [82] What is the meaning of this madness, this precipitate and untimely haste? Does it not indicate violence, crime, brigandage, in short, anything but justice, duty, and honour? You sent an agent without an order from the praetor. What was your intention? You knew that he would give the order. What! could you not have waited till he had given it, and then sent your agent? You were going to make your application. When? Thirty days or so after. ** Yes, provided nothing happened to prevent you, if you did not change your mind, if you were in good health, in short, if you were alive. Of course the praetor would have given the order. I suppose so, if he had pleased, if he had been in good health, if he had been in court, if there had been no one to refuse to give security and be willing to stand trial in accordance with his decree. [83] For, by the immortal gods! if Alfenus, my client's agent, had then given you security and been willing to stand trial, in short, had been willing to do everything you demanded, what would you have done? Would you have recalled the agent whom you had sent to Gaul? But Quinctius would by then have been expelled from his estate, driven headlong out of hearth and home, and, which is the height of indignity, outraged by the hands of his own slaves, at your bidding and according to your instructions. No doubt you would have set matters right later. And do you dare to attack any man's character, you who are forced to admit that you were so blinded by passion and avarice that, although you did not know what was going to happen afterwards - and many things might have happened - you founded your hopes of gain from a present crime on the uncertain issues of the future? And, in saying this, I am speaking just as if, at the moment when the praetor had authorised you to take possession according to his edict and supposing you had sent to take possession, you either should or could have ejected Quinctius from possession. **

[27.] L   [84] All these facts, Gaius Aquilius, are of such a kind that anyone can clearly see that in this cause rascality and influence are contending against helplessness and integrity. How did the praetor order you to take possession ? According to his edict, I suppose. In what terms was the "wager" or "engagement" drawn up? IF THE GOODS OF PUBLIUS QUINCTIUS HAVE NOT BEEN TAKEN POSSESSION OF ACCORDING TO THE PRAETOR'S EDICT. To return to the edict. In what manner does it order possession to be taken ? If Naevius took possession in quite a different way from what the praetor ordered, can it be disputed that he did not take possession according to the edict, and that I have won the wager ? Certainly not, I imagine. Let us examine the edict. THOSE WHO HAVE ENTERED INTO POSSESSION ACCORDING TO MY EDICT. He is speaking of you, Naevius, according to your idea, for you say that you entered into possession according to the edict, which defines what you are to do, and gives you instructions and directions. IT PLEASES US THAT THEY SHOULD BE IN POSSESSION IN THE MANNER FOLLOWING. In what manner? WHAT THEY CAN SAFELY GUARD UPON THE SPOT LET THEM GUARD THERE ; WHAT THEY CANNOT, IT SHALL BE LAWFUL TO CARRY OFF AND DRIVE AWAY. What next? TO EJECT THE OWNER AGAINST HIS WILL DOES NOT PLEASE US. Even the man who keeps out of the way with fraudulent intent, even the man whom nobody has defended in his trial, even the man who acts with bad faith towards all his creditors, cannot be ejected from his property against his will. [85] When you set out to take possession, Sextus Naevius, the praetor himself openly told you : You may take possession in such a manner that Quinctius may have possession with you at the same time; you may take possession in such a manner that no violence be offered to Quinctius. ** Well? how have you observed this order? I say nothing about his being a man who did not keep out of the way, who had a house, a wife, children, and an agent at Rome, who had not forfeited his recognisances - I say nothing about all this; I only say that the owner was ejected from his estate, that hands were laid on the owner by his own slaves in the presence of his household gods. I say this . . . **

* * * * * * *

[28.] L   [I have shown] that Naevius did not even apply to Quinctius, although he lived with him and could have gone to law with him any day ; next, that he preferred entering into all the most troublesome legal proceedings, with great prejudice to himself and the greatest danger to Publius Quinctius, to abiding by a pecuniary action, the source and origin of all these proceedings, as he admits, which could have been finished in one day. On that occasion I proposed that, if he intended to sue for the money, Quinctius should give security for the payment of the judgement, provided that Naevius himself, in case Quinctius claimed any money, should give the same security to him.

