صور الصفحة
PDF
النشر الإلكتروني

life, rather than be executed by your order, because he had not tamely yielded himself a victim to his rage. But if none of you are of this opinion, the proper question is, not whether Clodius was killed; for that we grant : But whether justly or unjustly. If it appears that Milo was the aggressor, we ask no favor; but if Clodius, you will then acquit him of the criine that has been laid to his charge.

What methodl, then, can we take to prove that Clodia us lay in wait for Milor It is sufficient, considering what an audacious abandoned wretch he was, to show that he lay under a strong temptation to it, that he formed great hopes, and proposed to himself great advantages, from Milo's death. By Milo's death, Clodius would not only have gained his point of being prætor, without that rcSiraint which his adversary's power as consul, would have laid upon his wicked designs, but likewise that of being prætor under those consuls, by whose connivance, at least, if not assistance, he hoped he should be able to betray the state into the mad schemes he had been foruning; persuading himself, that, as they thought themselves under so great an obligation to him, they would! have no inclination to oppose ny of his attempts, even if they should have it in their power; and that if they were inclined to do it, they would, perhaps, be scarce able to control the inost profligate of all men, who had been confirmed and hardened in his audaciousness, by a long series of villauies.

Miio is so far from receiving any benefit from Clodius' death, that he is really a sufferer by it. But it may be said, that hatred prevailed, that anger and resentment urged him on, that he avenged his own wrongs and redressed his own grievances. Now, if all these particula Jars may be applied, not merely with greater propriety to Clodius than to. Milo, but with the utmost propriety to the one, and not the least to the other; what more can you desire ? For why should Milo bear any other hå. tred to Clodius, who furnished him with such a rich har. vest of glory, but that which every patriot must bear te: all ball men ? As to Clodius, he had motives enough for bearing ill will to Miio; first, as my protector and guar:

dian: then, as the opposer of his mad schemes, and the controller of his armed force: and, lastly, as his accuser.

Every circumstance, my Lords, concurs to prove, that it was for Milo's interest, Clodius should live; that, ou the contrary, Milo's death was a most desirable event for answering the purposes of Clodius; that on the one side, there was a most implacable hatred; on the other, not the least ; that the one had been continually employing hiinself in acts of violence, the other only in oppos. ing them; that the life of Milo was threatened, and his death publicly foretold by Clodius ; whereas nothing of that kind was ever heard from Milo; that the day fixed for Milo's journey, was well known by his adversary; while Milo knew not when Clodius was to return; that Milo's journey was necessary, but that of Clodius rather the contrary; that the one openly declared his intention of leaving Rome that day, while the other concealed his intention of returning; that Milo made no alteration in his measures, but that Clodius feigned an excuse for altering his ; that if Milo had designed to waylay Clodius, he would have waited for him near the city, till it was dark; but that Clodius, even if he had been under no apprehensions from Milo, ought to have been afraid of coming to town so late at niyit.

Let us now consider, whether the place where they encountered, was most favorable to Milo, or to Clodius. But can there, my Lords, be any room for doubt, or deliberation

upon

that? It was near the estate of Clodius, where at least a thousand able bodied men were employed in his mad scheines of building. Did Milo think he should have an advantage by attacking him from an eminence, and did he, for this reason, pitch upon that spot, for the engagement; or, was he not rather expected in that pL.ce by his adversary, who hoped the situation Mould favor his assault? The thing, my Lords, speaks for itself, which must be allowed to be of the greatest importance in determining the question. Were the affair to be represented only by painting, instead of being expressed by words, it would even then clearly appear which was the traitor, and which was free from all mischievous designs; when the one was sitting in his chariot, muffed

up in his cloak, and his wife along with him. Whicle of these circumstances was not a very great incumbrance? —the dress, the chariot, or the companion ? How could he be worse equipped for an eng gement, when he was wrapped up in a cloak, embarrassed with a chariot, and almost fettered by his wife ? Observe thy other, now, in the first place, sallying out on a sudden from his seat: for what reason? In the evening, what urged him ? Late, to what purpose, especially at that season? He calls at Pompey's seat; With what view? To see Pompey? He knew he was at Alsiuiz: To see his house ? He had been at it a thousand times. What, then, could be the reason of his loitering and shifting about ? He wanted to he on the spot when Milo came up.

