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This Grammar Books© compilation is designed to aide intermediary students who are ready to begin reading authentic Latin texts. It is designed to take advantage of Kindle features that are very helpful for learning to read a second language: (1) Easy navigation between Latin, English & explanatory notes; &, (2) Kindle Latin-English dictionaries.
This edition combines, in a very easy-to-use format, (a) Latin texts by Cicero & Sallust, (b) English translations by C. D. Yonge, & (c) extensive explanatory notes by J. B. Greenough, G. L. Kittredge, & Albert Harkness.
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[ N ] [ A ] Nam quod Catilinae familiaritas obiecta Caelio est, longe ab ista suspicione abhorrere debet. Hoc enim adulescente scitis consulatum mecum petisse Catilinam. Ad quem si accessit aut si a me discessit umquam (quamquam multi boni adulescentes illi homini nequam atque improbo studuerunt), tum existimetur Caelius Catilinae nimium familiaris fuisse. « At enim postea scimus et vidimus esse hunc in illius amicis. » Quis negat? Sed ego illud tempus aetatis, quod ipsum sua sponte infirmum aliorum libidine infestum est, id hoc loco defendo. Fuit adsiduus mecum praetore me; non noverat Catilinam; Africam tum praetor ille obtinebat. Secutus est tum annus, causam de pecuniis repetundis Catilina dixit. Mecum erat hic; illi ne advocatus quidem venit umquam. Deinceps fuit annus, quo ego consulatum petivi; petebat Catilina mecum. Numquam ad illum accessit, a me numquam recessit.
[ N ] [ A ] Tot igitur annos versatus in foro sine suspicione, sine infamia studuit Catilinae iterum petenti. Quem ergo ad finem putas custodiendam illam aetatem fuisse? Nobis quidem olim annus erat unus ad cohibendum brachium toga constitutus, et ut exercitatione ludoque campestri tunicati uteremur, eademque erat, si statim mereri stipendia coeperamus, castrensis ratio ac militaris. Qua in aetate nisi qui se ipse sua gravitate et castimonia et cum disciplina domestica, tum etiam naturali quodam bono defenderet, quoquo modo a suis custoditus esset, tamen infamiam veram effugere non poterat. Sed qui prima illa initia aetatis integra atque inviolata praestitisset, de eius fama ac pudicitia, cum is iam se corroboravisset ac vir inter viros esset, nemo loquebatur.
[ N ] [ A ] At studuit Catilinae, cum iam aliquot annos esset in foro, Caelius; et multi hoc idem ex omni ordine atque ex omni aetate fecerunt. Habuit enim ille, sicuti meminisse vos arbitror, permulta maximarum non expressa signa, sed adumbrata [lineamenta] virtutum. Utebatur hominibus improbis multis; et quidem optimis se viris deditum esse simulabat. Erant apud illum illecebrae libidinum multae; erant etiam industriae quidam stimuli ac laboris. Flagrabant vitia libidinis apud illum; vigebant etiam studia rei militaris. Neque ego umquam fuisse tale monstrum in terris ullum puto, tam ex contrarus diversisque et inter se pugnantibus naturae studiis cupiditatibusque conflatum.
[ N ] [ A ] Quis clarioribus viris quodam tempore iucundior, quis turpioribus coniunctior? quis civis meliorum partium aliquando, quis taetrior hostis huic civitati? quis in voluptatibus inquinatior, quis in laboribus patientior? quis in rapacitate avarior, quis in largitione effusior? Illa vero, iudices, in illo homine mirabilia fuerunt, comprehendere multos amicitia, tueri obsequio, cum omnibus communicare, quod habebat, servire temporibus suorum omnium pecunia, gratia, labore corporis, scelere etiam, si opus esset, et audacia, versare suam naturam et regere ad tempus atque huc et illuc torquere ac flectere, cum tristibus severe, cum remissis iucunde, cum senibus graviter, cum iuventute comiter, cum facinerosis audaciter, cum libidinosis luxuriose vivere.
[ N ] [ A ] Hac ille tam varia multiplicique natura cum omnes omnibus ex terris homines improbos audacesque collegerat, tum etiam multos fortes viros et bonos specie quadam virtutis assimulatae tenebat. Neque umquam ex illo delendi huius imperii tam consceleratus impetus exstitisset, nisi tot vitiorum tanta immanitas quibusdam facultatis et patientiae radicibus niteretur.
Quare ista condicio, iudices, respuatur, nec Catilinae familiaritatis crimen haereat; est enim commune cum multis et cum quibusdam etiam bonis. Me ipsum, me, inquam, quondam paene ille decepit, cum et civis mihi bonus et optimi cuiusque cupidus et firmus amicus ac fidelis videretur; cuius ego facinora oculis prius quam opinione, manibus ante quam suspicione deprehendi. Cuius in magnis catervis amicorum si fuit etiam Caelius, magis est ut ipse moleste ferat errasse se, sicuti non numquam in eodem homine me quoque erroris mei paenitet, quam ut istius amicitiae crimen reformidet.
[ N ] [ A ] Itaque a maledictis pudicitiae ad coniurationis invidiam oratio est vestra delapsa. Posuistis enim, atque id tamen titubanter et strictim, coniurationis hunc propter amicitiam Catilinae participem fuisse; in quo non modo crimen non haerebat, sed vix diserti adulescentis cohaerebat oratio. Qui enim tantus furor in Caelio, quod tantum aut in moribus naturaque volnus aut in re atque fortuna? ubi denique est in ista suspicione Caeli nomen auditum? Nimium multa de re minime dubia loquor; hoc tamen dico: Non modo si socius coniurationis, sed nisi inimicissimus istius sceleris fuisset, numquam coniurationis accusatione adulescentiam suam potissimum commendare voluisset.
In Catilinam I Read aloud by Félix Vallejo on YouTube.
[ N ] [ A ] [ C ] I. Quo usque tandem abutere, Catilina, patientia nostra? quam diu etiam furor iste tuus nos eludet? quem ad finem sese effrenata iactabit audacia? Nihilne te nocturnum praesidium Palati, nihil urbis vigiliae, nihil timor populi, nihil concursus bonorum omnium, nihil hic munitissimus habendi senatus locus, nihil horum ora voltusque moverunt? Patere tua consilia non sentis, constrictam iam horum omnium scientia teneri coniurationem tuam non vides? Quid proxima, quid superiore nocte egeris, ubi fueris, quos convocaveris, quid consilii ceperis, quem nostrum ignorare arbitraris?
[ N ] [ A ] O tempora, o mores! Senatus haec intellegit. Consul videt; hic tamen vivit. Vivit? immo vero etiam in senatum venit, fit publici consilii particeps, notat et designat oculis ad caedem unum quemque nostrum. Nos autem — fortes viri! — satis facere rei publicae videmur, si istius furorem ac tela vitemus. Ad mortem te, Catilina, duci iussu consulis iam pridem oportebat, in te conferri pestem, quam tu in nos omnes iam diu machinaris.
[ N ] [ A ] An vero vir amplissumus, P. Scipio, pontifex maximus, Ti. Gracchum mediocriter labefactantem statum rei publicae privatus interfecit; Catilinam orbem terrae caede atque incendiis vastare cupientem nos consules perferemus? Nam illa nimis antiqua praetereo, quod C. Servilius Ahala Sp. Maelium novis rebus studentem manu sua occidit. Fuit, fuit ista quondam in hac re publica virtus, ut viri fortes acrioribus suppliciis civem perniciosum quam acerbissimum hostem coercerent. Habemus senatus consultum in te, Catilina, vehemens et grave, non deest rei publicae consilium neque auctoritas huius ordinis; nos, nos, dico aperte, consules desumus.
[ N ] [ A ] II. Decrevit quondam senatus, ut L. Opimius consul videret, ne quid res publica detrimenti caperet; nox nulla intercessit; interfectus est propter quasdam seditionum suspiciones C. Gracchus, clarissimo patre, avo, maioribus, occisus est cum liberis M. Fulvius consularis. Simili senatus consulto C. Mario et L. Valerio consulibus est permissa res publica; num unum diem postea L. Saturninum tribunum pl. et C. Servilium praetorem mors ac rei publicae poena remorata est? At vero nos vicesimum iam diem patimur hebescere aciem horum auctoritatis. Habemus enim huiusce modi senatus consultum, verum inclusum in tabulis tamquam in vagina reconditum, quo ex senatus consulto confestim te interfectum esse, Catilina, convenit. Vivis, et vivis non ad deponendam, sed ad confirmandam audaciam. Cupio, patres conscripti, me esse clementem, cupio in tantis rei publicae periculis me non dissolutum videri, sed iam me ipse inertiae nequitiaeque condemno.
[ N ] [ A ] Castra sunt in Italia contra populum Romanum in Etruriae faucibus conlocata, crescit in dies singulos hostium numerus; eorum autem castrorum imperatorem ducemque hostium intra moenia atque adeo in senatu videtis intestinam aliquam cotidie perniciem rei publicae molientem. Si te iam, Catilina, comprehendi, si interfici iussero, credo, erit verendum mihi, ne non potius hoc omnes boni serius a me quam quisquam crudelius factum esse dicat. Verum ego hoc, quod iam pridem factum esse oportuit, certa de causa nondum adducor ut faciam. Tum denique interficiere, cum iam nemo tam inprobus, tam perditus, tam tui similis inveniri poterit, qui id non iure factum esse fateatur.
[ N ] [ A ] Quamdiu quisquam erit, qui te defendere audeat, vives, et vives ita, ut nunc vivis, multis meis et firmis praesidiis obsessus, ne commovere te contra rem publicam possis. Multorum te etiam oculi et aures non sentientem, sicut adhuc fecerunt, speculabuntur atque custodient.
III. Etenim quid est, Catilina, quod iam amplius expectes, si neque nox tenebris obscurare coetus nefarios nec privata domus parietibus continere voces coniurationis tuae potest, si illustrantur, si erumpunt omnia? Muta iam istam mentem, mihi crede, obliviscere caedis atque incendiorum. Teneris undique; luce sunt clariora nobis tua consilia omnia; quae iam mecum licet recognoscas.
[ N ] [ A ] [ C ] Meministine me ante diem XII Kalendas Novembris dicere in senatu fore in armis certo die, qui dies futurus esset ante diem VI Kal. Novembris, C. Manlium, audaciae satellitem atque administrum tuae? Num me fefellit, Catilina, non modo res tanta, tam atrox tamque incredibilis, verum, id quod multo magis est admirandum, dies? Dixi ego idem in senatu caedem te optumatium contulisse in ante diem V Kalendas Novembris, tum cum multi principes civitatis Roma non tam sui conservandi quam tuorum consiliorum reprimendorum causa profugerunt. Num infitiari potes te illo ipso die meis praesidiis, mea diligentia circumclusum commovere te contra rem publicam non potuisse, cum tu discessu ceterorum nostra tamen, qui remansissemus, caede te contentum esse dicebas?
[ N ] [ A ] [ C ] Quid? cum te Praeneste Kalendis ipsis Novembribus occupaturum nocturno impetu esse confideres, sensistine illam coloniam meo iussu meis praesidiis, custodiis, vigiliis esse munitam? Nihil agis, nihil moliris, nihil cogitas, quod non ego non modo audiam, sed etiam videam planeque sentiam.
IV. Recognosce tandem mecum noctem illam superiorem; iam intelleges multo me vigilare acrius ad salutem quam te ad perniciem rei publicae. Dico te priore nocte venisse inter falcarios — non agam obscure — in M. Laecae domum; convenisse eodem complures eiusdem amentiae scelerisque socios. Num negare audes? quid taces? Convincam, si negas. Video enim esse hic in senatu quosdam, qui tecum una fuerunt.
[ N ] [ A ] O di inmortales! ubinam gentium sumus? in qua urbe vivimus? quam rem publicam habemus? Hic, hic sunt in nostro numero, patres conscripti, in hoc orbis terrae sanctissimo gravissimoque consilio, qui de nostro omnium interitu, qui de huius urbis atque adeo de orbis terrarum exitio cogitent! Hos ego video consul et de re publica sententiam rogo et, quos ferro trucidari oportebat, eos nondum voce volnero!
Fuisti igitur apud Laecam illa nocte, Catilina, distribuisti partes Italiae, statuisti, quo quemque proficisci placeret, delegisti, quos Romae relinqueres, quos tecum educeres, discripsisti urbis partes ad incendia, confirmasti te ipsum iam esse exiturum, dixisti paulum tibi esse etiam nunc morae, quod ego viverem. Reperti sunt duo equites Romani, qui te ista cura liberarent et sese illa ipsa nocte paulo ante lucem me in meo lectulo interfecturos esse pollicerentur.
[ N ] [ A ] Haec ego omnia vixdum etiam coetu vestro dimisso comperi; domum meam maioribus praesidiis munivi atque firmavi, exclusi eos, quos tu ad me salutatum mane miseras, cum illi ipsi venissent, quos ego iam multis ac summis viris ad me id temporis venturos esse praedixeram.
[ N ] V. Quae cum ita sint, Catilina, perge, quo coepisti, egredere aliquando ex urbe; patent portae; proficiscere. Nimium diu te imperatorem tua illa Manliana castra desiderant. Educ tecum etiam omnes tuos, si minus, quam plurimos; purga urbem. Magno me metu liberabis, dummodo inter me atque te murus intersit. Nobiscum versari iam diutius non potes; non feram, non patiar, non sinam.
[ N ] [ A ] Magna dis inmortalibus habenda est atque huic ipsi Iovi Statori, antiquissimo custodi huius urbis, gratia, quod hanc tam taetram, tam horribilem tamque infestam rei publicae pestem totiens iam effugimus.
Non est saepius in uno homine summa salus periclitanda rei publicae. Quamdiu mihi consuli designato, Catilina, insidiatus es, non publico me praesidio, sed privata diligentia defendi. Cum proximis comitiis consularibus me consulem in campo et competitores tuos interficere voluisti, compressi conatus tuos nefarios amicorum praesidio et copiis nullo tumultu publice concitato; denique, quotienscumque me petisti, per me tibi obstiti, quamquam videbam perniciem meam cum magna calamitate rei publicae esse coniunctam.
[ N ] [ A ] Nunc iam aperte rem publicam universam petis, templa deorum inmortalium, tecta urbis, vitam omnium civium, Italiam denique totam ad exitium et vastitatem vocas. Quare, quoniam id, quod est primum, et quod huius imperii disciplinaeque maiorum proprium est, facere nondum audeo, faciam id, quod est ad severitatem lenius et ad communem salutem utilius. Nam si te interfici iussero, residebit in re publica reliqua coniuratorum manus; sin tu, quod te iam dudum hortor, exieris, exhaurietur ex urbe tuorum comitum magna et perniciosa sentina rei publicae.
[ N ] [ A ] Quid est, Catilina? num dubitas id me imperante facere, quod iam tua sponte faciebas? Exire ex urbe iubet consul hostem. Interrogas me, num in exilium; non iubeo, sed, si me consulis, suadeo.
VI. Quid est enim, Catilina, quod te iam in hac urbe delectare possit? in qua nemo est extra istam coniurationem perditorum hominum, qui te non metuat, nemo, qui non oderit.
Quae nota domesticae turpitudinis non inusta vitae tuae est? quod privatarum rerum dedecus non haeret in fama? quae lubido ab oculis, quod facinus a manibus umquam tuis, quod flagitium a toto corpore afuit? cui tu adulescentulo, quem corruptelarum inlecebris inretisses, non aut ad audaciam ferrum aut ad lubidinem facem praetulisti?
[ N ] [ A ] Quid vero? nuper cum morte superioris uxoris novis nuptiis domum vacuefecisses, nonne etiam alio incredibili scelere hoc scelus cumulasti? quod ego praetermitto et facile patior sileri, ne in hac civitate tanti facinoris inmanitas aut extitisse aut non vindicata esse videatur. Praetermitto ruinas fortunarum tuarum, quas omnis inpendere tibi proxumis Idibus senties; ad illa venio, quae non ad privatam ignominiam vitiorum tuorum, non ad domesticam tuam difficultatem ac turpitudinem sed ad summam rem publicam atque ad omnium nostrum vitam salutemque pertinent.
[ N ] [ A ] Potestne tibi haec lux, Catilina, aut huius caeli spiritus esse iucundus, cum scias esse horum neminem, qui nesciat te pridie Kalendas Ianuarias Lepido et Tullo consulibus stetisse in comitio cum telo, manum consulum et principum civitatis interficiendorum causa paravisse, sceleri ac furori tuo non mentem aliquam aut timorem tuum sed fortunam populi Romani obstitisse?
Ac iam illa omitto — neque enim sunt aut obscura aut non multa commissa postea — quotiens tu me designatum, quotiens consulem interficere conatus es! quot ego tuas petitiones ita coniectas, ut vitari posse non viderentur, parva quadam declinatione et, ut aiunt, corpore effugi! nihil agis, nihil adsequeris, nihil moliris neque tamen conari ac velle desistis.
[ N ] [ A ] Quotiens tibi iam extorta est ista sica de manibus, quotiens vero excidit casu aliquo et elapsa est! tamen ea carere diutius non potes quae quidem quibus abs te initiata sacris ac devota sit, nescio, quod eam necesse putas esse in consulis corpore defigere.
VII. Nunc vero quae tua est ista vita? Sic enim iam tecum loquar, non ut odio permotus esse videar, quo debeo, sed ut misericordia, quae tibi nulla debetur. Venisti paulo ante in senatum. Quis te ex hac tanta frequentia totque tuis amicis ac necessariis salutavit? Si hoc post hominum memoriam contigit nemini, vocis expectas contumeliam, cum sis gravissimo iudicio taciturnitatis oppressus? Quid, quod adventu tuo ista subsellia vacuefacta sunt, quod omnes consulares, qui tibi persaepe ad caedem constituti fuerunt, simul atque adsedisti, partem istam subselliorum nudam atque inanem reliquerunt, quo tandem animo hoc tibi ferundum putas?