[86] I have shown how many steps should have been taken before application was made for possession of the goods of a relative, especially as he had at Rome a house, a wife, children, and an agent, a friend of both parties. I have proved that when Naevius says the recognisances were forfeited, no recognisances had been given at all; that on the day on which he says my client had made him a promise to appear, he was not even at Rome; and I undertook to make this clear by the evidence of witnesses who were both bound to know the facts and had no reason for lying. Further, I have proved that the property could not have been possessed according to the edict, because Quinctius had neither kept out of the way with fraudulent intent nor was it asserted that he had left his country to go into exile. [87] There remains the allegation that no one defended him in court. In answer to this I maintained that he was fully defended, not by any stranger nor by any false accuser or knavish lawyer, but by a Roman knight, his friend and relative, whom Naevius himself had formerly been in the habit of leaving at Rome as his agent. Nor, even if he did appeal to the tribunes, was he on that account less ready to submit to trial, nor was Naevius deprived of his rights by the influence of my client's agent; on the contrary, it was Naevius who was then somewhat superior by reason of his influence, and now he scarcely allows us the chance of breathing. [29.] L   [88] I asked what was the reason why the goods had not been sold, since they had been seized according to the edict. Next, I inquired how it happened that none of my client's numerous creditors followed Naevius's course, but, instead of speaking against Quinctius to-day, are all of them doing their utmost to defend him, especially since, in an action such as this, the evidence of creditors is considered to be most material to the case. Afterwards, I used the evidence of my opponent, who just lately declared that he had taken into partnership a man who, as he maintains to-day, he then showed was not even among the number of the living. Then I brought forward that instance of incredible rapidity or rather audacity. I proved that either seven hundred miles must have been traversed in two days or that Naevius had sent an agent to take possession several days before he applied to the praetor to authorise him to attach the goods. [89] I afterwards read the text of the edict, which clearly forbade an owner to be ejected from his estate ; this is enough to show that Naevius had not taken possession according to the edict, since he admitted that Quinctius had been forcibly ejected. On the other hand, I proved that the property had not been taken possession of at all, because goods are regarded as possessed, not when part only, but when everything that can be held and possessed ** has been seized. I said that my client had a house in Rome, of which Naevius did not even attempt to take possession ; a number of slaves, none of whom did he seize or even put his hand upon; he tried, indeed, to lay hold of one, but, having been prevented, he did not renew the attempt. [90] In Gaul itself Quinctius has some farms of his own, which, as you know, Naevius never entered ; lastly, you know that Quinctius's private slaves have not all been driven out of the same pastures of which Naevius took possession after he had ejected his partner from them by force. From this and all Naevius's other words, deeds, and intentions, anyone can understand that he had, and has, no other object than to enable himself to secure the whole estate (which belongs in common to both), as his own personal property by violence, injustice, and unfair legal procedure.