But if, my Lords, you are not yet convinced, though the thing shines out with such strong and full evidence, that Milo returned to Rome with an innocent mind, unstained with guilt, undisturbed with fear, and free from the accusations of conscience; call to mind, I beseech you, by the immortal gods, the expedition with which lie came back, his entrance into the forum while the senate house was in flames, the greatness of soul he discovered, the look he assumed, the speech he made on the occasion. He delivered himself up, not only to the people, but even to the senate: nor to the senate alone, but even to guards appointed for the public security ; nor merely to them, but even to the authority of him whoni the senate had entrusted with the care of the whole republic; to whom he never would have delivered hiinself, if he had not been confident of the goodness of his cause.

Wha(0now remains, but to beseech and adjure you, my Lords, to extend that compassion to a brave niani, which he disdains to implore, but which I, even against his consent, implore and earnestly intreat.' Though you have not seen liim shed a single tear, while all are weeping around him, though he has preserved the same steady countenance, the same firmness of voice and language, do not on this account withhold it from him.

On you, on you I call, ye heroes, who have lost so much blood in the service of your country! To you, ye

centurians, ye soldiers, I appeal, in this hour of danger to the hest of men, and bravest of citizens ! While you are looking on, while yon stand here with arms in your hands, and guard this tribunal, shall virtue like this be expelleil, exterminateu, east out with dishonor? By the immortal gods, I wish, (pardon me, O my country! for 1 fear, what 1 shall say out of a pious regard for MiIo, may be deemed impiety against thee) that Clodius' not only lived, hui were prætor, consul, dictator, rather than be witness to such a scene as this. Shall this inan, then, who was born to save his co-ntry, die any where but is hie country? Shall he not, at Ifast, die in the service of his country? Will you retain the memorials of his gal. lant soul, and deny his body a grave in Italy? Will any person give his voice for banishing a man from this city, whou every city on earth would be proud to receive within its walls? Happy the country that shall receive him! Ungrateful this, if it shall banish him! Wretched if it should lose him! But 1 must conclude—my tears will not allow me to proceed, and Milo forbids tears to he employed in his defence. You, my Lords, I beseech and adjure that, in your decision, you would dare to act as you think. Trust me, your fortitude, your justice, your fidelity, will more especially be approved of by, him ( Pompey) who, in his choice of judges, has raised to the bench, the bravest, the wisest, and the best of men.

SEOTION IV.

SPEECHES ON VARIOUS SUBJECTS.

SUBJE

1.-- Romulus to the People of Rome, after building Hit

Cily.

TF all the strength of cities lay in (he height of (heir

ramparts, or the depth of their ditches, we should Iiave great reason to he in fear for that which we have now built.

Hut are there in reality any walls too hizla to be scaled by a valiant enemy? And of what use are ramparts in intestine divisions ;

They may serve for a <iefence against sodden incursions from abroad; but it is by eourage and prudence, chiefly, that the invasions of foreign enemies are repelled; and by unanimity, sobriety and justice, that domestic seditions are prevented. Cities fortified by the strongest bulwarks, have been often seen to yield to force from without, or to tumults from within. An exact military discipline, and a steady observance of civil polity, are the surest barriers against these evils.

But there is still another point of great importance to be considered. The prosperity of some rising colonies and the speedy ruin of others, have, in a great measure been owing to their form of government. Were there but one manner of ruling states and cities, that could inake them happy, the choice would not be difficult. But I have learnt, that of the various forms of government among the Greeks and Barbarians, there are three which are highly extolled by those who have experienced them; wid yet, that no one of these is in all resperts perfect, but each of them has some innate and incurable defect. Choose you, then, in what manner this city shall he governed. Shall it be by one man ?- Shall it lie by a select number of the widest among us? Or shall the legislative power be in the people r As for me, 1 shall submit to whatever form of administration, You shali

Co

« السابقةمتابعة »