[ N ] [ A ] Servi mehercule mei si me isto pacto metuerent, ut te metuunt omnes cives tui, domum meam relinquendam putarem; tu tibi urbem non arbitraris? et, si me meis civibus iniuria suspectum tam graviter atque offensum viderem, carere me aspectu civium quam infestis omnium oculis conspici mallem; tu cum conscientia scelerum tuorum agnoscas odium omnium iustum et iam diu tibi debitum, dubitas, quorum mentes sensusque volneras, eorum aspectum praesentiamque vitare? Si te parentes timerent atque odissent tui neque eos ulla ratione placare posses, ut opinor, ab eorum oculis aliquo concederes. Nunc te patria, quae communis est parens omnium nostrum, odit ac metuit et iam diu nihil te iudicat nisi de parricidio suo cogitare; huius tu neque auctoritatem verebere nec iudicium sequere nec vim pertimesces?
[ N ] [ A ] Quae tecum, Catilina, sic agit et quodam modo tacita loquitur: « Nullum iam aliquot annis facinus exstitit nisi per te, nullum flagitium sine te; tibi uni multorum civium neces, tibi vexatio direptioque sociorum inpunita fuit ac libera; tu non solum ad neglegendas leges et quaestiones, verum etiam ad evertendas perfringendasque valuisti. Superiora illa, quamquam ferenda non fuerunt, tamen, ut potui, tuli; nunc vero me totam esse in metu propter unum te, quicquid increpuerit, Catilinam timeri, nullum videri contra me consilium iniri posse, quod a tuo scelere abhorreat, non est ferendum. Quam ob rem discede atque hunc mihi timorem eripe; si est verus, ne opprimar, sin falsus, ut tandem aliquando timere desinam. »
[ N ] [ A ] VIII. Haec si tecum, ita ut dixi, patria loquatur, nonne impetrare debeat, etiamsi vim adhibere non possit? Quid, quod tu te ipse in custodiam dedisti, quod vitandae suspicionis causa ad M'. Lepidum te habitare velle dixisti? A quo non receptus etiam ad me venire ausus es atque, ut domi meae te adservarem, rogasti. Cum a me quoque id responsum tulisses, me nullo modo posse isdem parietibus tuto esse tecum, qui magno in periculo essem, quod isdem moenibus contineremur, ad Q. Metellum praetorem venisti. A quo repudiatus ad sodalem tuum, virum optumum, M. Metellum, demigrasti; quem tu videlicet et ad custodiendum diligentissimum et ad suspicandum sagacissimum et ad vindicandum fortissimum fore putasti. Sed quam longe videtur a carcere atque a vinculis abesse debere, qui se ipse iam dignum custodia iudicarit!
[ N ] [ A ] Quae cum ita sint, Catilina, dubitas, si emori aequo animo non potes, abire in aliquas terras et vitam istam multis suppliciis iustis debitisque ereptam fugae solitudinique mandare? « Refer » inquis « ad senatum »; id enim postulas et, si hic ordo sibi placere decreverit te ire in exilium, optemperaturum te esse dicis. Non referam, id quod abhorret a meis moribus, et tamen faciam, ut intellegas, quid hi de te sentiant: Egredere ex urbe, Catilina, libera rem publicam metu, in exilium, si hanc vocem exspectas, proficiscere.
Quid est, Catilina? ecquid attendis, ecquid animadvertis horum silentium? Patiuntur, tacent. Quid exspectas auctoritatem loquentium, quorum voluntatem tacitorum perspicis?
[ N ] [ A ] At si hoc idem huic adulescenti optimo, P. Sestio, si fortissimo viro, M. Marcello, dixissem, iam mihi consuli hoc ipso in templo iure optimo senatus vim et manus intulisset. De te autem, Catilina, cum quiescunt, probant, cum patiuntur, decernunt, cum tacent, clamant, neque hi solum, quorum tibi auctoritas est videlicet cara, vita vilissima, sed etiam illi equites Romani, honestissimi atque optimi viri, ceterique fortissimi cives, qui circumstant senatum, quorum tu et frequentiam videre et studia perspicere et voces paulo ante exaudire potuisti. Quorum ego vix abs te iam diu manus ac tela contineo, eosdem facile adducam, ut te haec, quae vastare iam pridem studes, relinquentem usque ad portas prosequantur.
[ N ] [ A ] IX. Quamquam quid loquor? te ut ulla res frangat, tu ut umquam te corrigas, tu ut ullam fugam meditere, tu ut ullum exilium cogites? Utinam tibi istam mentem di inmortales duint! tametsi video, si mea voce perterritus ire in exilium animum induxeris quanta tempestas invidiae nobis, si minus in praesens tempus recenti memoria scelerum tuorum, at in posteritatem impendeat. Sed est tanti, dummodo ista sit privata calamitas et a rei publicae periculis seiungatur. Sed tu ut vitiis tuis commoveare, ut legum poenas pertimescas, ut temporibus rei publicae cedas, non est postulandum. Neque enim is es, Catilina, ut te aut pudor umquam a turpitudine aut metus a periculo aut ratio a furore revocarit.
[ N ] [ A ] Quam ob rem, ut saepe iam dixi, proficiscere ac, si mihi inimico, ut praedicas, tuo conflare vis invidiam, recta perge in exilium; vix feram sermones hominum, si id feceris, vix molem istius invidiae, si in exilium iussu consulis ieris, sustinebo. Sin autem servire meae laudi et gloriae mavis, egredere cum inportuna sceleratorum manu, confer te ad Manlium, concita perditos cives, secerne te a bonis, infer patriae bellum, exsulta impio latrocinio, ut a me non eiectus ad alienos, sed invitatus ad tuos isse videaris.
[ N ] [ A ] Quamquam quid ego te invitem, a quo iam sciam esse praemissos, qui tibi ad Forum Aurelium praestolarentur armati, cui iam sciam pactam et constitutam cum Manlio diem, a quo etiam aquilam illam argenteam, quam tibi ac tuis omnibus confido perniciosam ac funestam futuram, cui domi tuae sacrarium scelerum tuorum constitutum fuit, sciam esse praemissam? Tu ut illa carere diutius possis, quam venerari ad caedem proficiscens solebas, a cuius altaribus saepe istam impiam dexteram ad necem civium transtulisti?
[ N ] [ A ] X. Ibis tandem aliquando, quo te iam pridem ista tua cupiditas effrenata ac furiosa rapiebat; neque enim tibi haec res adfert dolorem, sed quandam incredibilem voluptatem. Ad hanc te amentiam natura peperit, voluntas exercuit, fortuna servavit. Numquam tu non modo otium, sed ne bellum quidem nisi nefarium concupisti. Nactus es ex perditis atque ab omni non modo fortuna, verum etiam spe derelictis conflatam inproborum manum.
[ N ] [ A ] Hic tu qua laetitia perfruere, quibus gaudiis exultabis, quanta in voluptate bacchabere, cum in tanto numero tuorum neque audies virum bonum quemquam neque videbis! Ad huius vitae studium meditati illi sunt, qui feruntur, labores tui, iacere humi non solum ad obsidendum stuprum, verum etiam ad facinus obeundum, vigilare non solum insidiantem somno maritorum, verum etiam bonis otiosorum. Habes, ubi ostentes tuam illam praeclaram patientiam famis, frigoris, inopiae rerum omnium, quibus te brevi tempore confectum esse senties.
[ N ] [ A ] Tantum profeci tum, cum te a consulatu reppuli, ut exsul potius temptare quam consul vexare rem publicam posses, atque ut id, quod esset a te scelerate susceptum, latrocinium potius quam bellum nominaretur.
[ N ] XI. Nunc, ut a me, patres conscripti, quandam prope iustam patriae querimoniam detester ac deprecer, percipite, quaeso, diligenter, quae dicam, et ea penitus animis vestris mentibusque mandate. Etenim, si mecum patria, quae mihi vita mea multo est carior, si cuncta Italia, si omnis res publica loquatur: « M. Tulli, quid agis? Tune eum, quem esse hostem comperisti, quem ducem belli futurum vides, quem expectari imperatorem in castris hostium sentis, auctorem sceleris, principem coniurationis, evocatorem servorum et civium perditorum, exire patiere, ut abs te non emissus ex urbe, sed immissus in urbem esse videatur? Nonne hunc in vincla duci, non ad mortem rapi, non summo supplicio mactari imperabis?
[ N ] [ A ] Quid tandem te impedit? mosne maiorum? At persaepe etiam privati in hac re publica perniciosos cives morte multarunt. An leges, quae de civium Romanorum supplicio rogatae sunt? At numquam in hac urbe, qui a re publica defecerunt, civium iura tenuerunt. An invidiam posteritatis times? Praeclaram vero populo Romano refers gratiam, qui te, hominem per te cognitum nulla commendatione maiorum tam mature ad summum imperium per omnis honorum gradus extulit, si propter invidiam aut alicuius periculi metum salutem civium tuorum neglegis.
[ N ] [ A ] Sed, si quis est invidiae metus, non est vehementius severitatis ac fortitudinis invidia quam inertiae ac nequitiae pertimescenda. An, cum bello vastabitur Italia, vexabuntur urbes, tecta ardebunt tum te non existumas invidiae incendio conflagraturum? »
XII. His ego sanctissimis rei publicae vocibus et eorum hominum, qui hoc idem sentiunt, mentibus pauca respondebo. Ego si hoc optimum factu iudicarem, patres conscripti, Catilinam morte multari, unius usuram horae gladiatori isti ad vivendum non dedissem. Etenim si summi viri et clarissimi cives Saturnini et Gracchorum et Flacci et superiorum complurium sanguine non modo se non contaminarunt, sed etiam honestarunt, certe verendum mihi non erat, ne quid hoc parricida civium interfecto invidiae mihi in posteritatem redundaret. Quodsi ea mihi maxime inpenderet tamen hoc animo fui semper, ut invidiam virtute partam gloriam, non invidiam putarem.
[ N ] [ A ] Quamquam non nulli sunt in hoc ordine, qui aut ea, quae inminent non videant aut ea, quae vident, dissimulent; qui spem Catilinae mollibus sententiis aluerunt coniurationemque nascentem non credendo corroboraverunt; quorum auctoritate multi non solum improbi, verum etiam inperiti, si in hunc animadvertissem, crudeliter et regie factum esse dicerent. Nunc intellego, si iste, quo intendit, in Manliana castra pervenerit, neminem tam stultum fore, qui non videat coniurationem esse factam, neminem tam improbum qui non fateatur. Hoc autem uno interfecto intellego hanc rei publicae pestem paulisper reprimi, non in perpetuum comprimi posse. Quodsi se eiecerit secumque suos eduxerit et eodem ceteros undique collectos naufragos adgregarit, extinguetur atque delebitur non modo haec tam adulta rei publicae pestis, verum etiam stirps ac semen malorum omnium.
[ N ] [ A ] XIII. Etenim iam diu, patres conscripti, in his periculis coniurationis insidiisque versamur, sed nescio quo pacto omnium scelerum ac veteris furoris et audaciae maturitas in nostri consulatus tempus erupit. Quodsi ex tanto latrocinio iste unus tolletur, videbimur fortasse ad breve quoddam tempus cura et metu esse relevati, periculum autem residebit et erit inclusum penitus in venis atque in visceribus rei publicae. Ut saepe homines aegri morbo gravi cum aestu febrique iactantur, si aquam gelidam biberunt, primo relevari videntur, deinde multo gravius vehementiusque adflictantur, sic hic morbus, qui est in re publica, relevatus istius poena vehementius reliquis vivis ingravescet.
[ N ] [ A ] Quare secedant inprobi, secernant se a bonis, unum in locum congregentur, muro denique, id quod saepe iam dixi, secernantur a nobis; desinant insidiari domi suae consuli, circumstare tribunal praetoris urbani, obsidere cum gladiis curiam, malleolos et faces ad inflammandam urbem comparare; sit denique inscriptum in fronte unius cuiusque, quid de re publica sentiat. Polliceor hoc vobis, patres conscripti, tantam in nobis consulibus fore diligentiam, tantam in vobis auctoritatem, tantam in equitibus Romanis virtutem, tantam in omnibus bonis consensionem, ut Catilinae profectione omnia patefacta, inlustrata, oppressa, vindicata esse videatis.
[ N ] [ A ] Hisce ominibus, Catilina, cum summa rei publicae salute, cum tua peste ac pernicie cumque eorum exitio, qui se tecum omni scelere parricidioque iunxerunt, proficiscere ad impium bellum ac nefarium. Tu, Iuppiter, qui isdem quibus haec urbs auspiciis a Romulo es constitutus, quem Statorem huius urbis atque imperii vere nominamus, hunc et huius socios a tuis aris ceterisque templis, a tectis urbis ac moenibus, a vita fortunisque civium omnium arcebis et homines bonorum inimicos, hostis patriae, latrones Italiae scelerum foedere inter se ac nefaria societate coniunctos aeternis suppliciis vivos mortuosque mactabis.
In Catilinam II Read aloud by Félix Vallejo on YouTube.
[ N ] [ A ] [ C ] I. Tandem aliquando, Quirites, L. Catilinam furentem audacia, scelus anhelantem, pestem patriae nefarie molientem, vobis atque huic urbi ferro flammaque minitantem ex urbe vel eiecimus vel emisimus vel ipsum egredientem verbis prosecuti sumus. Abiit, excessit, evasit, erupit. Nulla iam pernicies a monstro illo atque prodigio moenibus ipsis intra moenia comparabitur. Atque hunc quidem unum huius belli domestici ducem sine controversia vicimus. Non enim iam inter latera nostra sica illa versabitur, non in campo, non in foro, non in curia, non denique intra domesticos parietes pertimescemus. Loco ille motus est, cum est ex urbe depulsus. Palam iam cum hoste nullo inpediente bellum iustum geremus. Sine dubio perdidimus hominem magnificeque vicimus, cum illum ex occultis insidiis in apertum latrocinium coniecimus.
[ N ] [ A ] Quod vero non cruentum mucronem, ut voluit, extulit, quod vivis nobis egressus est, quod ei ferrum e manibus extorsimus, quod incolumes cives, quod stantem urbem reliquit, quanto tandem illum maerore esse adflictum et profligatum putatis? Iacet ille nunc prostratus, Quirites, et se perculsum atque abiectum esse sentit et retorquet oculos profecto saepe ad hanc urbem, quam e suis faucibus ereptam esse luget; quae quidem mihi laetari videtur, quod tantam pestem evomuerit forasque proiecerit.
[ N ] [ A ] II. Ac si quis est talis, quales esse omnes oportebat, qui in hoc ipso, in quo exultat et triumphat oratio mea, me vehementer accuset, quod tam capitalem hostem non comprehenderim potius quam emiserim, non est ista mea culpa, Quirites, sed temporum. Interfectum esse L. Catilinam et gravissimo supplicio adfectum iam pridem oportebat, idque a me et mos maiorum et huius imperii severitas et res publica postulabat. Sed quam multos fuisse putatis, qui, quae ego deferrem, non crederent, quam multos, qui propter stultitiam non putarent, quam multos, qui etiam defenderent, quam multos, qui propter improbitatem faverent! Ac, si illo sublato depelli a vobis omne periculum iudicarem, iam pridem ego L. Catilinam non modo invidiae meae, verum etiam vitae periculo sustulissem.
[ N ] [ A ] Sed cum viderem, ne vobis quidem omnibus re etiam tum probata si illum, ut erat meritus, morte multassem, fore ut eius socios invidia oppressus persequi non possem, rem huc deduxi, ut tum palam pugnare possetis, cum hostem aperte videretis. Quem quidem ego hostem, Quirites, quam vehementer foris esse timendum putem, licet hinc intellegatis, quod etiam illud moleste fero, quod ex urbe parum comitatus exierit. Utinam ille omnis secum suas copias eduxisset! Tongilium mihi eduxit, quem amare in praetexta coeperat, Publicium et Minucium, quorum aes alienum contractum in popina nullum rei publicae motum adferre poterat; reliquit quos viros, quanto aere alieno, quam valentis, quam nobilis!
[ N ] [ A ] III. Itaque ego illum exercitum prae Gallicanis legionibus et hoc dilectu, quem in agro Piceno et Gallico Q. Metellus habuit, et his copiis, quae a nobis cotidie comparantur, magnopere contemno collectum ex senibus desperatis, ex agresti luxuria, ex rusticis decoctoribus, ex iis, qui vadimonia deserere quam illum exercitum maluerunt; quibus ego non modo si aciem exercitus nostri, verum etiam si edictum praetoris ostendero, concident. Hos, quos video volitare in foro, quos stare ad curiam, quos etiam in senatum venire, qui nitent unguentis, qui fulgent purpura, mallem secum suos milites eduxisset; qui si hic permanent, mementote non tam exercitum illum esse nobis quam hos, qui exercitum deseruerunt, pertimescendos. Atque hoc etiam sunt timendi magis, quod, quid cogitent, me scire sentiunt neque tamen permoventur.
[ N ] [ A ] Video, cui sit Apulia adtributa, quis habeat Etruriam, quis agrum Picenum, quis Gallicum, quis sibi has urbanas insidias caedis atque incendiorum depoposcerit. Omnia superioris noctis consilia ad me perlata esse sentiunt; patefeci in senatu hesterno die; Catilina ipse pertimuit, profugit; hi quid expectant? Ne illi vehementer errant, si illam meam pristinam lenitatem perpetuam sperant futuram.