[30.] L   [91] Now that I have finished my pleading, the nature of the case and the greatness of the danger seem to make it necessary for my client to implore and beseech you, Aquilius, and you, his assessors, in the name of his old age and forlorn condition, simply to follow the dictates of your natural goodness of heart, so that, since he has the truth with him, his distress may have greater power to incline you to pity than the resources of Naevius to incline you to cruelty. [92] From the very day when we came before you as judge we began to pay less attention to the threats which we formerly dreaded. If it had been merely the cause of one party contending with the cause of another party, we felt certain that we could easily prove the justice of ours to anyone ; but since the issue was between one mode of life and another, for that reason we thought that we needed you all the more as judge. For the question to be decided is whether the rustic and simple frugality of my client's life can defend itself against luxury and licentiousness, or whether, disgraced and stripped of all that made it honourable, it is to be handed over naked to greed and impudence. [93] My client does not compare his influence to yours, he does not vie with you in wealth and resources ; he leaves to you all the talents which have made you great ; he admits that he can neither speak elegantly nor accommodate his language to the will of another; that he cannot abandon a friend in affliction and fly into the arms of another who is the favourite of fortune ** ; that he does not live in the midst of profusion and extravagance ; that he does not prepare splendid and magnificent banquets ; that he does not own a house that is closed to modesty and good living but open, nay, freely accessible to passion and debauchery. But on the other hand he declares that he has always cherished duty, good faith, industry, and a life that has been altogether rough and ill-provided. He is aware that the opposite mode of living is more highly thought of and has very great influence in these degenerate days. [94] What follows? This influence, however, he is aware, does not go so far as to place the civil existence and fortunes of most honourable citizens under the domination of those who have abandoned the principles of upright men and have preferred to follow the lucrative trade and luxury of Gallonius ** and have even shown in their lives an audacity and perfidy from which he was free. If, against the wish of Naevius, he is permitted to live ; if there is room for an honourable man in the State in spite of Naevius ; if it is not a crime that Quinctius should breathe, although the nod and supreme power of Naevius forbid it ; if, thanks to my defence, he can preserve the distinctions, which he has obtained for himself by his modesty, in the face of impudence, there is still hope that this miserable and unhappy man may at last be able to find rest and security. But if Naevius is able to do all that pleases him - and it will please him to do what is not permissible - what is to be done? What god is to be appealed to ? Who among men is to be implored to give protection ? In short, what lamentation, what grief, can be found adequate to express so great a disaster ?

[31.] L   [95] It is pitiable to be ejected from all one's possessions, still more pitiable to be ejected unjustly ; it is galling to be deceived by anyone, still more galling to be deceived by a kinsman ; it is a calamity to be driven out of one's property, a still greater calamity to be driven out in disgrace ; it is disastrous to be slain by a brave and honourable man, still more disastrous to be slain by one whose voice has been prostituted in the trade of a public crier ; it is mortifying to be conquered by one's equal or superior, still more mortifying to be conquered by one's inferior or by one who is beneath us ; it is grievous to be handed over with one's property to another, still more grievous to be handed over to an enemy ; it is awful to have to plead for one's life, still more awful to have to plead before having heard the charge. [96] Quinctius has turned his eyes everywhere, he has tried all the chances of safety ; not only has he been unable to find a praetor from whom he could get justice, not even one from whom he could obtain the kind of trial he wanted ; he has not even been able to get any assistance from the friends of Naevius, at whose feet he often and for a long time prostrated himself, begging them by the immortal gods either to contend with him according to law or at any rate to inflict injustice upon him unaccompanied by disgrace. [97] Finally, he faced the haughty looks of his enemy Sextus Naevius himself; he seized his hand with tears - that hand experienced in proscribing the estates of his kinsmen ; he implored him by the ashes of his dead brother, in the name of the relationship which united them and of his own wife and children, whose nearest relative is Publius Quinctius, to show at length some compassion, to have some consideration, if not for their relationship, at least for his age ; if not for the man himself, at least for humanity ; and to come to some arrangement with him on any terms, provided only they were endurable and his reputation were left unimpaired. [98] Repulsed by Naevius himself, having received no assistance from his enemy's friends, harassed and browbeaten by all the magistrates, he has no one to appeal to but yourself, Aquilius ; to you he commits himself, to you he entrusts all his fortunes and everything he possesses ; in your hands he places his reputation and all the hopes of the life that still remains to him. Worried by numerous affronts, tormented by many wrongs, he takes refuge with you, not disgraced but in misery ; driven out from a rich estate, assailed by every kind of indignity, seeing this man lording it over his paternal heritage, unable to provide a dowry for his marriageable daughter, he has, in spite of this, done nothing to belie his past life.

