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their country? But we, for these twenty days, have suffered the authority of the senate to languish in our hands. For we too have a like decree, but it rests among our records like a sword in the scabbard ; a decree, O Catiline, by which you ought to have suffered immediate death. Yet still you live ; nay more, you live, not to lay aside, but to harden yourself in your audacious guilt. I could wish, conscript fathers, to be merciful ; I could wish too not to appear remiss when my country is threatened with danger ; but now I begin to reproach myself with negligence and want of courage. A camp is formed in Italy, upon the very borders of Etruria, against the commonwealth. The enemy increase daily in number. At the same time we behold their general and leader within our walls ; nay, in the senate-house itself, plotting daily some intestine mischief against the state. Should I order you, Catiline, to be instantly seized and put to death, I have reason to believe, I should rather be reproached with slowness than cruelty. But at present certain reasons restrain me from this step, which indeed ought to have been taken long ago. Thou shalt then suffer death, when not a man is to be found, so wicked, so desperate, so like thyself, as not to own it was done justly. As long as there is one who dares to defend thee, thou shalt live ; and live so as thou now dost, surrounded by the numerous and powerful guards which I have placed about thee, so as not to suffer thee to stir a foot against the republic ; whilst the eyes and ears of many shall watch thee, as they have hitherto done, when thou little thoughtest of it.
Extract from Cicero's second Oration against Catiline.
BUT some there are, Romans, who assert, that I have driven Catiline into banishment. And indeed, could words compass it, I would not scruple to drive them into exile too. Catiline, to be sure, was so very timorous and modest, that he could not stand the words of the consul
; but being ordered into banishment, he immediately acquiesced and obeyed. Yesterday, when I ran so great a hazard of being murdered in my own house, I assembled the senate in the temple of Jupiter Stator, and laid the whole affair before the conscript fatliers. When Catiline came thither, did so much as one senator accost or salute him ? In fine, did they regard him only as a desperate citizen, and not rather as an outrageous enemy? Nay, the consular senators quitted that part of the house where he sat, and left the whole house clear to him. Here I, that violent consul, who by a single word drives citizens into banishment, demanded of Catiline, whether he had or had not been in the nocturnal meeting in the house of M. Lecca. And when he, the most audacious of men, struck dumb by self-conviction, returned no answer, I laid
open the whole to the senate ; acquainting them with the transactions of that night, where he had been, what was reserved for the next, and how he had settled the whole plan of the war. As he appeared disconcerted and speechless, I asked what hindered his going upon an expedition, which he had so long prepared for ; when I knew that he had already sent before him arms, axes, reds, trumpets, military ensigns, and that silver eagle, to which he had raised an impious altar in his own house. Can I be said to have driven into banishment a man who had
already commenced hostilities against his country ? Or is it credible that Manlius, an obscure centurion, who has pitched his camp upon the plains of Fesulæ, would declare war against the Roman people in his own name ; that the forces under him do not now expect Catiline for their general ; or that he, submitting to a voluntary banishment, has, as some pretend, repaired to Marseilles, and not to the before mentioned camp?
O wretched condition, not only of governing, but even of preserving the state ! For should Catiline, discouraged and disconcerted by my counsels, vigilance, and strenuous care of the republic, be seized with a sudden dread, change his resolution, desert his party, quit his hostile designs, and alter his course of war and guilt, into that of flight and banishment ; it will not then be said, that I have wrested out of his hands the weapons of insolence, that I have astonished and confounded him by my diligence, and that I have driven him from all his hopes and schemes : but he will be considered as a man innocent and uncondemned, who has been forced into banishment by the threats and violence of the consul. Nay there are, who in this event would think him not wicked, but unhappy ; and me not a vigilant consul, but a cruel tyrant. But I little regard this storm of bitter and undeserved censure, provided I can screen you from the danger of this dreadful and impious war. Let him only go into banishment, and I am content it be ascribed to my threats. But believe me, he has no design to go. My desire of avoiding public envy, Romans, shall never induce me to wish you may hear of Catiline's being at the head of an army, and traversing in a hostile manner the territories of the republic. But assuredly you will hear it in three days; and I have much greater reason to fear being censured for letting him escape, than that I forced him to quit the city. But if men are so perverse as to complain of his being driven away, what would they have said if he had been put to death ? Yet there is not one of those who talk of his going to Marseilles, but would be sorry for it if it was true ; and with all the concern they express for him, they had much rather hear of his being in Manlius's cam
As for himself, had he never before thought of the project he is now engaged in, yet such is his particular turn of mind, that he would rather fall as a robber, than live as an exile. But now, as nothing has happened contrary to his expectation and desire, except that I was left alive when he quitted Rome ; let us rather wish he may go into banishment, than complain of it.
Extract from Cicero's third Oration against Catiline.
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 showed Cethegus his seal ; which he owning, I 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, and self-convicted, that he could not utter a word in his own defence. Statilius was then brought in, and acknowledged his hand and seal ; and when his letter was read, to the same purpose with
that of Cethegus, he confessed it to be his own. Then Lentulus's letter was produced. I asked if he knew the seal ? he owned he did. It is, indeed, said I, a wellknown seal ; the head of your illustrious grandfather, so distinguished for his love to his country and fellowcitizens, that it is amazing the very sight of it was not sufficient to restrain you from so black a treason. His letter directed to the senate and people of the Allobroges, was of the same import with the other two : but having leave to speak for himself, he at first denied the whole charge, and began to question the ambassadors and Vulturcius, what business they ever had with him, and on what 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 him ; and then asked him in their turn, whether he had ever mentioned any thing to them about the Sibylline oracles ? upon which being confounded, or infatuated rather by the sense of his guilt, he gave a remarkable proof of the great force 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 surprise of the whole assembly. Then Vulturcius desired that the letter to Catiline, 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 am, from him whom I have sent “ to you. Take care to show yourself a man, and recol" lect in what situation you are, and consider what is now
necessary for you. Be sure to make use of the assist
ance of all, even of the lowest." Gabinius was then introduced, and behaved impudently for a while ; but at last denied nothing of what the ambassadors charged him with. And indeed, Romans, though their letters, seals,