IV. Quod expectavi, iam sum adsecutus, ut vos omnes factam esse aperte coniurationem contra rem publicam videretis; nisi vero si quis est, qui Catilinae similis cum Catilina sentire non putet. Non est iam lenitati locus; severitatem res ipsa flagitat. Unum etiam nunc concedam: exeant, proficiscantur, ne patiantur desiderio sui Catilinam miserum tabescere. Demonstrabo iter: Aurelia via profectus est; si accelerare volent, ad vesperam consequentur.
[ N ] [ A ] O fortunatam rem publicam, si quidem hanc sentinam urbis eiecerit! Uno mehercule Catilina exhausto levata mihi et recreata res publica videtur. Quid enim mali aut sceleris fingi aut cogitari potest, quod non ille conceperit? quis tota Italia veneficus, quis gladiator, quis latro, quis sicarius, quis parricida, quis testamentorum subiector, quis circumscriptor, quis ganeo, quis nepos, quis adulter, quae mulier infamis, quis corruptor iuventutis, quis corruptus, quis perditus inveniri potest, qui se cum Catilina non familiarissime vixisse fateatur? quae caedes per hosce annos sine illo facta est, quod nefarium stuprum non per illum?
[ N ] [ A ] Iam vero quae tanta umquam in ullo homine iuventutis inlecebra fuit, quanta in illo? qui alios ipse amabat turpissime, aliorum amori flagitiosissime serviebat, aliis fructum lubidinum, aliis mortem parentum non modo inpellendo, verum etiam adiuvando pollicebatur. Nunc vero quam subito non solum ex urbe, verum etiam ex agris ingentem numerum perditorum hominum collegerat! Nemo non modo Romae, sed ne ullo in angulo totius Italiae oppressus aere alieno fuit, quem non ad hoc incredibile sceleris foedus asciverit.
[ N ] [ A ] V. Atque ut eius diversa studia in dissimili ratione perspicere possitis, nemo est in ludo gladiatorio paulo ad facinus audacior qui se non intimum Catilinae esse fateatur, nemo in scaena levior et nequior qui se non eiusdem prope sodalem fuisse commemoret. Atque idem tamen stuprorum et scelerum exercitatione adsuefactus frigore et fame et siti et vigiliis perferundis fortis ab istis praedicabatur, cum industriae subsidia atque instrumenta virtutis in lubidine audaciaque consumeret.
[ N ] [ A ] Hunc vero si secuti erunt sui comites, si ex urbe exierint desperatorum hominum flagitiosi greges, o nos beatos, o rem publicam fortunatam, o praeclaram laudem consulatus mei! Non enim iam sunt mediocres hominum lubidines, non humanae ac tolerandae audaciae; nihil cogitant nisi caedem, nisi incendia, nisi rapinas. Patrimonia sua profuderunt, fortunas suas obligaverunt; res eos iam pridem deseruit, fides nuper deficere coepit; eadem tamen illa, quae erat in abundantia, lubido permanet. Quodsi in vino et alea comissationes solum et scorta quaererent, essent illi quidem desperandi, sed tamen essent ferendi; hoc vero quis ferre possit, inertes homines fortissimis viris insidiari, stultissimos prudentissimis, ebriosos sobriis, dormientis vigilantibus? qui mihi accubantes in conviviis conplexi mulieres inpudicas vino languidi, conferti cibo, sertis redimiti, unguentis obliti, debilitati stupris eructant sermonibus suis caedem bonorum atque urbis incendia.
[ N ] [ A ] Quibus ego confido impendere fatum aliquod, et poenam iam diu improbitati, nequitiae, sceleri, libidini debitam aut instare iam plane aut certe adpropinquare. Quos si meus consulatus, quoniam sanare non potest, sustulerit, non breve nescio quod tempus, sed multa saecula propagarit rei publicae. Nulla est enim natio, quam pertimescamus, nullus rex, qui bellum populo Romano facere possit. Omnia sunt externa unius virtute terra marique pacata; domesticum bellum manet, intus insidiae sunt, intus inclusum periculum est, intus est hostis. Cum luxuria nobis, cum amentia, cum scelere certandum est. Huic ego me bello ducem profiteor, Quirites; suscipio inimicitias hominum perditorum; quae sanari poterunt, quacumque ratione sanabo, quae resecanda erunt, non patiar ad perniciem civitatis manere. Proinde aut exeant aut quiescant aut, si et in urbe et in eadem mente permanent, ea, quae merentur, expectent.
[ N ] [ A ] [ C ] VI. At etiam sunt, qui dicant, Quirites, a me eiectum in exilium esse Catilinam. Quod ego si verbo adsequi possem, istos ipsos eicerem, qui haec locuntur. Homo enim videlicet timidus aut etiam permodestus vocem consulis ferre non potuit; simul atque ire in exilium iussus est, paruit, ivit. Hesterno die, Quirites, cum domi meae paene interfectus essem, senatum in aedem Iovis Statoris convocavi, rem omnem ad patres conscriptos detuli. Quo cum Catilina venisset, quis eum senator appellavit, quis salutavit, quis denique ita aspexit ut perditum civem ac non potius ut inportunissimum hostem? Quin etiam principes eius ordinis partem illam subselliorum, ad quam ille accesserat, nudam atque inanem reliquerunt.
[ N ] [ A ] Hic ego vehemens ille consul, qui verbo civis in exilium eicio, quaesivi a Catilina, in nocturno conventu apud M. Laecam fuisset necne. Cum ille homo audacissimus conscientia convictus primo reticuisset, patefeci cetera; quid ea nocte egisset, ubi fuisset, quid in proximam constituisset, quem ad modum esset ei ratio totius belli descripta, edocui. Cum haesitaret, cum teneretur, quaesivi, quid dubitaret proficisci eo, quo iam pridem pararet, cum arma, cum secures, cum fasces, cum tubas, cum signa militaria, cum aquilam illam argenteam, cui ille etiam sacrarium scelerum domi suae fecerat, scirem esse praemissam.
[ N ] [ A ] In exilium eiciebam, quem iam ingressum esse in bellum videbam? Etenim, credo, Manlius iste centurio, qui in agro Faesulano castra posuit bellum populo Romano suo nomine indixit, et illa castra nunc non Catilinam ducem expectant, et ille eiectus in exilium se Massiliam, ut aiunt, non in haec castra conferet.
VII. O condicionem miseram non modo administrandae, verum etiam conservandae rei publicae! Nunc si L. Catilina consiliis, laboribus, periculis meis circumclusus ac debilitatus subito pertimuerit, sententiam mutaverit, deseruerit suos, consilium belli faciendi abiecerit et ex hoc cursu sceleris ac belli iter ad fugam atque in exilium converterit, non ille a me spoliatus armis audaciae, non obstupefactus ac perterritus mea diligentia, non de spe conatuque depulsus sed indemnatus innocens in exilium eiectus a consule vi et minis esse dicetur; et erunt, qui illum, si hoc fecerit, non improbum, sed miserum, me non diligentissimum consulem, sed crudelissimum tyrannum existimari velint!
[ N ] [ A ] Est mihi tanti, Quirites, huius invidiae falsae atque iniquae tempestatem subire, dummodo a vobis huius horribilis belli ac nefarii periculum depellatur. Dicatur sane eiectus esse a me, dummodo eat in exilium. Sed, mihi credite, non est iturus. Numquam ego ab dis inmortalibus optabo, Quirites, invidiae meae levandae causa, ut L. Catilinam ducere exercitum hostium atque in armis volitare audiatis, sed triduo tamen audietis; multoque magis illud timeo, ne mihi sit invidiosum aliquando, quod illum emiserim potius quam quod eiecerim. Sed cum sint homines, qui illum, cum profectus sit, eiectum esse dicant, idem, si interfectus esset, quid dicerent?
[ N ] [ A ] Quamquam isti, qui Catilinam Massiliam ire dictitant, non tam hoc queruntur quam verentur. Nemo est istorum tam misericors, qui illum non ad Manlium quam ad Massilienses ire malit. Ille autem, si mehercule hoc, quod agit, numquam antea cogitasset, tamen latrocinantem se interfici mallet quam exulem vivere. Nunc vero, cum ei nihil adhuc praeter ipsius voluntatem cogitationemque acciderit, nisi quod vivis nobis Roma profectus est, optemus potius, ut eat in exilium, quam queramur.
[ N ] [ A ] VIII. Sed cur tam diu de uno hoste loquimur, et de eo hoste, qui iam fatetur se esse hostem, et quem, quia, quod semper volui, murus interest, non timeo; de his, qui dissimulant, qui Romae remanent, qui nobiscum sunt, nihil dicimus? Quos quidem ego, si ullo modo fieri possit, non tam ulcisci studeo quam sanare sibi ipsos, placare rei publicae, neque, id quare fieri non possit, si me audire volent, intellego. Exponam enim vobis, Quirites, ex quibus generibus hominum istae copiae comparentur; deinde singulis medicinam consilii atque orationis meae, si quam potero, adferam.
[ N ] [ A ] Unum genus est eorum, qui magno in aere alieno maiores etiam possessiones habent, quarum amore adducti dissolvi nullo modo possunt. Horum hominum species est honestissima (sunt enim locupletes), voluntas vero et causa inpudentissima. Tu agris, tu aedificiis, tu argento, tu familia, tu rebus omnibus ornatus et copiosus sis et dubites de possessione detrahere, adquirere ad fidem? Quid enim expectas? bellum? Quid ergo? in vastatione omnium tuas possessiones sacrosanctas futuras putas? An tabulas novas? Errant, qui istas a Catilina expectant; meo beneficio tabulae novae proferentur, verum auctionariae; neque enim isti, qui possessiones habent, alia ratione ulla salvi esse possunt. Quod si maturius facere voluissent neque, id quod stultissimum est, certare cum usuris fructibus praediorum, et locupletioribus his et melioribus civibus uteremur. Sed hosce homines minime puto pertimescendos, quod aut deduci de sententia possunt aut, si permanebunt, magis mihi videntur vota facturi contra rem publicam quam arma laturi.
[ N ] [ A ] XI. Alterum genus est eorum, qui quamquam premuntur aere alieno, dominationem tamen expectant, rerum potiri volunt, honores, quos quieta re publica desperant, perturbata se consequi posse arbitrantur. Quibus hoc praecipiendum videtur, unum scilicet et idem quod reliquis omnibus, ut desperent se id, quod conantur, consequi posse; primum omnium me ipsum vigilare, adesse, providere rei publicae; deinde magnos animos esse in bonis viris, magnam concordiam, maxumam multitudinem, magnas praeterea militum copias; deos denique inmortalis huic invicto populo, clarissimo imperio, pulcherrimae urbi contra tantam vim sceleris praesentis auxilium esse laturos. Quodsi iam sint id, quod summo furore cupiunt, adepti, num illi in cinere urbis et in sanguine civium, quae mente conscelerata ac nefaria concupiverunt, consules se aut dictatores aut etiam reges sperant futuros? Non vident id se cupere, quod si adepti sint, fugitivo alicui aut gladiatori concedi sit necesse?
[ N ] [ A ] Tertium genus est aetate iam adfectum, sed tamen exercitatione robustum; quo ex genere iste est Manlius, cui nunc Catilina succedit. Hi sunt homines ex iis coloniis, quas Sulla constituit; quas ego universas civium esse optimorum et fortissimorum virorum sentio, sed tamen ii sunt coloni, qui se in insperatis ac repentinis pecuniis sumptuosius insolentiusque iactarunt. Hi dum aedificant tamquam beati, dum praediis, lectis, familiis magnis, conviviis apparatis delectantur, in tantum aes alienum inciderunt, ut, si salvi esse velint, Sulla sit iis ab inferis excitandus; qui etiam non nullos agrestis homines tenues atque egentes in eandem illam spem rapinarum veterum impulerunt. Quos ego utrosque in eodem genere praedatorum direptorumque pono, sed eos hoc moneo, desinant furere ac proscriptiones et dictaturas cogitare. Tantus enim illorum temporum dolor inustus est civitati, ut iam ista non modo homines, sed ne pecudes quidem mihi passurae esse videantur.
[ N ] [ A ] X. Quartum genus est sane varium et mixtum et turbulentum; qui iam pridem premuntur, qui numquam emergunt, qui partim inertia, partim male gerendo negotio, partim etiam sumptibus in vetere aere alieno vacillant, qui vadimoniis, iudiciis, proscriptione bonorum defetigati permulti et ex urbe et ex agris se in illa castra conferre dicuntur. Hosce ego non tam milites acris quam infitiatores lentos esse arbitror. Qui homines quam primum, si stare non possunt, corruant sed ita, ut non modo civitas, sed ne vicini quidem proximi sentiant. Nam illud non intellego, quam ob rem, si vivere honeste non possunt, perire turpiter velint, aut cur minore dolore perituros se cum multis quam si soli pereant, arbitrentur.
[ N ] [ A ] Quintum genus est parricidarum, sicariorum, denique omnium facinerosorum. Quos ego a Catilina non revoco; nam neque ab eo divelli possunt et pereant sane in latrocinio quoniam sunt ita multi, ut eos carcer capere non possit.
Postremum autem genus est non solum numero verum etiam genere ipso atque vita, quod proprium Catilinae est, de eius dilectu, immo vero de complexu eius ac sinu; quos pexo capillo nitidos aut inberbis aut bene barbatos videtis, manicatis et talaribus tunicis velis amictos, non togis; quorum omnis industria vitae et vigilandi labor in antelucanis cenis expromitur.
[ N ] [ A ] In his gregibus omnes aleatores, omnes adulteri, omnes inpuri inpudicique versantur. Hi pueri tam lepidi ac delicati non solum amare et amari neque saltare et cantare, sed etiam sicas vibrare et spargere venena didicerunt. Qui nisi exeunt, nisi pereunt, etiamsi Catilina perierit, scitote hoc in re publica seminarium Catilinarum futurum. Verum tamen quid sibi isti miseri volunt? num suas secum mulierculas sunt in castra ducturi? Quem ad modum autem illis carere poterunt, his praesertim iam noctibus? Quo autem pacto illi Appenninum atque illas pruinas ac nives perferent? nisi idcirco se facilius hiemem toleraturos putant, quod nudi in conviviis saltare didicerunt.
[ N ] [ A ] O bellum magnopere pertimescendum, cum hanc sit habiturus Catilina scortorum cohortem praetoriam!
XI. Instruite nunc, Quirites, contra has tam praeclaras Catilinae copias vestra praesidia vestrosque exercitus. Et primum gladiatori illi confecto et saucio consules imperatoresque vestros opponite; deinde contra illam naufragorum eiectam ac debilitatam manum florem totius Italiae ac robur educite. Iam vero urbes coloniarum ac municipiorum respondebunt Catilinae tumulis silvestribus. Neque ego ceteras copias, ornamenta, praesidia vestra cum illius latronis inopia atque egestate conferre debeo.
[ N ] [ A ] Sed si omissis his rebus, quibus nos suppeditamur, eget ille, senatu, equitibus Romanis, urbe, aerario, vectigalibus, cuncta Italia, provinciis omnibus, exteris nationibus, si his rebus omissis causas ipsas, quae inter se confligunt, contendere velimus, ex eo ipso, quam valde illi iaceant, intellegere possumus. Ex hac enim parte pudor pugnat, illinc petulantia; hinc pudicitia, illinc stuprum; hinc fides, illinc fraudatio; hinc pietas, illinc scelus; hinc constantia, illinc furor; hinc honestas, illinc turpitudo; hinc continentia, illinc lubido; denique aequitas, temperantia, fortitudo, prudentia, virtutes omnes certant cum iniquitate, luxuria, ignavia, temeritate, cum vitiis omnibus; postremo copia cum egestate, bona ratio cum perdita, mens sana cum amentia, bona denique spes cum omnium rerum desperatione confligit. In eius modi certamine ac proelio nonne, si hominum studia deficiant, di ipsi inmortales cogant ab his praeclarissimis virtutibus tot et tanta vitia superari?
[ N ] [ A ] XII. Quae cum ita sint, Quirites, vos, quem ad modum iam antea dixi, vestra tecta vigiliis custodiisque defendite; mihi, ut urbi sine vestro motu ac sine ullo tumultu satis esset praesidii, consultum atque provisum est. Coloni omnes municipesque vestri certiores a me facti de hac nocturna excursione Catilinae facile urbes suas finesque defendent; gladiatores, quam sibi ille manum certissimam fore putavit, quamquam animo meliore sunt quam pars patriciorum, potestate tamen nostra continebuntur. Q. Metellus, quem ego hoc prospiciens in agrum Gallicum Picenumque praemisi, aut opprimet hominem aut eius omnis motus conatusque prohibebit. Reliquis autem de rebus constituendis maturandis, agendis iam ad senatum referemus, quem vocari videtis.
[ N ] [ A ] Nunc illos, qui in urbe remanserunt, atque adeo qui contra urbis salutem omniumque vestrum in urbe a Catilina relicti sunt, quamquam sunt hostes, tamen, quia nati sunt cives, monitos etiam atque etiam volo. Mea lenitas adhuc si cui solutior visa est, hoc expectavit, ut id, quod latebat, erumperet. Quod reliquum est, iam non possum oblivisci meam hanc esse patriam, me horum esse consulem, mihi aut cum his vivendum aut pro his esse moriendum. Nullus est portis custos, nullus insidiator viae; si qui exire volunt, conivere possum; qui vero se in urbe commoverit, cuius ego non modo factum, sed inceptum ullum conatumve contra patriam deprehendero, sentiet in hac urbe esse consules vigilantis, esse egregios magistratus, esse fortem senatum, esse arma, esse carcerem, quem vindicem nefariorum ac manifestorum scelerum maiores nostri esse voluerunt.