[99] He therefore implores you, Aquilius, to allow him to carry away with him from this court the reputation and respect which he brought before your tribunal at an age when his life was nearly over and had almost run its course ; he begs that he, whose fidelity to duty has never been called in question, may not, in his sixtieth year, be branded with the mark of the greatest shame and ignominy ; that Sextus Naevius may not disgrace all his distinctions by wearing them as trophies ; that the good name, which has accompanied him up to his old age, may not be prevented through your decision from attending him even to the grave.

APPENDIX TO xxvii. § 85.

In this manner Cicero, in his speech in defence of Quinctius, refutes the definition given by his opponent tn accordance with the common opinion : If anyone in any way takes possession of a landed estate, but allows the owner to keep his other properties, in my opinion, says he, he appears to possess a property, not the whole estate of another. He then offers his own definition : What is possession ? says he. It is evidently to be in possession of those things which at the time can be possessed. He proves that Naevius has not taken possession of the whole estate but only a property : at the time when Quinctius had a house at Rome, and slaves and private properties in Gaul of which you never ventured to take possession. He concludes with the words : But if you possessed the goods of Publius Quinctius, you ought to have taken possession of them all in accordance with the law. **


58.(↑)   The three last-named are Aquilius's assessors.

59.(↑)   Cf. § 24.

60.(↑)   'Stipulator' is one who demands a formal promise, opposed to 'promissor', one who gives the promise. Sometimes one stipulator employed another ('adstipulator') as accessory or assistant, who said to the promiser "idem spondes ?" corresponding to the stipulator's "dari spondes? " The adstipulator in the present instance was probably a witness to the 'vadimonium'.

61.(↑)   In the Forum, a favourite resort and meeting-place for gossip. Bitterly ironical. What can a man expect who is out-of-date in his rude, honest ways?

62.(↑)   If no one appeared, or was likely to appear as heir to represent his father, the goods could be seized as a precautionary measure in the interest of the heir himself and the creditors.

63.(↑)   The words in the text, from 'Dici id non potest' to 'quidem', are inserted by Hotman, who professed to have found them in a very old ms. Roby thinks that the inserted clause could not have justified a writ of possession which led to sale, and holds that mere undefended absence could only have led to possessio in the sense of "custody" or "safe-keeping." Hence possibly the non-concurrence of the other creditors, a point raised by Cicero to make the case for the 'missio' seem weaker.

64.(↑)   His order was not definite or absolute, but only referred to something that would have to be done in accordance with his edict. If there were any dispute, the matter would be investigated and compensation made if the order was unjustifiable and had damaged the person on whom it had been executed.

65.(↑)   See note on § 33.

66.(↑)   Reading 'ita iubebare', the words are Naevius's : "you were ordered to do so."

67.(↑)   Alfenus expressed his willingness to give security in accordance with the law, if required to do so by the tribunes.

68.(↑)   Probably the father of the Brutus who was one of Caesar's murderers. In the Civil War he supported Marius and was put to death by order of Pompeius when in command of the forces in Cisalpine Gaul. The appeal to the tribunes appears to have been against the writ of possession or the giving of security by Alfenus.

69.(↑)   That is, Naevius.

70.(↑)   That is, that of Marius.

71.(↑)   'Nobilis' is used in the double sense of belonging to the nobility, and well-known, distinguished. Cicero makes out both Alfenus and Naevius to be opposed to the nobility, Sulla's party. In § 73 the affair between them is called a mere skirmish, at the time when the Marian party was in power, whereas now Naevius has the support of so many influential men.

72.(↑)   Naevius once supported Marius, but now changed over to Sulla, when he saw that he would gain the victory.

73.(↑)   This is ironical, the idea being that no advocate on behalf of Quinctius will be able successfully to oppose the brilliant advocates and supporters upon whom Naevius can count.

74.(↑)   L. Marcius Philippus, tribune 104 B.C., consul 91. In the Civil Wars he took the side of Sulla. He was a distinguished orator, considered inferior only to Crassus and Antonius, In Horace, Ep. i. 7. 46 he is spoken of as "Strenuus et fortis causisque Philippus agendis Clarus." Cicero elsewhere (De orat. iii. 1. 4) describes him as "vehemens et disertus et imprimis fortis ad resistendum."