[ N ] [ A ] XIII. Atque haec omnia sic agentur, Quirites, ut maxumae res minimo motu, pericula summa nullo tumultu, bellum intestinum ac domesticum post hominum memoriam crudelissimum et maximum me uno togato duce et imperatore sedetur. Quod ego sic administrabo, Quirites, ut, si ullo modo fieri poterit, ne inprobus quidem quisquam in hac urbe poenam sui sceleris sufferat. Sed si vis manifestae audaciae, si inpendens patriae periculum me necessario de hac animi lenitate deduxerit, illud profecto perficiam, quod in tanto et tam insidioso bello vix optandum videtur, ut neque bonus quisquam intereat paucorumque poena vos omnes salvi esse possitis.
[ N ] [ A ] Quae quidem ego neque mea prudentia neque humanis consiliis fretus polliceor vobis, Quirites, sed multis et non dubiis deorum inmortalium significationibus, quibus ego ducibus in hanc spem sententiamque sum ingressus; qui iam non procul, ut quondam solebant, ab externo hoste atque longinquo, sed hic praesentes suo numine atque auxilio sua templa atque urbis tecta defendunt. Quos vos, Quirites, precari, venerari, implorare debetis, ut, quam urbem pulcherrimam florentissimamque esse voluerunt, hanc omnibus hostium copiis terra marique superatis a perditissimorum civium nefario scelere defendant.
[ N ] Argumentum
In Catilinam III Read aloud by Félix Vallejo on YouTube.
[ N ] [ A ] I. Rem publicam, Quirites, vitamque omnium vestrum, bona, fortunas, coniuges liberosque vestros atque hoc domicilium clarissumi imperii, fortunatissimam pulcherrimamque urbem, hodierno die deorum inmortalium summo erga vos amore, laboribus, consiliis, periculis meis e flamma atque ferro ac paene ex faucibus fati ereptam et vobis conservatam ac restitutam videtis.
[ N ] [ A ] Et si non minus nobis iucundi atque inlustres sunt ii dies, quibus conservamur, quam illi, quibus nascimur, quod salutis certa laetitia est, nascendi incerta condicio, et quod sine sensu nascimur, cum voluptate servamur, profecto, quoniam illum, qui hanc urbem condidit, ad deos inmortalis benivolentia famaque sustulimus, esse apud vos posterosque vestros in honore debebit is, qui eandem hanc urbem conditam amplificatamque servavit. Nam toti urbi, templis, delubris, tectis ac moenibus subiectos prope iam ignis circumdatosque restinximus, idemque gladios in rem publicam destrictos rettudimus mucronesque eorum a iugulis vestris deiecimus.
[ N ] [ A ] Quae quoniam in senatu inlustrata, patefacta, comperta sunt per me, vobis iam exponam breviter, Quirites, ut, et quanta et quam manifesta et qua ratione investigata et comprehensa sint, vos, qui et ignoratis et expectatis, scire possitis. Principio ut Catilina paucis ante diebus erupit ex urbe, cum sceleris sui socios huiusce nefarii belli acerrimos duces Romae reliquisset, semper vigilavi et providi, Quirites, quem ad modum in tantis et tam absconditis insidiis salvi esse possemus.i
II. Nam tum, cum ex urbe Catilinam eiciebam (non enim iam vereor huius verbi invidiam, cum illa magis sit timuenda, quod vivus exierit), sed tum, cum illum exterminari volebam, aut reliquam coniuratorum manum simul exituram aut eos, qui restitissent, infirmos sine illo ac debiles fore putabam.
[ N ] [ A ] Atque ego ut vidi, quos maximo furore et scelere esse inflammatos sciebam, eos nobiscum esse et Romae remansisse, in eo omnes dies noctesque consumpsi, ut, quid agerent, quid molirentur, sentirem ac viderem, ut, quoniam auribus vestris propter incredibilem magnitudinem sceleris minorem fidem faceret oratio mea, rem ita comprehenderem, ut tum demum animis saluti vestrae provideretis, cum oculis maleficium ipsum videretis. Itaque, ut comperi legatos Allobrogum belli Transalpini et tumultus Gallici excitandi causa a P. Lentulo esse sollicitatos, eosque in Galliam ad suos civis eodemque itinere cum litteris mandatisque ad Catilinam esse missos, comitemque iis adiunctum esse T. Volturcium, atque huic esse ad Catilinam datas litteras, facultatem mihi oblatam putavi, ut, quod erat difficillimum, quodque ego semper optabam ab dis inmortalibus, ut tota res non solum a me, sed etiam a senatu et a vobis manifesto deprehenderetur.
[ N ] [ A ] [ C ] Itaque hesterno die L. Flaccum et C. Pomptinum praetores, fortissimos atque amantissimos rei publicae viros, ad me vocavi, rem exposui, quid fieri placeret, ostendi. Illi autem, qui omnia de re publica praeclara atque egregia sentirent, sine recusatione ac sine ulla mora negotium susceperunt et, cum advesperasceret, occulte ad pontem Mulvium pervenerunt atque ibi in proximis villis ita bipertito fuerunt, ut Tiberis inter eos et pons interesset. Eodem autem et ipsi sine cuiusquam suspicione multos fortis viros eduxerant, et ego ex praefectura Reatina complures delectos adulescentes, quorum opera utor adsidue in rei publicae praesidio, cum gladiis miseram.
[ N ] [ A ] Interim tertia fere vigilia exacta cum iam pontem Mulvium magno comitatu legati Allobrogum ingredi inciperent unaque Volturcius, fit in eos impetus; educuntur et ab illis gladii et a nostris. Res praetoribus erat nota solis, ignorabatur a ceteris.
III. Tum interventu Pomptini atque Flacci pugna, quae erat commissa, sedatur. Litterae, quaecumque erant in eo comitatu, integris signis praetoribus traduntur; ipsi comprehensi ad me, cum iam dilucesceret, deducuntur. Atque horum omnium scelerum inprobissimum machinatorem, Cimbrum Gabinium, statim ad me nihil dum suspicantem vocavi; deinde item accersitus est L. Statilius et post eum C. Cethegus; tardissime autem Lentulus venit, credo quod in litteris dandis praeter consuetudinem proxima nocte vigilarat.
[ N ] [ A ] Cum summis et clarissimis huius civitatis viris, qui audita re frequentes ad me mane convenerant, litteras a me prius aperiri quam ad senatum deferri placeret, ne, si nihil esset inventum, temere a me tantus tumultus iniectus civitati videretur, negavi me esse facturum, ut de periculo publico non ad consilium publicum rem integram deferrem. Etenim, Quirites, si ea, quae erant ad me delata, reperta non essent, tamen ego non arbitrabar in tantis rei publicae periculis esse mihi nimiam diligentiam pertimescendam. Senatum frequentem celeriter, ut vidistis, coegi.
[ N ] [ A ] Atque interea statim admonitu Allobrogum C. Sulpicium praetorem, fortem virum, misi, qui ex aedibus Cethegi, si quid telorum esset, efferret; ex quibus ille maximum sicarum numerum et gladiorum extulit.
IV. Introduxi Volturcium sine Gallis; fidem publicam iussu senatus dedi; hortatus sum ut ea, quae sciret sine timore indicaret. Tum ille dixit, cum vix se ex magno timore recreasset, a P. Lentulo se habere ad Catilinam mandata et litteras, ut servorum praesidio uteretur, ut ad urbem quam primum cum exercitu accederet; id autem eo consilio, ut, cum urbem ex omnibus partibus, quem ad modum discriptum distributumque erat, incendissent caedemque infinitam civium fecissent, praesto esset ille, qui et fugientis exciperet et se cum his urbanis ducibus coniungeret.
[ N ] [ A ] Introducti autem Galli ius iurandum sibi et litteras ab Lentulo, Cethego, Statilio ad suam gentem data esse dixerunt, atque ita sibi ab his et a L. Cassio esse praescriptum, ut equitatum in Italiam quam primum mitterent; pedestres sibi copias non defuturas. Lentulum autem sibi confirmasse ex fatis Sibyllinis haruspicumque responsis se esse tertium illum Cornelium, ad quem regnum huius urbis atque imperium pervenire esset necesse; Cinnam ante se et Sullam fuisse. Eundemque dixisse fatalem hunc annum esse ad interitum huius urbis atque imperii, qui esset annus decimus post virginum absolutionem, post Capitoli autem incensionem vicesimus.
[ N ] [ A ] Hanc autem Cethego cum ceteris controversiam fuisse dixerunt, quod Lentulo et aliis Saturnalibus caedem fieri atque urbem incendi placeret, Cethego nimium id longum videretur.
V. Ac ne longum sit, Quirites, tabellas proferri iussimus, quae a quoque dicebantur datae. Primo ostendimus Cethego; signum cognovit. Nos linum incidimus, legimus. Erat scriptum ipsius manu Allobrogum senatui et populo: sese, quae eorum legatis confirmasset, facturum esse; orare ut item illi facerent, quae sibi eorum legati recepissent. Tum Cethegus, qui paulo ante aliquid tamen de gladiis ac sicis, quae apud ipsum erant deprehensa, respondisset dixissetque se semper bonorum ferramentorum studiosum fuisse, recitatis litteris debilitatus atque abiectus conscientia repente conticuit. Introductus est Statilius; cognovit et signum et manum suam. Recitatae sunt tabellae in eandem fere sententiam; confessus est. Tum ostendi tabellas Lentulo et quaesivi cognosceretne signum? Adnuit. « Est vero », inquam, « notum quidem signum, imago avi tui, clarissimi viri, qui amavit unice patriam et cives suos; quae quidem te a tanto scelere etiam muta revocare debuit. »
[ N ] [ A ] Leguntur eadem ratione ad senatum Allobrogum populumque litterae. Si quid de his rebus dicere vellet, feci potestatem. Atque ille primo quidem negavit; post autem aliquanto, toto iam indicio exposito atque edito, surrexit; quaesivit a Gallis quid sibi esset cum iis, quam ob rem domum suam venissent?, itemque a Volturcio. Qui cum illi breviter constanterque respondissent, per quem ad eum quotiensque venissent, quaesissentque ab eo nihilne secum esset de fatis Sibyllinis locutus? tum ille subito scelere demens, quanta conscientiae vis esset, ostendit. Nam, cum id posset infitiari, repente praeter opinionem omnium confessus est. Ita eum non modo ingenium illud et dicendi exercitatio, qua semper valuit, sed etiam propter vim sceleris manifesti atque deprehensi inpudentia, qua superabat omnis, inprobitasque defecit.
[ N ] [ A ] Volturcius vero subito litteras proferri atque aperiri iubet, quas sibi a Lentulo ad Catilinam datas esse dicebat Atque ibi vehementissime perturbatus Lentulus tamen et signum et manum suam cognovit. Erant autem sine nomine, sed ita: « Quis sim, scies ex eo, quem ad te misi. Cura, ut vir sis, et cogita, quem in locum sis progressus. Vide, quid tibi iam sit necesse, et cura, ut omnium tibi auxilia adiungas, etiam infimorum. » Gabinius deinde introductus cum primo impudenter respondere coepisset, ad extremum nihil ex iis, quae Galli insimulabant, negavit.
[ N ] [ A ] Ac mihi quidem, Quirites, cum illa certissima visa sunt argumenta atque indicia sceleris, tabellae, signa, manus, denique unius cuiusque confessio, tum multo certiora illa, color, oculi, voltus, taciturnitas. Sic enim ob stupuerant, sic terram intuebantur, sic furtim non numquam inter sese aspiciebant, ut non iam ab aliis indicari, sed indicare se ipsi viderentur.
VI. Indiciis expositis atque editis, Quirites, senatum consului de summa re publica quid fieri placeret? Dictae sunt a principibus acerrimae ac fortissimae sententiae, quas senatus sine ulla varietate est secutus. Et quoniam nondum est perscriptum senatus consultum, ex memoria vobis, Quirites, quid senatus censuerit, exponam.
[ N ] [ A ] Primum mihi gratiae verbis amplissimis aguntur, quod virtute, consilio, providentia mea res publica maximis periculis sit liberata. Deinde L. Flaccus et C. Pomptinus praetores, quod eorum opera forti fidelique usus essem, merito ac iure laudantur. Atque etiam viro forti, collegae meo, laus inpertitur quod eos, qui huius coniurationis participes fuissent, a suis et a rei publicae consiliis removisset. Atque ita censuerunt ut P. Lentulus, cum se praetura abdicasset, in custodiam traderetur; itemque uti C. Cethegus, L. Statilius, P. Gabinius, qui omnes praesentes erant, in custodiam traderentur; atque idem hoc decretum est in L. Cassium, qui sibi procurationem incendendae urbis depoposcerat, in M. Ceparium, cui ad sollicitandos pastores Apuliam attributam esse erat indicatum, in P. Furium, qui est ex iis colonis, quos Faesulas L. Sulla deduxit, in Q. Annium Chilonem, qui una cum hoc Furio semper erat in hac Allobrogum sollicitatione versatus, in P. Umbrenum, libertinum hominem, a quo primum Gallos ad Gabinium perductos esse constabat.
[ N ] [ A ] Atque ea lenitate senatus est usus, Quirites, ut ex tanta coniuratione tantaque hac multitudine domesticorum hostium novem hominum perditissimorum poena re publica conservata reliquorum mentes sanari posse arbitraretur. Atque etiam supplicatio dis inmortalibus pro singulari eorum merito meo nomine decreta est quod mihi primum post hanc urbem conditam togato contigit, et his decreta verbis est, « quod urbem incendiis, caede civis, Italiam bello liberassem. » Quae supplicatio si cum ceteris supplicationibus conferatur, hoc interest, quod ceterae bene gesta, haec una conservata re publica constituta est. Atque illud, quod faciundum primum fuit, factum atque transactum est. Nam P. Lentulus, quamquam patefactis indiciis, confessionibus suis, iudicio senatus non modo praetoris ius, verum etiam civis amiserat, tamen magistratu se abdicavit, ut, quae religio C. Mario, clarissimo viro, non fuerat, quo minus C. Glauciam, de quo nihil nominatim erat decretum, praetorem occideret, ea nos religione in privato P. Lentulo puniendo liberaremur.
[ N ] [ A ] VII. Nunc quoniam, Quirites, consceleratissimi periculosissimique belli nefarios duces captos iam et comprehensos tenetis, existumare debetis omnis Catilinae copias, omnis spes atque opes his depulsis urbis periculis concidisse. Quem quidem ego cum ex urbe pellebam, hoc providebam animo, Quirites, remoto Catilina non mihi esse P. Lentuli somnum nec L. Cassi adipes nec C. Cethegi furiosam temeritatem pertimescendam. Ille erat unus timendus ex istis omnibus, sed tam diu, dum urbis moenibus continebatur. Omnia norat, omnium aditus tenebat; appellare, temptare, sollicitare poterat, audebat. Erat ei consilium ad facinus aptum, consilio autem neque manus neque lingua deerat. Iam ad certas res conficiendas certos homines delectos ac descriptos habebat. Neque vero, cum aliquid mandarat, confectum putabat; nihil erat, quod non ipse obiret, occurreret, vigilaret, laboraret; frigus, sitim, famem ferre poterat.
[ N ] [ A ] Hunc ego hominem tam acrem, tam audacem, tam paratum, tam callidum, tam in scelere vigilantem, tam in perditis rebus diligentem nisi ex domesticis insidiis in castrense latrocinium compulissem (dicam id, quod sentio, Quirites), non facile hanc tantam molem mali a cervicibus vestris depulissem. Non ille nobis Saturnalia constituisset neque tanto ante exitii ac fati diem rei publicae denuntiavisset neque commisisset, ut signum, ut litterae suae testes manifesti sceleris deprehenderentur. Quae nunc illo absente sic gesta sunt, ut nullum in privata domo furtum umquam sit tam palam inventum, quam haec tanta in re publica coniuratio manifesto inventa atque deprehensa est. Quodsi Catilina in urbe ad hanc diem remansisset, quamquam, quoad fuit, omnibus eius consiliis occurri atque obstiti, tamen, ut levissime dicam, dimicandum nobis cum illo fuisset, neque nos umquam, cum ille in urbe hostis esset, tantis periculis rem publicam tanta pace, tanto otio, tanto silentio liberassemus.
[ N ] [ A ] VIII. Quamquam haec omnia, Quirites, ita sunt a me administrata, ut deorum inmortalium nutu atque consilio et gesta et provisa esse videantur. Idque cum coniectura consequi possumus, quod vix videtur humani consilii tantarum rerum gubernatio esse potuisse, tum vero ita praesentes his temporibus opem et auxilium nobis tulerunt, ut eos paene oculis videre possemus. Nam ut illa omittam, visas nocturno tempore ab occidente faces ardoremque caeli, ut fulminum iactus, ut terrae motus relinquam, ut omittam cetera, quae tam multa nobis consulibus facta sunt, ut haec, quae nunc fiunt, canere di inmortales viderentur, hoc certe, quod sum dicturus, neque praetermittendum neque relinquendum est.
[ N ] [ A ] Nam profecto memoria tenetis Cotta et Torquato consulibus complures in Capitolio res de caelo esse percussas, cum et simulacra deorum depulsa sunt et statuae veterum hominum deiectae et legum aera liquefacta et tactus etiam ille, qui hanc urbem condidit, Romulus, quem inauratum in Capitolio parvum atque lactantem uberibus lupinis inhiantem fuisse meministis. Quo quidem tempore cum haruspices ex tota Etruria convenissent, caedes atque incendia et legum interitum et bellum civile ac domesticum et totius urbis atque imperii occasum adpropinquare dixerunt, nisi di inmortales omni ratione placati suo numine prope fata ipsa flexissent.
[ N ] [ A ] Itaque illorum responsis tum et ludi per decem dies facti sunt, neque res ulla, quae ad placandos deos pertineret, praetermissa est. Idemque iusserunt simulacrum Iovis facere maius et in excelso conlocare et contra atque antea fuerat ad orientem convertere; ac se sperare dixerunt, si illud signum, quod videtis, solis ortum et forum curiamque conspiceret, fore ut ea consilia, quae clam essent inita contra salutem urbis atque imperii, inlustrarentur, ut a senatu populoque Romano perspici possent. Atque illud signum collocandum consules illi locaverunt; sed tanta fuit operis tarditas, ut neque superioribus consulibus neque nobis ante hodiernum diem collocaretur.
[ N ] [ A ] XI. Hic quis potest esse, Quirites, tam aversus a vero, tam praeceps, tam mente captus, qui neget haec omnia, quae videmus, praecipueque hanc urbem deorum inmortalium nutu ac potestate administrari? Etenim, cum esset ita responsum, caedes, incendia, interitum rei publicae comparari, et ea per cives, quae tum propter magnitudinem scelerum non nullis incredibilia videbantur, ea non modo cogitata a nefariis civibus, verum etiam suscepta esse sensistis. Illud vero nonne ita praesens est, ut nutu Iovis optimi maximi factum esse videatur, ut, cum hodierno die mane per forum meo iussu et coniurati et eorum indices in aedem Concordiae ducerentur, eo ipso tempore signum statueretur? Quo collocato atque ad vos senatumque converso omnia et senatus et vos, quae erant contra salutem omnium cogitata, inlustrata et patefacta vidistis.
[ N ] [ A ] Quo etiam maiore sunt isti odio supplicioque digni, qui non solum vestris domiciliis atque tectis sed etiam deorum templis atque delubris sunt funestos ac nefarios ignes inferre conati. Quibus ego si me restitisse dicam, nimium mihi sumam et non sim ferendus; ille, ille Iuppiter restitit; ille Capitolium, ille haec templa, ille cunctam urbem, ille vos omnis salvos esse voluit. Dis ego inmortalibus ducibus hanc mentem, Quirites, voluntatemque suscepi atque ad haec tanta indicia perveni. Iam vero illa Allobrogum sollicitatio, iam ab Lentulo ceterisque domesticis hostibus tam dementer tantae res creditae et ignotis et barbaris commissaeque litterae numquam essent profecto, nisi ab dis inmortalibus huic tantae audaciae consilium esset ereptum. Quid vero? ut homines Galli ex civitate male pacata, quae gens una restat quae bellum populo Romano facere et posse et non nolle videatur, spem imperii ac rerum maxumarum ultro sibi a patriciis hominibus oblatam neglegerent vestramque salutem suis opibus anteponerent, id non divinitus esse factum putatis, praesertim qui nos non pugnando, sed tacendo superare potuerint?
[ N ] [ A ] X. Quam ob rem, Quirites, quoniam ad omnia pulvinaria supplicatio decreta est, celebratote illos dies cum coniugibus ac liberis vestris. Nam multi saepe honores dis inmortalibus iusti habiti sunt ac debiti, sed profecto iustiores numquam. Erepti enim estis ex crudelissimo ac miserrimo interitu erepti sine caede, sine sanguine, sine exercitu, sine dimicatione togati me uno togato duce et imperatore vicistis.
[ N ] [ A ] Etenim recordamini, Quirites, omnis civiles dissensiones, non solum eas, quas audistis, sed eas, quas vosmet ipsi meministis atque vidistis. L. Sulla P. Sulpicium oppressit eiecit ex urbe; C. Marium, custodem huius urbis, multosque fortis viros partim eiecit ex civitate, partim interemit. Cn. Octavius consul armis expulit ex urbe collegam; omnis hic locus acervis corporum et civium sanguine redundavit. Superavit postea Cinna cum Mario; tum vero clarissimis viris interfectis lumina civitatis extincta sunt. Ultus est huius victoriae crudelitatem postea Sulla; ne dici quidem opus est, quanta deminutione civium et quanta calamitate rei publicae. Dissensit M. Lepidus a clarissimo et fortissimo viro, Q. Catulo; attulit non tam ipsius interitus rei publicae luctum quam ceterorum.
[ N ] [ A ] Atque illae tamen omnes dissensiones erant eius modi, Quirites, quae non ad delendam, sed ad commutandam rem publicam pertinerent. Non illi nullam esse rem publicam, sed in ea, quae esset, se esse principes, neque hanc urbem conflagrare, sed se in hac urbe florere voluerunt. Atque illae tamen omnes dissensiones, quarum nulla exitium rei publicae quaesivit, eius modi fuerunt, ut non reconciliatione concordiae, sed internecione civium diiudicatae sint. In hoc autem uno post hominum memoriam maximo crudelissimoque bello, quale bellum nulla umquam barbaria cum sua gente gessit, quo in bello lex haec fuit a Lentulo, Catilina, Cethego, Cassio constituta, ut omnes, qui salva urbe salvi esse possent, in hostium numero ducerentur, ita me gessi, Quirites, ut salvi omnes conservaremini, et, cum hostes vestri tantum civium superfuturum putassent, quantum infinitae caedi restitisset, tantum autem urbis, quantum flamma obire non potuisset, et urbem et civis integros incolumesque servavi.
[ N ] [ A ] XI. Quibus pro tantis rebus, Quirites, nullum ego a vobis praemium virtutis, nullum insigne honoris, nullum monumentum laudis postulo praeterquam huius diei memoriam sempiternam. In animis ego vestris omnes triumphos meos, omnia ornamenta honoris, monumenta gloriae, laudis insignia condi et collocari volo. Nihil me mutum potest delectare, nihil tacitum, nihil denique eius modi, quod etiam minus digni adsequi possint. Memoria vestra, Quirites, nostrae res alentur, sermonibus crescent, litterarum monumentis inveterascent et corroborabuntur; eandemque diem intellego, quam spero aeternam fore, propagatam esse et ad salutem urbis et ad memoriam consulatus mei, unoque tempore in hac re publica duos civis extitisse quorum alter finis vestri imperii non terrae, sed caeli regionibus terminaret, alter eiusdem imperii domicilium sedesque servaret.
[ N ] [ A ] XII. Sed quoniam earum rerum, quas ego gessi, non eadem est fortuna atque condicio quae illorum, qui externa bella gesserunt, quod mihi cum iis vivendum est, quos vici ac subegi, illi hostes aut interfectos aut oppressos reliquerunt, vestrum est, Quirites, si ceteris facta sua recte prosunt, mihi mea ne quando obsint, providere. Mentes enim hominum audacissimorum sceleratae ac nefariae ne vobis nocere possent, ego providi, ne mihi noceant, vestrum est providere. Quamquam, Quirites, mihi quidem ipsi nihil ab istis iam noceri potest. Magnum enim est in bonis praesidium, quod mihi in perpetuum comparatum est, magna in re publica dignitas, quae me semper tacita defendet, magna vis conscientiae, quam qui neglegunt, cum me violare volent, se ipsi indicabunt.
[ N ] [ A ] Est enim in nobis is animus, Quirites, ut non modo nullius audaciae cedamus, sed etiam omnis inprobos ultro semper lacessamus. Quodsi omnis impetus domesticorum hostium depulsus a vobis se in me unum convorterit, vobis erit videndum, Quirites, qua condicione posthac eos esse velitis, qui se pro salute vestra obtulerint invidiae periculisque omnibus; mihi quidem ipsi quid est quod iam ad vitae fructum possit adquiri, cum praesertim neque in honore vestro neque in gloria virtutis quicquam videam altius, quo mihi libeat ascendere?
[ N ] [ A ] Illud perficiam profecto, Quirites, ut ea, quae gessi in consulatu, privatus tuear atque ornem, ut, si qua est invidia in conservanda re publica suscepta, laedat invidos, mihi valeat ad gloriam. Denique ita me in re publica tractabo, ut meminerim semper, quae gesserim, curemque, ut ea virtute, non casu gesta esse videantur. Vos, Quirites, quoniam iam est nox, venerati Iovem illum, custodem huius urbis ac vestrum, in vestra tecta discedite et ea, quamquam iam est periculum depulsum, tamen aeque ac priore nocte custodiis vigiliisque defendite. Id ne vobis diutius faciundum sit, atque ut in perpetua pace esse possitis, providebo.
[ N ] Argumentum
In Catilinam IV Read aloud by Félix Vallejo on YouTube.
[ N ] [ A ] I. Video, patres conscripti, in me omnium vestrum ora atque oculos esse conversos, video vos non solum de vestro ac rei publicae, verum etiam, si id depulsum sit, de meo periculo esse sollicitos. Est mihi iucunda in malis et grata in dolore vestra erga me voluntas, sed eam, per deos inmortales, deponite atque obliti salutis meae de vobis ac de vestris liberis cogitate. Mihi si haec condicio consulatus data est, ut omnis acerbitates, omnis dolores cruciatusque perferrem, feram non solum fortiter, verum etiam lubenter, dummodo meis laboribus vobis populoque Romano dignitas salusque pariatur.
[ N ] [ A ] Ego sum ille consul, patres conscripti, cui non forum, in quo omnis aequitas continetur, non campus consularibus auspiciis consecratus, non curia, summum auxilium omnium gentium, non domus, commune perfugium, non lectus ad quietem datus, non denique haec sedes honoris [sella curulis] umquam vacua mortis periculo atque insidiis fuit. Ego multa tacui, multa pertuli, multa concessi, multa meo quodam dolore in vestro timore sanavi. Nunc si hunc exitum consulatus mei di inmortales esse voluerunt, ut vos populumque Romanum ex caede miserrima, coniuges liberosque vestros virginesque Vestales ex acerbissima vexatione, templa atque delubra, hanc pulcherrimam patriam omnium nostrum ex foedissima flamma, totam Italiam ex bello et vastitate eriperem, quaecumque mihi uni proponetur fortuna, subeatur. Etenim, si P. Lentulus suum nomen inductus a vatibus fatale ad perniciem rei publicae fore putavit, cur ego non laeter meum consulatum ad salutem populi Romani prope fatalem extitisse?
[ N ] [ A ] II. Quare, patres conscripti, consulite vobis, prospicite patriae, conservate vos, coniuges, liberos fortunasque vestras, populi Romani nomen salutemque defendite; mihi parcere ac de me cogitare desinite. Nam primum debeo sperare omnis deos, qui huic urbi praesident, pro eo mihi, ac mereor, relaturos esse gratiam; deinde, si quid obtigerit, aequo animo paratoque moriar. Nam neque turpis mors forti viro potest accidere neque immatura consulari nec misera sapienti. Nec tamen ego sum ille ferreus, qui fratris carissimi atque amantissimi praesentis maerore non movear horumque omnium lacrumis, a quibus me circumsessum videtis. Neque meam mentem non domum saepe revocat exanimata uxor et abiecta metu filia et parvulus filius quem mihi videtur amplecti res publica tamquam obsidem consulatus mei, neque ille, qui expectans huius exitum diei stat in conspectu meo, gener. Moveo his rebus omnibus, sed in eam partem, uti salvi sint vobiscum omnes, etiamsi me vis aliqua oppresserit, potius quam et illi et nos una rei publicae peste pereamus.
[ N ] [ A ] Quare, patres conscripti, incumbite ad salutem rei publicae, circumspicite omnes procellas, quae inpendent, nisi providetis. Non Ti. Gracchus, quod iterum tribunus plebis fieri voluit, non C. Gracchus, quod agrarios concitare conatus est, non L. Saturninus, quod C. Memmium occidit, in discrimen aliquod atque in vestrae severitatis iudicium adducitur. Tenentur ii, qui ad urbis incendium, ad vestram omnium caedem, ad Catilinam accipiendum Romae restiterunt, tenentur litterae, signa, manus, denique unius cuiusque confessio; sollicitantur Allobroges, servitia excitantur, Catilina accersitur; id est initum consilium, ut interfectis omnibus nemo ne ad deplorandum quidem populi Romani nomen atque ad lamentandam tanti imperii calamitatem relinquatur.
[ N ] [ A ] III. Haec omnia indices detulerunt, rei confessi sunt, vos multis iam iudiciis iudicavistis, primum quod mihi gratias egistis singularibus verbis et mea virtute atque diligentia perditorum hominum coniurationem patefactam esse decrevistis, deinde quod P. Lentulum se abdicare praetura coegistis, tum quod eum et ceteros, de quibus iudicastis, in custodiam dandos censuistis, maximeque quod meo nomine supplicationem decrevistis, qui honos togato habitus ante me est nemini; postremo hesterno die praemia legatis Allobrogum Titoque Volturcio dedistis amplissima. Quae sunt omnia eius modi, ut ii, qui in custodiam nominatim dati sunt, sine ulla dubitatione a vobis damnati esse videantur.
[ N ] [ A ] Sed ego institui referre ad vos, patres conscripti, tamquam integrum, et de facto quid iudicetis, et de poena quid censeatis. Illa praedicam, quae sunt consulis. Ego magnum in re publica versari furorem et nova quaedam misceri et concitari mala iam pridem videbam, sed hanc tantam, tam exitiosam haberi coniurationem a civibus numquam putavi. Nunc quicquid est, quocumque vestrae mentes inclinant atque sententiae, statuendum vobis ante noctem est. Quantum facinus ad vos delatum sit, videtis. Huic si paucos putatis adfines esse, vehementer erratis. Latius opinione disseminatum est hoc malum; manavit non solum per Italiam, verum etiam transcendit Alpes et obscure serpens multas iam provincias occupavit. Id opprimi sustentando aut prolatando nullo pacto potest; quacumque ratione placet, celeriter vobis vindicandum est.
[ N ] [ A ] IV. Video duas adhuc esse sententias, unam D. Silani, qui censet eos, qui haec delere conati sunt, morte esse multandos; alteram C. Caesaris, qui mortis poenam removet, ceterorum suppliciorum omnis acerbitates amplectitur. Uterque et pro sua dignitate et pro rerum magnitudine in summa severitate versatur. Alter eos, qui nos omnis, qui populum Romanum vita privare conati sunt, qui delere imperium, qui populi Romani nomen extinguere, punctum temporis frui vita et hoc communi spiritu non putat oportere atque hoc genus poenae saepe in inprobos civis in hac re publica esse usurpatum recordatur. Alter intellegit mortem ab dis inmortalibus non esse supplicii causa constitutam, sed aut necessitatem naturae aut laborum ac miseriarum quietem esse. Itaque eam sapientes numquam inviti, fortes saepe etiam lubenter oppetiverunt. Vincula vero, et ea sempiterna, certe ad singularem poenam nefarii sceleris inventa sunt. Municipiis dispertiri iubet. Habere videtur ista res iniquitatem, si imperare velis, difficultatem, si rogare.
[ N ] [ A ] Decernatur tamen, si placet. Ego enim suscipiam et, ut spero, reperiam, qui id, quod salutis omnium causa statueritis, non putent esse suae dignitatis recusare. Adiungit gravem poenam municipiis, si quis eorum vincula ruperit; horribiles custodias circumdat et dignas scelere hominum perditorum; sancit, ne quis eorum poenam, quos condemnat, aut per senatum aut per populum levare possit; eripit etiam spem, quae sola homines in miseriis consolari solet. Bona praeterea publicari iubet, vitam solam relinquit nefariis hominibus; quam si eripuisset, multas uno dolore animi atque corporis miserias et omnis scelerum poenas ademisset. Itaque ut aliqua in vita formido inprobis esset posita apud inferos eius modi quaedam illi antiqui supplicia impiis constituta esse voluerunt, quod videlicet intellegebant his remotis non esse mortem ipsam pertimescendam.
[ N ] [ A ] V. Nunc, patres conscripti, ego mea video quid intersit. Si eritis secuti sententiam C. Caesaris, quoniam hanc is in re publica viam, quae popularis habetur, secutus est, fortasse minus erunt hoc auctore et cognitore huiusce sententiae mihi populares impetus pertimescendi; sin illam alteram, nescio an amplius mihi negotii contrahatur. Sed tamen meorum periculorum rationes utilitas rei publicae vincat. Habemus enim a Caesare, sicut ipsius dignitas et maiorum eius amplitudo postulabat, sententiam tamquam obsidem perpetuae in rem publicam voluntatis. Intellectum est, quid interesset inter levitatem contionatorum et animum vere popularem saluti populi consulentem.
[ N ] [ A ] Video de istis, qui se populares haberi volunt, abesse non neminem, ne de capite videlicet civium Romanorum sententiam ferat. Is et nudius tertius in custodiam cives Romanos dedit et supplicationem mihi decrevit et indices hesterno die maximis praemiis adfecit. Iam hoc nemini dubium est qui reo custodiam, quaesitori gratulationem, indici praemium decrerit, quid de tota re et causa iudicarit. At vero C. Caesar intellegit legem Semproniam esse de civibus Romanis constitutam; qui autem rei publicae sit hostis, eum civem esse nullo modo posse; denique ipsum latorem Semproniae legis [iussu?] iniussu populi poenas rei publicae dependisse. Idem ipsum Lentulum, largitorem et prodigum, non putat, cum de pernicie populi Romani, exitio huius urbis tam acerbe, tam crudeliter cogitarit, etiam appellari posse popularem. Itaque homo mitissimus atque lenissimus non dubitat P. Lentulum aeternis tenebris vinculisque mandare et sancit in posterum, ne quis huius supplicio levando se iactare et in pernicie populi Romani posthac popularis esse possit. Adiungit etiam publicationem bonorum, ut omnis animi cruciatus et corporis etiam egestas ac mendicitas consequatur.