75.(↑)   Apparently the sureties for Quinctius's late brother Gaius.

76.(↑)   See § 44.

77.(↑)   Naevius makes the claim that he will be able to bring forward graves homines as witnesses, to which Cicero replies that their auctoritas will depend on the manner in which they give their evidence, obviously suggesting that they will probably give false evidence.

78.(↑)   How could Quinctius have been in a position to become a purchaser in partnership with a creditor by whom his goods had been seized? 'Societatem coire' is the regular phrase for forming a partnership.

79.(↑)   Quintus Roscius, the famous comedian, defended by Cicero in an extant speech.

80.(↑)   That is, as Hortensius is.

81.(↑)   Not Segusiani. They were a Gallic people, who in Caesar's time settled in the angle between the Saône and the Rhone and westwards beyond the upper course of the Loire. The mss. have Sebaginnos, which led to the conjecture that they were an otherwise unknown Gallic tribe in Savoy. Hirschfeld says that Cicero would not have mentioned any Gallic tribe, but only in general terms the further limits of the province of Gallia Narbonensis. He conjectures 'ad Cebennas' (Cévennes), the mountain in Southern Gaul that separated the Helvii and Arverni. There are several various readings here, the commonest being Sebusianos: Sebaginnos Julian; Sebaginos Müller; Segusiavos Baiter.

82.(↑)   Licinius Crassus (140-91 B.C.) consul 95. He died a few days after he had violently attacked L. Marcius Philippus (§ 72), one of Aquilius's assessors.

83.(↑)   Marcus Antonius (143-87 B.C.), praetor 104, consul 99. In the Civil War he took the side of Sulla, and was put to death by Marius on entering Rome. He is one of the interlocutors in Cicero's 'De oratore'. He and Crassus were the greatest orators of their time.

84.(↑)   Stoby thinks that, although this was a great risk for Naevius to run, his action was legitimate in so far as he got the praetor's order before the eviction in Gaul took place.

85.(↑)   According to Mommsen, these words are a gloss. It may refer to the time between Naevius's sending a messenger and the day of his application to the praetor. Others refer 'postulaturus eras' to the final application for the sale, thirty days being the time that the possession must last before this could be made.

86.(↑)   Both of which alternatives are denied by Cicero.

87.(↑)   There is a difference between taking possession with the intention of keeping it for one's own, or as belonging to someone else. In a 'missio in possessionem' the one who is 'missus' has only the detention of the thing, to guard it and prevent its alienation, the original possessor not thereby losing his actual possession. Thus 'possideto' appears to be used in the sense of detention, 'possideat' in that of legal possession. Even if Quinctius were expelled from his land, he did not lose legal possession, since the one who expelled him did not intend to keep it as his own, and had not the 'animus domini' (see Long's note).

88.(↑)   Something is missing here, where Cicero endeavours to prove, as he promised to do in § 36, that Naevius had not taken possession of the goods of Quinctius at all. See Appendix , where the passage from Severianus is translated.

89.(↑)   'Teneri ac possideri' : in legal language, 'possidere' is properly used of corporeal things (things that can be touched, as a slave, farm, gold), 'tenere' of incorporeal (things that cannot be touched, as a right, inheritance, usufruct).

90.(↑)   See § 70.

91.(↑)   A public crier, who lived in the time of Lucilius, by whom he was satirised (148-103 B.C.). His great wealth an gluttony became proverbial (Horace, Sat. ii. 9. 46).

92.(↑)   The above extract from Julius Severianus, a fifth-century rhetorician and author of Praecepta artis rhetoricae (in C. Halm, Rhetores Latini minores, 1863, part i. p. 363) is inserted in Pro Quinctio, § 85, after the words 'hoc dico'.

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