[ N ] [ A ] VI. Quam ob rem, sive hoc statueritis, dederitis mihi comitem ad contionem populo carum atque iucundum, sive Silani sententiam sequi malueritis, facile me atque vos a crudelitatis vituperatione populo Romano purgabo atque obtinebo eam multo leniorem fuisse. Quamquam, patres conscripti, quae potest esse in tanti sceleris inmanitate punienda crudelitas? Ego enim de meo sensu iudico. Nam ita mihi salva re publica vobiscum perfrui liceat, ut ego, quod in hac causa vehementior sum, non atrocitate animi moveor (quis enim est me mitior?), sed singulari quadam humanitate et misericordia. Videor enim mihi videre hanc urbem, lucem orbis terrarum atque arcem omnium gentium, subito uno incendio concidentem, cerno animo sepulta in patria miseros atque insepultos acervos civium, versatur mihi ante oculos aspectus Cethegi et furor in vestra caede bacchantis.
[ N ] [ A ] Cum vero mihi proposui regnantem Lentulum, sicut ipse se ex fatis sperasse confessus est, purpuratum esse huic Glabinium, cum exercitu venisse Catilinam, tum lamentationem matrum familias, tum fugam virginum atque puerorum ac vexationem virginum Vestalium perhorresco et, quia mihi vehementer haec videntur misera atque miseranda, idcirco in eos, qui ea perlicere voluerunt, me severum vehementemque praebeo. Etenim quaero, si quis pater familias liberis suis a servo interfectis, uxore occisa, incensa domo supplicium de servo non quam acerbissumum sumpserit, utrum is clemens ac misericors an inhumanissimus et crudelissimus esse videatur. Mihi vero inportunus ac ferreus, qui non dolore et cruciatu nocentis suum dolorem cruciatumque lenierit. Sic nos in his hominibus, qui nos, qui coniuges, qui liberos nostros trucidare voluerunt, qui singulas unius cuiusque nostrum domos et hoc universum rei publicae domicilium delere conati sunt, qui id egerunt, ut gentem Allobrogum in vestigiis huius urbis atque in cinere deflagrati imperii collocarent, si vehementissimi fuerimus, misericordes habebimur; sin remissiores esse voluerimus, summae nobis crudelitatis in patriae civiumque pernicie fama subeunda est.
[ N ] [ A ] Nisi vero cuipiam L. Caesar, vir fortissimus et amantissimus rei publicae, crudelior nudius tertius visus est, cum sororis suae, feminae lectissimae, virum praesentem et audientem vita privandum esse dixit, cum avum suum iussu consulis interfectum filiumque eius inpuberem legatum a patre missum in carcere necatum esse dixit. Quorum quod simile factum, quod initum delendae rei publicae consilium? Largitionis voluntas tum in re publica versata est et partium quaedam contentio. Atque illo tempore huius avus Lentuli, vir clarissimus, armatus Gracchum est persecutus. Ille etiam grave tum vulnus accepit, ne quid de summa re publica deminueretur; hic ad evertenda rei publicae fundamenta Gallos accersit, servitia concitat, Catilinam vocat, adtribuit nos trucidandos Cethego et ceteros civis interficiendos Gabinio, urbem inflammandam Cassio, totam Italiam vastandam diripiendamque Catilinae. Vereamini censeo, ne in hoc scelere tam immani ac nefando nimis aliquid severe statuisse videamini; multo magis est verendum, ne remissione poenas crudeles in patriam quam ne severitate animadversionis nimis vehementes in acerbissimos hostis fuisse videamur.
[ N ] [ A ] VII. Sed ea, quae exaudio, patres conscripti, dissimulare non possum. Iaciuntur enim voces quae perveniunt ad auris meas eorum qui vereri videntur, ut habeam satis praesidii ad ea, quae vos statueritis hodierno die, transigunda. Omnia et provisa et parata et constituta sunt, patres conscripti, cum mea summa cura atque diligentia, tum etiam multo maiore populi Romani ad summum imperium retinendum et ad communes fortunas conservandas voluntate. Omnes adsunt omnium ordinum homines, omnium generum, omnium denique aetatum; plenum est forum, plena templa circum forum, pleni omnes aditus huius templi ac loci. Causa est enim post urbem conditam haec inventa sola, in qua omnes sentirent unum atque idem praeter eos, qui cum sibi viderent esse pereundum, cum omnibus potius quam soli perire voluerunt.
[ N ] [ A ] Hosce ego homines excipio et secerno lubenter neque in inproborum civium, sed in acerbissimorum hostium numero habendos puto. Ceteri vero, di inmortales! qua frequentia, quo studio, qua virtute ad communem salutem dignitatemque consentiunt! Quid ego hic equites Romanos commemorem? qui vobis ita summam ordinis consiliique concedunt, ut vobiscum de amore rei publicae certent; quos ex multorum annorum dissensione huius ordinis ad societatem concordiamque revocatos hodiernus dies vobiscum atque haec causa coniungit. Quam si coniunctionem in consulatu confirmatam meo perpetuam in re publica tenuerimus, confirmo vobis nullum posthac malum civile ac domesticum ad ullam rei publicae partem esse venturum. Pari studio defendundae rei publicae convenisse video tribunos aerarios, fortissimos viros; scribas item universos, quos cum casu hic dies ad aerarium frequentasset, video ab expectatione sortis ad salutem communem esse conversos.
[ N ] [ A ] Omnis ingenuorum adest multitudo, etiam tenuissimorum. Quis est enim, cui non haec templa, aspectus urbis, possessio libertatis, lux denique haec ipsa et hoc commune patriae solum cum sit carum, tum vero dulce atque iucundum?
VIII. Operae pretium est, patres conscripti, libertinorum hominum studia cognoscere, qui sua virtute fortunam huius civitatis consecuti vere hanc suam esse patriam iudicant, quam quidam hic nati, et summo nati loco, non patriam suam, sed urbem hostium esse iudicaverunt. Sed quid ego hosce homines ordinesque commemoro, quos privatae fortunae, quos communis res publica, quos denique libertas, ea quae dulcissima est, ad salutem patriae defendendam excitavit? Servus est nemo, qui modo tolerabili condicione sit servitutis, qui non audaciam civium perhorrescat, qui non haec stare cupiat, qui non tantum, quantum audet et quantum potest, conferat ad communem salutem voluntatis.
[ N ] [ A ] Quare si quem vestrum forte commovet hoc, quod auditum est, lenonem quendam Lentuli concursare circum tabernas, pretio sperare sollicitari posse animos egentium atque imperitorum, est id quidem coeptum atque temptatum, sed nulli sunt inventi tam aut fortuna miseri aut voluntate perditi, qui non illum ipsum sellae atque operis et quaestus cotidiani locum, qui non cubile ac lectulum suum, qui denique non cursum hunc otiosum vitae suae salvum esse velint. Multo vero maxima pars eorum, qui in tabernis sunt, immo vero (id enim potius est dicendum) genus hoc universum amantissimum est otii. Etenim omne instrumentum, omnis opera atque quaestus sequentia civium sustentatur, alitur otio; quorum si quaestus occlusis tabernis minui solet, quid tandem incensis futurum fuit?
[ N ] [ A ] Quae cum ita sint, patres conscripti, vobis populi Romani praesidia non desunt; vos ne populo Romano deesse videamini, providete.
XI. Habetis consulem ex plurimis periculis et insidiis atque ex media morte non ad vitam suam, sed ad salutem vestram reservatum. Omnes ordines ad conservandam rem publicam mente, voluntate, studio, virtute, voce consentiunt. Obsessa facibus et telis impiae coniurationis vobis supplex manus tendit patria communis, vobis se, vobis vitam omnium civium, vobis arcem et Capitolium, vobis aras Penatium, vobis illum ignem Vestae sempiternum, vobis omnium deorum templa atque delubra, vobis muros atque urbis tecta commendat. Praeterea de vestra vita, de coniugum vestrarum atque liberorum anima, de fortunis omnium, de sedibus, de focis vestris hodierno die vobis iudicandum est.
[ N ] [ A ] Habetis ducem memorem vestri, oblitum sui, quae non semper facultas datur; habetis omnis ordines, omnis homines, universum populum Romanum, id quod in civili causa hodierno die primum videmus, unum atque idem sentientem. Cogitate quantis laboribus fundatum imperium, quanta virtute stabilitam libertatem, quanta deorum benignitate auctas exaggeratasque fortunas una nox paene delerit. Id ne umquam posthac non modo non confici, sed ne cogitari quidem possit a civibus, hodierno die providendum est. Atque haec, non ut vos, qui mihi studio paene praecurritis, excitarem, locutus sum, sed ut mea vox, quae debet esse in re publica princeps, officio functa consulari videretur.
[ N ] [ A ] X. Nunc, antequam ad sententiam redeo, de me pauca dicam. Ego, quanta manus est coniuratorum, quam videtis esse permagnam, tantam me inimicorum multitudinem suscepisse video; sed eam esse iudico turpem et infirmam et contemptam et abiectam. Quodsi aliquando alicuius furore et scelere concitata manus ista plus valuerit quam vestra ac rei publicae dignitas, me tamen meorum factorum atque consiliorum numquam, patres conscripti, paenitebit. Etenim mors, quam illi mihi fortasse minitantur, omnibus est parata; vitae tantam laudem, quanta vos me vestris decretis honestastis, nemo est adsecutus. Ceteris enim bene gesta, mihi uni conservata re publica gratulationem decrevistis.
[ N ] [ A ] Sit Scipio clarus ille, cuius consilio atque virtute Hannibal in Africam redire atque ex Italia decedere coactus est; ornetur alter eximia laude Africanus, qui duas urbes huic imperio infestissimas, Carthaginem Numantiamque, delevit; habeatur vir egregius Paulus ille, cuius currum rex potentissimus quondam et nobilissimus Perses honestavit; sit aeterna gloria Marius, qui bis Italiam obsidione et metu servitutis liberavit; anteponatur omnibus Pompeius, cuius res gestae atque virtutes isdem quibus solis cursus regionibus ac terminis continentur. Erit profecto inter horum laudes aliquid loci nostrae gloriae, nisi forte maius est patefacere nobis provincias, quo exire possimus, quam curare, ut etiam illi, qui absunt, habeant, quo victores revertantur.
[ N ] [ A ] Quamquam est uno loco condicio melior externae victoriae quam domesticae, quod hostes alienigenae aut oppressi serviunt aut recepti in amicitiam beneficio se obligatos putant; qui autem ex numero civium dementia aliqua depravati hostes patriae semel esse coeperunt, eos cum a pernicie rei publicae reppuleris, nec vi coercere nec beneficio placare possis. Quare mihi cum perditis civibus aeternum bellum susceptum esse video. Id ego vestro bonorumque omnium auxilio memoriaque tantorum periculorum, quae non modo in hoc populo, qui servatus est, sed in omnium gentium sermonibus ac mentibus semper haerebit, a me atque a meis facile propulsari posse confido. Neque ulla profecto tanta vis reperietur, quae coniunctionem vestram equitumque Romanorum et tantam conspirationem bonorum omnium confringere et labefactare possit.
[ N ] [ A ] XI. Quae cum ita sint, pro imperio, pro exercitu, pro provincia, quam neglexi, pro triumpho ceterisque laudis insignibus, quae sunt a me propter urbis vestraeque salutis custodiam repudiata, pro clientelis hospitiisque provincialibus, quae tamen urbanis opibus non minore labore tueor quam comparo, pro his igitur omnibus rebus, pro meis in vos singularibus studiis proque hac, quam perspicitis, ad conservandam rem publicam diligentia nihil a vobis nisi huius temporis totiusque mei consulatus memoriam postulo; quae dum erit in vestris fixa mentibus, tutissimo me muro saeptum esse arbitrabor. Quodsi meam spem vis inproborum fefellerit atque superaverit, commendo vobis parvum meum filium, cui profecto satis erit praesidii non solum ad salutem, verum etiam ad dignitatem, si eius, qui haec omnia suo solius periculo conservarit, illum filium esse memineritis.
[ N ] [ A ] Quapropter de summa salute vestra populique Romani, de vestris coniugibus ac liberis, de aris ac focis, de fanis atque templis de totius urbis tectis ac sedibus, de imperio ac libertate, de salute Italiae, de universa re publica decernite diligenter, ut instituistis, ac fortiter. Habetis eum consulem, qui et parere vestris decretis non dubitet et ea, quae statueritis, quoad vivet, defendere et per se ipsum praestare possit.
[ N ][ A ] Omnis homines, qui sese student praestare ceteris animalibus, summa ope niti decet, ne vitam silentio transeant veluti pecora, quae natura prona atque ventri oboedientia finxit. Sed nostra omnis vis in animo et corpore sita est: animi imperio, corporis servitio magis utimur; alterum nobis cum dis, alterum cum beluis commune est. Quo mihi rectius videtur ingeni quam virium opibus gloriam quaerere et, quoniam vita ipsa, qua fruimur, brevis est, memoriam nostri quam maxume longam efficere. Nam divitiarum et formae gloria fluxa atque fragilis est, virtus clara aeternaque habetur.
Sed diu magnum inter mortalis certamen fuit, vine corporis an virtute animi res militaris magis procederet. Nam et, prius quam incipias, consulto et, ubi consulueris, mature facto opus est. Ita utrumque per se indigens alterum alterius auxilio eget.
[ N ][ A ] Igitur initio reges — nam in terris nomen imperi id primum fuit — divorsi pars ingenium, alii corpus exercebant: etiam tum vita hominum sine cupiditate agitabatur; sua cuique satis placebant. Postea vero quam in Asia Cyrus, in Graecia Lacedaemonii et Athenienses coepere urbis atque nationes subigere, lubidinem dominandi causam belli habere, maxumam gloriam in maxumo imperio putare, tum demum periculo atque negotiis compertum est in bello plurumum ingenium posse. Quod si regum atque imperatorum animi virtus in pace ita ut in bello valeret, aequabilius atque constantius sese res humanae haberent neque aliud alio ferri neque mutari ac misceri omnia cerneres. Nam imperium facile iis artibus retinetur, quibus initio partum est. Verum ubi pro labore desidia, pro continentia et aequitate lubido atque superbia invasere, fortuna simul cum moribus inmutatur. Ita imperium semper ad optumum quemque a minus bono transfertur.
Quae homines arant, navigant, aedificant, virtuti omnia parent. Sed multi mortales, dediti ventri atque somno, indocti incultique vitam sicuti peregrinantes transiere; quibus profecto contra naturam corpus voluptati, anima oneri fuit. Eorum ego vitam mortemque iuxta aestumo, quoniam de utraque siletur. Verum enim vero is demum mihi vivere atque frui anima videtur, qui aliquo negotio intentus praeclari facinoris aut artis bonae famam quaerit.
[ N ][ A ] Sed in magna copia rerum aliud alii natura iter ostendit.
Pulchrum est bene facere rei publicae, etiam bene dicere haud absurdum est; vel pace vel bello clarum fieri licet; et qui fecere et qui facta aliorum scripsere, multi laudantur. Ac mihi quidem, tametsi haudquaquam par gloria sequitur scriptorem et actorem rerum, tamen in primis arduum videtur res gestas scribere: primum, quod facta dictis exaequanda sunt; dehinc, quia plerique, quae delicta reprehenderis, malevolentia et invidia dicta putant, ubi de magna virtute atque gloria bonorum memores, quae sibi quisque facilia factu putat, aequo animo accipit, supra ea veluti ficta pro falsis ducit.
Sed ego adulescentulus initio, sicuti plerique, studio ad rem publicam latus sum ibique mihi multa advorsa fuere. Nam pro pudore, pro abstinentia, pro virtute audacia, largitio, avaritia vigebant. Quae tametsi animus aspernabatur insolens malarum artium, tamen inter tanta vitia imbecilla aetas ambitione corrupta tenebatur; ac me, cum ab reliquorum malis moribus dissentirem, nihilo minus honoris cupido eadem, qua ceteros, fama atque invidia vexabat.
[ N ][ A ] Igitur ubi animus ex multis miseriis atque periculis requievit et mihi reliquam aetatem a re publica procul habendam decrevi, non fuit consilium socordia atque desidia bonum otium conterere neque vero agrum colundo aut venando servilibus officiis, intentum aetatem agere; sed, a quo incepto studioque me ambitio mala detinuerat, eodem regressus statui res gestas populi Romani carptim, ut quaeque memoria digna videbantur, perscribere, eo magis, quod mihi a spe, metu, partibus rei publicae animus liber erat. Igitur de Catilinae coniuratione, quam verissume potero, paucis absolvam; nam id facinus in primis ego memorabile existumo sceleris atque periculi novitate. De cuius hominis moribus pauca prius explananda sunt, quam initium narrandi faciam.
[ N ][ A ] L. Catilina, nobili genere natus, fuit magna vi et animi et corporis, sed ingenio malo pravoque. Huic ab adulescentia bella intestina, caedes, rapinae, discordia civilis grata fuere ibique iuventutem suam exercuit. Corpus patiens inediae, algoris, vigiliae supra quam cuiquam credibile est. Animus audax, subdolus, varius, cuius rei lubet simulator ac dissimulator, alieni adpetens, sui profusus, ardens in cupiditatibus; satis eloquentiae, sapientiae parum. Vastus animus inmoderata, incredibilia, nimis alta semper cupiebat. Hunc post dominationem L. Sullae lubido maxuma invaserat rei publicae capiundae; neque id quibus modis adsequeretur, dum sibi regnum pararet, quicquam pensi habebat. Agitabatur magis magisque in dies animus ferox inopia rei familiaris et conscientia scelerum, quae utraque iis artibus auxerat, quas supra memoravi. Incitabant praeterea corrupti civitatis mores, quos pessuma ac divorsa inter se mala, luxuria atque avaritia, vexabant.
Res ipsa hortari videtur, quoniam de moribus civitatis tempus admonuit, supra repetere ac paucis instituta maiorum domi militiaeque, quo modo rem publicam habuerint quantamque reliquerint, ut paulatim inmutata ex pulcherruma atque optuma pessuma ac flagitiosissuma facta sit, disserere.
[ N ][ A ] Urbem Romam, sicuti ego accepi, condidere atque habuere initio Troiani, qui Aenea duce profugi sedibus incertis vagabantur, cumque iis Aborigines, genus hominum agreste, sine legibus, sine imperio, liberum atque solutum. Hi postquam in una moenia convenere, dispari genere, dissimili lingua, alii alio more viventes, incredibile memoratu est, quam facile coaluerint: ita brevi multitudo dispersa atque vaga concordia civitas facta erat.
Sed postquam res eorum civibus, moribus, agris aucta satis prospera satisque pollens videbatur, sicuti pleraque mortalium habentur, invidia ex opulentia orta est. Igitur reges populique finitumi bello temptare, pauci ex amicis auxilio esse; nam ceteri metu perculsi a periculis aberant. At Romani domi militiaeque intenti festinare, parare, alius alium hortari, hostibus obviam ire, libertatem, patriam parentisque armis tegere. Post, ubi pericula virtute propulerant, sociis atque amicis auxilia portabant magisque dandis quam accipiundis beneficiis amicitias parabant. Imperium legitumum, nomen imperi regium habebant. Delecti, quibus corpus annis infirmum, ingenium sapientia validum erat, rei publicae consultabant; hi vel aetate vel curae similitudine patres appellabantur. Post, ubi regium imperium, quod initio conservandae libertatis atque augendae rei publicae fuerat, in superbiam dominationemque se convortit, inmutato more annua imperia binosque imperatores sibi fecere: eo modo minume posse putabant per licentiam insolescere animum humanum.
[ N ][ A ] Sed ea tempestate coepere se quisque magis extollere magisque ingenium in promptu habere. Nam regibus boni quam mali suspectiores sunt semperque iis aliena virtus formidulosa est. Sed civitas incredibile memoratu est adepta libertate quantum brevi creverit: tanta cupido gloriae incesserat. Iam primum iuventus, simul ac belli patiens erat, in castris per laborem usum militiae discebat magisque in decoris armis et militaribus equis quam in scortis atque conviviis lubidinem habebant. Igitur talibus viris non labor insolitus, non locus ullus asper aut arduus erat, non armatus hostis formidulosus: virtus omnia domuerat. Sed gloriae maxumum certamen inter ipsos erat: se quisque hostem ferire, murum ascendere, conspici, dum tale facinus faceret, properabat. Eas divitias, eam bonam famam magnamque nobilitatem putabant. Laudis avidi, pecuniae liberales erant, gloriam ingentem, divitias honestas volebant. Memorare possum, quibus in locis maxumas hostium copias populus Romanus parva manu fuderit, quas urbis natura munitas pugnando ceperit, ni ea res longius nos ab incepto traheret.
[ N ][ A ] Sed profecto fortuna in omni re dominatur; ea res cunctas ex lubidine magis quam ex vero celebrat obscuratque. Atheniensium res gestae, sicuti ego aestumo, satis amplae magnificaeque fuere, verum aliquanto minores tamen, quam fama feruntur. Sed quia provenere ibi scriptorum magna ingenia, per terrarum orbem Atheniensium facta pro maxumis celebrantur. Ita eorum, qui fecere, virtus tanta habetur, quantum eam verbis potuere extollere praeclara ingenia. At populo Romano numquam ea copia fuit, quia prudentissumus quisque maxume negotiosus erat: ingenium nemo sine corpore exercebat, optumus quisque facere quam dicere, sua ab aliis benefacta laudari quam ipse aliorum narrare malebat.
[ N ][ A ] Igitur domi militiaeque boni mores colebantur; concordia maxuma, minuma avaritia erat; ius bonumque apud eos non legibus magis quam natura valebat. Iurgia, discordias, simultates cum hostibus exercebant, cives cum civibus de virtute certabant. In suppliciis deorum magnifici, domi parci, in amicos fideles erant. Duabus his artibus, audacia in bello, ubi pax evenerat, aequitate, seque remque publicam curabant. Quarum rerum ego maxuma documenta haec habeo, quod in bello saepius vindicatum est in eos, qui contra imperium in hostem pugnaverant quique tardius revocati proelio excesserant, quam qui signa relinquere aut pulsi loco cedere ausi erant; in pace vero, quod beneficiis magis quam metu imperium agitabant et accepta iniuria ignoscere quam persequi malebant.
[ N ][ A ] Sed ubi labore atque iustitia res publica crevit, reges magni bello domiti, nationes ferae et populi ingentes vi subacti, Carthago, aemula imperi Romani, ab stirpe interiit, cuncta maria terraeque patebant, saevire fortuna ac miscere omnia coepit. Qui labores, pericula, dubias atque asperas res facile toleraverant, iis otium divitiaeque optanda alias, oneri miseriaeque fuere. Igitur primo imperi, deinde pecuniae cupido crevit: ea quasi materies omnium malorum fuere. Namque avaritia fidem, probitatem ceterasque artis bonas subvortit; pro his superbiam, crudelitatem, deos neglegere, omnia venalia habere edocuit. Ambitio multos mortalis falsos fieri subegit, aliud clausum in pectore, aliud in lingua promptum habere, amicitias inimicitiasque non ex re, sed ex commodo aestumare magisque voltum quam ingenium bonum habere. Haec primo paulatim crescere, interdum vindicari; post, ubi contagio quasi pestilentia invasit, civitas inmutata, imperium ex iustissumo atque optumo crudele intolerandumque factum.
[ N ][ A ] Sed primo magis ambitio quam avaritia animos hominum exercebat, quod tamen vitium propius virtutem erat. Nam gloriam, honorem, imperium bonus et ignavus aeque sibi exoptant; sed ille vera via nititur, huic quia bonae artes desunt, dolis atque fallaciis contendit. Avaritia pecuniae studium habet, quam nemo sapiens concupivit: ea quasi venenis malis inbuta corpus animumque virilem effeminat, semper infinita, insatiabilis est, neque copia neque inopia minuitur. Sed postquam L. Sulla armis recepta re publica bonis initiis malos eventus habuit, rapere omnes, omnes trahere, domum alius, alius agros cupere, neque modum neque modestiam victores habere, foeda crudeliaque in civis facinora facere. Huc accedebat, quod L. Sulla exercitum, quem in Asia ductaverat, quo sibi fidum faceret, contra morem maiorum luxuriose nimisque liberaliter habuerat. Loca amoena, voluptaria facile in otio ferocis militum animos molliverant. Ibi primum insuevit exercitus populi Romani amare, potare, signa, tabulas pictas, vasa caelata mirari, ea privatim et publice rapere, delubra spoliare, sacra profanaque omnia polluere. Igitur ii milites, postquam victoriam adepti sunt, nihil reliqui victis fecere. Quippe secundae res sapientium animos fatigant: ne illi corruptis moribus victoriae temperarent.
[ N ][ A ] Postquam divitiae honori esse coepere et eas gloria, imperium, potentia sequebatur, hebescere virtus, paupertas probro haberi, innocentia pro malevolentia duci coepit. Igitur ex divitiis iuventutem luxuria atque avaritia cum superbia invasere: rapere, consumere, sua parvi pendere, aliena cupere, pudorem, pudicitiam, divina atque humana promiscua, nihil pensi neque moderati habere. Operae pretium est, cum domos atque villas cognoveris in urbium modum exaedificatas, visere templa deorum, quae nostri maiores, religiosissumi mortales, fecere. Verum illi delubra deorum pietate, domos suas gloria decorabant neque victis quicquam praeter iniuriae licentiam eripiebant. At hi contra, ignavissumi homines, per summum scelus omnia ea sociis adimere, quae fortissumi viri victores reliquerant: proinde quasi iniuriam facere id demum esset imperio uti.
[ N ][ A ] Nam quid ea memorem, quae nisi iis, qui videre, nemini credibilia sunt: a privatis compluribus subvorsos montis, maria constrata esse? Quibus mihi videntur ludibrio fuisse divitiae: quippe, quas honeste habere licebat, abuti per turpitudinem properabant. Sed lubido stupri, ganeae ceterique cultus non minor incesserat: viri muliebria pati, mulieres pudicitiam in propatulo habere; vescendi causa terra marique omnia exquirere; dormire prius quam somni cupido esset; non famem aut sitim, neque frigus neque lassitudinem opperiri, sed ea omnia luxu antecapere. Haec iuventutem, ubi familiares opes defecerant, ad facinora incendebant: animus inbutus malis artibus haud facile lubidinibus carebat; eo profusius omnibus modis quaestui atque sumptui deditus erat.
[ N ][ A ] In tanta tamque corrupta civitate Catilina, id quod factu facillumum erat, omnium flagitiorum atque facinorum circum se tamquam stipatorum catervas habebat. Nam quicumque inpudicus, adulter, ganeo, manu, ventre, pene bona patria laceraverat quique alienum aes grande conflaverat, quo flagitium aut facinus redimeret, praeterea omnes undique parricidae, sacrilegi, convicti iudiciis aut pro factis iudicium timentes, ad hoc, quos manus atque lingua periurio aut sanguine civili alebat, postremo omnes, quos flagitium, egestas, conscius animus exagitabat, ii Catilinae proxumi familiaresque erant. Quod si quis etiam a culpa vacuus in amicitiam eius inciderat, cotidiano usu atque illecebris facile par similisque ceteris efficiebatur. Sed maxume adulescentium familiaritates adpetebat: eorum animi molles etiam et fluxi dolis haud difficulter capiebantur. Nam ut cuiusque studium ex aetate flagrabat, aliis scorta praebere, aliis canes atque equos mercari; postremo neque sumptui neque modestiae suae parcere, dum illos obnoxios fidosque sibi faceret. Scio fuisse nonnullos, qui ita existumarent: iuventutem, quae domum Catilinae frequentabat, parum honeste pudicitiam habuisse; sed ex aliis rebus magis quam quod cuiquam id compertum foret, haec fama valebat.
[ N ][ A ] Iam primum adulescens Catilina multa nefanda stupra fecerat, cum virgine nobili, cum sacerdote Vestae, alia huiusce modi contra ius fasque. Postremo captus amore Aureliae Orestillae, cuius praeter formam nihil umquam bonus laudavit, quod ea nubere illi dubitabat timens privignum adulta aetate, pro certo creditur necato filio vacuam domum scelestis nuptiis fecisse. Quae quidem res mihi in primis videtur causa fuisse facinus maturandi. Namque animus inpurus, dis hominibusque infestus, neque vigiliis neque quietibus sedari poterat: ita conscientia mentem excitam vastabat. Igitur color ei exsanguis, foedi oculi, citus modo, modo tardus incessus: prorsus in facie vultuque vecordia inerat.
[ N ][ A ] Sed iuventutem, quam, ut supra diximus, illexerat, multis modis mala facinora edocebat. Ex illis testis signatoresque falsos commodare; fidem, fortunas, pericula vilia habere, post, ubi eorum famam atque pudorem attriverat, maiora alia imperabat. Si causa peccandi in praesens minus suppetebat, nihilo minus insontis sicuti sontis circumvenire, iugulare: scilicet, ne per otium torpescerent manus aut animus, gratuito potius malus atque crudelis erat. His amicis sociisque confisus Catilina, simul quod aes alienum per omnis terras ingens erat et quod plerique Sullani milites largius suo usi rapinarum et victoriae veteris memores civile bellum exoptabant, opprimundae rei publicae consilium cepit. In Italia nullus exercitus, Cn. Pompeius in extremis terris bellum gerebat; ipsi consulatum petenti magna spes, senatus nihil sane intentus: tutae tranquillaeque res omnes, sed ea prorsus opportuna Catilinae.
[ N ][ A ] Igitur circiter Kalendas Iunias L. Caesare et C. Figulo consulibus primo singulos appellare, hortari alios, alios temptare; opes suas, inparatum rem publicam, magna praemia coniurationis docere. Ubi satis explorata sunt, quae voluit, in unum omnis convocat, quibus maxuma necessitudo et plurumum audaciae inerat. Eo convenere senatorii ordinis P. Lentulus Sura, P. Autronius, L. Cassius Longinus, C. Cethegus, P. et Ser. Sullae Ser. filii, L. Vargunteius, Q. Annius, M. Porcius Laeca, L. Bestia, Q. Curius; praeterea ex equestri ordine M. Fulvius Nobilior, L. Statilius, P. Gabinius Capito, C. Cornelius; ad hoc multi ex coloniis et municipiis domi nobiles. Erant praeterea complures paulo occultius consili huiusce participes nobiles, quos magis dominationis spes hortabatur quam inopia aut alia necessitudo. Ceterum iuventus pleraque, sed maxume nobilium, Catilinae inceptis favebat; quibus in otio vel magnifice vel molliter vivere copia erat, incerta pro certis, bellum quam pacem malebant. Fuere item ea tempestate, qui crederent M. Licinium Crassum non ignarum eius consili fuisse; quia Cn. Pompeius, invisus ipsi, magnum exercitum ductabat, cuiusvis opes voluisse contra illius potentiam crescere, simul confisum, si coniuratio valuisset, facile apud illos principem se fore.
[ N ][ A ] Sed antea item coniuravere pauci contra rem publicam, in quibus Catilina fuit. De qua, quam verissume potero, dicam. L. Tullo et M'. Lepido consulibus P. Autronius et P. Sulla designati consules legibus ambitus interrogati poenas dederant. Post paulo Catilina pecuniarum repetundarum reus prohibitus erat consulatum petere, quod intra legitumos dies profiteri nequiverat. Erat eodem tempore Cn. Piso, adulescens nobilis, summae audaciae, egens, factiosus, quem ad perturbandam rem publicam inopia atque mali mores stimulabant. Cum hoc Catilina et Autronius circiter Nonas Decembris consilio communicato parabant in Capitolio Kalendis Ianuariis L. Cottam et L. Torquatum consules interficere, ipsi fascibus correptis Pisonem cum exercitu ad obtinendas duas Hispanias mittere. Ea re cognita rursus in Nonas Februarias consilium caedis transtulerant. Iam tum non consulibus modo, sed plerisque senatoribus perniciem machinabantur. Quod ni Catilina maturasset pro curia signum sociis dare, eo die post conditam urbem Romam pessumum facinus patratum foret. Quia nondum frequentes armati convenerant, ea res consilium diremit.
[ N ][ A ] Postea Piso in citeriorem Hispaniam quaestor pro praetore missus est adnitente Crasso, quod eum infestum inimicum Cn. Pompeio cognoverat. Neque tamen senatus provinciam invitus dederat; quippe foedum hominem a republica procul esse volebat, simul quia boni conplures praesidium in eo putabant et iam tum potentia Pompei formidulosa erat. Sed is Piso in provincia ab equitibus Hispanis, quos in exercitu ductabat, iter faciens occisus est. Sunt, qui ita dicant: imperia eius iniusta, superba, crudelia barbaros nequivisse pati; alii autem: equites illos, Cn. Pompei veteres fidosque clientis, voluntate eius Pisonem aggressos; numquam Hispanos praeterea tale facinus fecisse, sed imperia saeva multa antea perpessos. Nos eam rem in medio relinquemus. De superiore coniuratione satis dictum.
[ N ][ A ] Catilina ubi eos, quos paulo ante memoravi, convenisse videt, tametsi cum singulis multa saepe egerat, tamen in rem fore credens univorsos appellare et cohortari in abditam partem aedium secedit atque ibi omnibus arbitris procul amotis orationem huiusce modi habuit:
« Ni virtus fidesque vostra spectata mihi forent, nequiquam opportuna res cecidisset; spes magna, dominatio in manibus frustra fuissent, neque ego per ignaviam aut vana ingenia incerta pro certis captarem. Sed quia multis et magnis tempestatibus vos cognovi fortis fidosque mihi, eo animus ausus est maxumum atque pulcherrumum facinus incipere, simul quia vobis eadem, quae mihi, bona malaque esse intellexi; nam idem velle atque idem nolle, ea demum firma amicitia est.
« Sed ego quae mente agitavi, omnes iam antea divorsi audistis. Ceterum mihi in dies magis animus accenditur, cum considero, quae condicio vitae futura sit, nisi nosmet ipsi vindicamus in libertatem. Nam postquam res publica in paucorum potentium ius atque dicionem concessit, semper illis reges, tetrarchae vectigales esse, populi, nationes stipendia pendere; ceteri omnes, strenui, boni, nobiles atque ignobiles, vulgus fuimus, sine gratia, sine auctoritate, iis obnoxii, quibus, si res publica valeret, formidini essemus. Itaque omnis gratia, potentia, honos, divitiae apud illos sunt aut ubi illi volunt; nobis reliquere pericula, repulsas, iudicia, egestatem. Quae quousque tandem patiemini, o fortissumi viri? Nonne emori per virtutem praestat quam vitam miseram atque inhonestam, ubi alienae superbiae ludibrio fueris, per dedecus amittere?
« Verum enim vero, pro deum atque hominum fidem, victoria in manu nobis est: viget aetas, animus valet; contra illis annis atque divitiis omnia consenuerunt. Tantum modo incepto opus est, cetera res expediet.
« Etenim quis mortalium, cui virile ingenium est, tolerare potest illis divitias superare, quas profundant in exstruendo mari et montibus coaequandis, nobis rem familiarem etiam ad necessaria deesse? Illos binas aut amplius domos continuare, nobis larem familiarem nusquam ullum esse? Cum tabulas, signa, toreumata emunt, nova diruunt, alia aedificant, postremo omnibus modis pecuniam trahunt, vexant, tamen summa lubidine divitias suas vincere nequeunt. At nobis est domi inopia, foris aes alienum, mala res, spes multo asperior: denique quid reliqui habemus praeter miseram animam?
« Quin igitur expergiscimini? En illa, illa, quam saepe optastis, libertas, praeterea divitiae, decus, gloria in oculis sita sunt; fortuna omnia ea victoribus praemia posuit. Res, tempus, pericula, egestas, belli spolia magnifica magis quam oratio mea vos hortantur. Vel imperatore vel milite me utimini! Neque animus neque corpus a vobis aberit. Haec ipsa, ut spero, vobiscum una consul agam, nisi forte me animus fallit et vos servire magis quam imperare parati estis. »
[ N ][ A ] Postquam accepere ea homines, quibus mala abunde omnia erant, sed neque res neque spes bona ulla, tametsi illis quieta movere magna merces videbatur, tamen postulavere plerique, ut proponeret, quae condicio belli foret, quae praemia armis peterent, quid ubique opis aut spei haberent. Tum Catilina polliceri tabulas novas, proscriptionem locupletium, magistratus, sacerdotia, rapinas, alia omnia, quae bellum atque lubido victorum fert. Praeterea esse in Hispania citeriore Pisonem, in Mauretania cum exercitu P. Sittium Nucerinum, consili sui participes; petere consulatum C. Antonium, quem sibi collegam fore speraret, hominem et familiarem et omnibus necessitudinibus circumventum; cum eo se consulem initium agundi facturum. Ad hoc maledictis increpabat omnis bonos, suorum unumquemque nominans laudare; admonebat alium egestatis, alium cupiditatis suae, compluris periculi aut ignominiae, multos victoriae Sullanae, quibus ea praedae fuerat. Postquam omnium animos alacris videt, cohortatus, ut petitionem suam curae haberent, conventum dimisit.
[ N ][ A ] Fuere ea tempestate, qui dicerent Catilinam oratione habita, cum ad ius iurandum popularis sceleris sui adigeret, humani corporis sanguinem vino permixtum in pateris circumtulisse: inde cum post exsecrationem omnes degustavissent, sicuti in sollemnibus sacris fieri consuevit, aperuisse consilium suum; [idque eo dicitur] fecisse, quo inter se fidi magis forent alius alii tanti facinoris conscii. Nonnulli ficta et haec et multa praeterea existumabant ab iis, qui Ciceronis invidiam, quae postea orta est, leniri credebant atrocitate sceleris eorum, qui poenas dederant. Nobis ea res pro magnitudine parum comperta est.
[ N ][ A ] Sed in ea coniuratione fuit Q. Curius, natus haud obscuro loco, flagitiis atque facinoribus coopertus, quem censores senatu probri gratia moverant. Huic homini non minor vanitas inerat quam audacia: neque reticere, quae audierat, neque suamet ipse scelera occultare, prorsus neque dicere neque facere quicquam pensi habebat. Erat ei cum Fulvia, muliere nobili, stupri vetus consuetudo. Cui cum minus gratus esset, quia inopia minus largiri poterat, repente glorians maria montisque polliceri coepit et minari interdum ferro, ni sibi obnoxia foret, postremo ferocius agitare quam solitus erat. At Fulvia insolentiae Curi causa cognita tale periculum rei publicae haud occultum habuit, sed sublato auctore de Catilinae coniuratione, quae quoque modo audierat, compluribus narravit. Ea res in primis studia hominum accendit ad consulatum mandandum M. Tullio Ciceroni. Namque antea pleraque nobilitas invidia aestuabat et quasi pollui consulatum credebant, si eum quamvis egregius homo novus adeptus foret. Sed ubi periculum advenit, invidia atque superbia post fuere.
[ N ][ A ] Igitur comitiis habitis consules declarantur M. Tullius et C. Antonius. Quod factum primo popularis coniurationis concusserat. Neque tamen Catilinae furor minuebatur, sed in dies plura agitare: arma per Italiam locis opportunis parare, pecuniam sua aut amicorum fide sumptam mutuam Faesulas ad Manlium quendam portare, qui postea princeps fuit belli faciundi. Ea tempestate plurumos cuiusque generis homines adscivisse sibi dicitur, mulieres etiam aliquot, quae primo ingentis sumptus stupro corporis toleraverant, post, ubi aetas tantummodo quaestui neque luxuriae modum fecerat, aes alienum grande conflaverant. Per eas se Catilina credebat posse servitia urbana sollicitare, urbem incendere, viros earum vel adiungere sibi vel interficere.
[ N ][ A ] Sed in iis erat Sempronia, quae multa saepe virilis audaciae facinora conmiserat. Haec mulier genere atque forma, praeterea viro atque liberis satis fortunata fuit; litteris Graecis et Latinis docta, psallere et saltare elegantius quam necesse est probae, multa alia, quae instrumenta luxuriae sunt. Sed ei cariora semper omnia quam decus atque pudicitia fuit; pecuniae an famae minus parceret, haud facile discerneres; lubido sic accensa, ut saepius peteret viros quam peteretur. Sed ea saepe antehac fidem prodiderat, creditum abiuraverat, caedis conscia fuerat; luxuria atque inopia praeceps abierat. Verum ingenium eius haud absurdum: posse versus facere, iocum movere, sermone uti vel modesto vel molli vel procaci; prorsus multae facetiae multusque lepos inerat.
[ N ][ A ] His rebus conparatis Catilina nihilo minus in proxumum annum consulatum petebat sperans, si designatus foret, facile se ex voluntate Antonio usurum. Neque interea quietus erat, sed omnibus modis insidias parabat Ciceroni. Neque illi tamen ad cavendum dolus aut astutiae deerant. Namque a principio consulatus sui multa pollicendo per Fulviam effecerat, ut Q. Curius, de quo paulo ante memoravi, consilia Catilinae sibi proderet; ad hoc collegam suum Antonium pactione provinciae perpulerat, ne contra rem publicam sentiret; circum se praesidia amicorum atque clientium occulte habebat. Postquam dies comitiorum venit et Catilinae neque petitio neque insidiae, quas consulibus in campo fecerat, prospere cessere, constituit bellum facere et extrema omnia experiri, quoniam, quae occulte temptaverat, aspera foedaque evenerant.
[ N ][ A ][ C ] Igitur C. Manlium Faesulas atque in eam partem Etruriae, Septimium quendam Camertem in agrum Picenum, C. Iulium in Apuliam dimisit, praeterea alium alio, quem ubique opportunum sibi fore credebat.
Interea Romae multa simul moliri: consulibus insidias tendere, parare incendia, opportuna loca armatis hominibus obsidere; ipse cum telo esse, item alios iubere; hortari, uti semper intenti paratique essent; dies noctisque festinare, vigilare, neque insomniis neque labore fatigari. Postremo, ubi multa agitanti nihil procedit, rursus intempesta nocte coniurationis principes convocat per M. Porcium Laecam ibique multa de ignavia eorum questus, docet se Manlium praemisisse ad eam multitudinem, quam ad capiunda arma paraverat, item alios in alia loca opportuna, qui initium belli facerent, seque ad exercitum proficisci cupere, si prius Ciceronem oppressisset; eum suis consiliis multum officere.
[ N ][ A ][ C ] Igitur perterritis ac dubitantibus ceteris C. Cornelius eques Romanus operam suam pollicitus et cum eo L. Vargunteius senator constituere ea nocte paulo post cum armatis hominibus sicuti salutatum introire ad Ciceronem ac de inproviso domi suae inparatum confodere. Curius ubi intellegit, quantum periculum consuli inpendeat, propere per Fulviam Ciceroni dolum, qui parabatur, enuntiat. Ita illi ianua prohibiti tantum facinus frustra susceperant. Interea Manlius in Etruria plebem sollicitare egestate simul ac dolore iniuriae novarum rerum cupidam, quod Sullae dominatione agros bonaque omnis amiserat, praeterea latrones cuiusque generis, quorum in ea regione magna copia erat, nonnullos ex Sullanis coloniis, quibus lubido atque luxuria ex magnis rapinis nihil reliqui fecerat.
[ N ][ A ] Ea cum Ciceroni nuntiarentur, ancipiti malo permotus, quod neque urbem ab insidiis privato consilio longius tueri poterat, neque exercitus Manli quantus aut quo consilio foret satis compertum habebat, rem ad senatum refert iam antea vulgi rumoribus exagitatam. Itaque, quod plerumque in atroci negotio solet, senatus decrevit darent operam consules ne quid res publica detrimenti caperet. Ea potestas per senatum more Romano magistratui maxuma permittitur: exercitum parare, bellum gerere, coercere omnibus modis socios atque civis, domi militiaeque imperium atque iudicium summum habere; aliter sine populi iussu nullius earum rerum consuli ius est.
[ N ][ A ][ C ] Post paucos dies L. Saenius senator in senatu litteras recitavit, quas Faesulis adlatas sibi dicebat, in quibus scriptum erat C. Manlium arma cepisse cum magna multitudine ante diem VI. Kalendas Novembris. Simul, id quod in tali re solet, alii portenta atque prodigia nuntiabant, alii conventus fieri, arma portari, Capuae atque in Apulia servile bellum moveri.
Igitur senati decreto Q. Marcius Rex Faesulas, Q. Metellus Creticus in Apuliam circumque ea loca missi — hi utrique ad urbem imperatores erant, impediti ne triumpharent calumnia paucorum, quibus omnia honesta atque inhonesta vendere mos erat — sed praetores Q. Pompeius Rufus Capuam, Q. Metellus Celer in agrum Picenum eisque permissum uti pro tempore atque periculo exercitum conpararent. Ad hoc, si quis indicavisset de coniuratione quae contra rem publicam facta erat, praemium servo libertatem et sestertia centum, libero inpunitatem eius rei et sestertia ducenta itemque decrevere uti gladiatoriae familiae Capuam et in cetera municipia distribuerentur pro cuiusque opibus, Romae per totam urbem vigiliae haberentur eisque minores magistratus praeessent.
[ N ][ A ][ C ] Quibus rebus permota civitas atque inmutata urbis facies erat. Ex summa laetitia atque lascivia, quae diuturna quies pepererat, repente omnis tristitia invasit: festinare, trepidare, neque loco neque homini cuiquam satis credere, neque bellum gerere neque pacem habere, suo quisque metu pericula metiri. Ad hoc mulieres, quibus rei publicae magnitudine belli timor insolitus incesserat, adflictare sese, manus supplicis ad caelum tendere, miserari parvos liberos, rogitare omnia, omni rumore pavere, adripere omnia, superbia atque deliciis omissis sibi patriaeque diffidere.
At Catilinae crudelis animus eadem illa movebat, tametsi praesidia parabantur et ipse lege Plautia interrogatus erat ab L. Paulo. Postremo, dissimulandi causa aut sui expurgandi, sicut iurgio lacessitus foret, in senatum venit. Tum M. Tullius consul, sive praesentiam eius timens sive ira conmotus, orationem habuit luculentam atque utilem rei publicae, quam postea scriptam edidit. Sed ubi ille adsedit, Catilina, ut erat paratus ad dissimulanda omnia, demisso voltu, voce supplici postulare a patribus coepit ne quid de se temere crederent: ea familia ortum, ita se ab adulescentia vitam instituisse ut omnia bona in spe haberet; ne existumarent sibi, patricio homini, cuius ipsius atque maiorum pluruma beneficia in plebem Romanam essent, perdita re publica opus esse, cum eam servaret M. Tullius, inquilinus civis urbis Romae. Ad hoc maledicta alia cum adderet, obstrepere omnes, hostem atque parricidam vocare. Tum ille furibundus: « Quoniam quidem circumventus », inquit, « ab inimicis praeceps agor, incendium meum ruina restinguam. »
[ N ][ A ] Deinde se ex curia domum proripuit. Ibi multa ipse secum volvens, quod neque insidiae consuli procedebant et ab incendio intellegebat urbem vigiliis munitam, optumum factu credens exercitum augere ac, prius quam legiones scriberentur, multa antecapere quae bello usui forent, nocte intempesta cum paucis in Manliana castra profectus est. Sed Cethego atque Lentulo ceterisque, quorum cognoverat promptam audaciam, mandat, quibus rebus possent, opes factionis confirment, insidias consuli maturent, caedem, incendia aliaque belli facinora parent: sese prope diem cum magno exercitu ad urbem accessurum.
Dum haec Romae geruntur, C. Manlius ex suo numero legatos ad Marcium Regem mittit cum mandatis huiusce modi:
[ N ][ A ] « Deos hominesque testamur, imperator, nos arma neque contra patriam cepisse neque quo periculum aliis faceremus, sed uti corpora nostra ab iniuria tuta forent, qui miseri, egentes, violentia atque crudelitate faeneratorum plerique patriae, sed omnes fama atque fortunis expertes sumus. Neque cuiquam nostrum licuit more maiorum lege uti, neque amisso patrimonio liberum corpus habere: tanta saevitia faeneratorum atque praetoris fuit.
« Saepe maiores vostrum, miseriti plebis Romanae, decretis suis inopiae eius opitulati sunt; ac novissume memoria nostra propter magnitudinem aeris alieni volentibus omnibus bonis argentum aere solutum est.
« Saepe ipsa plebs, aut dominandi studio permota aut superbia magistratuum armata, a patribus secessit. At nos non imperium neque divitias petimus, quarum rerum causa bella atque certamina omnia inter mortalis sunt, sed libertatem, quam nemo bonus nisi cum anima simul amittit. Te atque senatum obtestamur: consulatis miseris civibus, legis praesidium, quod iniquitas praetoris eripuit, restituatis neve nobis eam necessitudinem inponatis, ut quaeramus, quonam modo maxume ulti sanguinem nostrum pereamus! »
[ N ][ A ] Ad haec Q. Marcius respondit, si quid ab senatu petere vellent, ab armis discedant, Romam supplices proficiscantur; ea mansuetudine atque misericordia senatum populi Romani semper fuisse, ut nemo umquam ab eo frustra auxilium petiverit.
At Catilina ex itinere plerisque consularibus, praeterea optumo cuique litteras mittit: Se falsis criminibus circumventum, quoniam factioni inimicorum resistere nequiverit, fortunae cedere, Massiliam in exsilium proficisci, non quo sibi tanti sceleris conscius esset, sed uti res publica quieta foret neve ex sua contentione seditio oreretur. Ab his longe divorsas litteras Q. Catulus in senatu recitavit, quas sibi nomine Catilinae redditas dicebat. Earum exemplum infra scriptum est:
[ N ][ A ] « L. Catilina Q. Catulo. Egregia tua fides re cognita, grata mihi magnis in meis periculis, fiduciam commendationi meae tribuit. Quam ob rem defensionem in novo consilio non statui parare; satisfactionem ex nulla conscientia de culpa proponere decrevi, quam, me dius fidius, veram licet cognoscas. Iniuriis contumeliisque concitatus, quod fructu laboris industriaeque meae privatus statum dignitatis non obtinebam, publicam miserorum causam pro mea consuetudine suscepi, non quin aes alienum meis nominibus ex possessionibus solvere non possem — et alienis nominibus liberalitas Orestillae suis filiaeque copiis persolveret — sed quod non dignos homines honore honestatos videbam meque falsa suspicione alienatum esse sentiebam. Hoc nomine satis honestas pro meo casu spes reliquae dignitatis conservandae sum secutus. Plura cum scribere vellem, nuntiatum est vim mihi parari. Nunc Orestillam commendo tuaeque fidei trado; eam ab iniuria defendas per liberos tuos rogatus! Haveto! »
[ N ][ A ][ C ] Sed ipse paucos dies conmoratus apud C. Flaminium in agro Arretino, dum vicinitatem antea sollicitatam armis exornat, cum fascibus atque aliis imperi insignibus in castra ad Manlium contendit. Haec ubi Romae comperta sunt, senatus Catilinam et Manlium hostis iudicat, ceterae multitudini diem statuit, ante quam sine fraude liceret ab armis discedere praeter rerum capitalium condemnatis. Praeterea decernit, uti consules dilectum habeant, Antonius cum exercitu Catilinam persequi maturet, Cicero urbi praesidio sit.
Ea tempestate mihi imperium populi Romani multo maxume miserabile visum est. Cui cum ad occasum ab ortu solis omnia domita armis parerent, domi otium atque divitiae, quae prima mortales putant, adfluerent, fuere tamen cives, qui seque remque publicam obstinatis animis perditum irent. Namque duobus senati decretis ex tanta multitudine neque praemio inductus coniurationem patefecerat neque ex castris Catilinae quisquam omnium discesserat: tanta vis morbi ac veluti tabes plerosque civium animos invaserat.
[ N ][ A ] Neque solum illis aliena mens erat, qui conscii coniurationis fuerant, sed omnino cuncta plebes novarum rerum studio Catilinae incepta probabat. Id adeo more suo videbatur facere. Nam semper in civitate, quibus opes nullae sunt, bonis invident, malos extollunt, vetera odere, nova exoptant, odio suarum rerum mutari omnia student, turba atque seditionibus sine cura aluntur, quoniam egestas facile habetur sine damno. Sed urbana plebes, ea vero praeceps erat de multis causis. Primum omnium, qui ubique probro atque petulantia maxume praestabant, item alii per dedecora patrimoniis amissis, postremo omnes, quos flagitium aut facinus domo expulerat, ii Romam sicut in sentinam confluxerant. Deinde multi memores Sullanae victoriae, quod ex gregariis militibus alios senatores videbant, alios ita divites, ut regio victu atque cultu aetatem agerent, sibi quisque, si in armis foret, ex victoria talia sperabat. Praeterea iuventus, quae in agris manuum mercede inopiam toleraverat, privatis atque publicis largitionibus excita urbanum otium ingrato labori praetulerat. Eos atque alios omnis malum publicum alebat. Quo minus mirandum est homines egentis, malis moribus, maxuma spe, rei publicae iuxta ac sibi consuluisse. Praeterea, quorum victoria Sullae parentes proscripti, bona erepta, ius libertatis inminutum erat, haud sane alio animo belli eventum exspectabant. Ad hoc, quicumque aliarum atque senatus partium erant, conturbari rem publicam quam minus valere ipsi malebant. Id adeo malum multos post annos in civitatem reverterat.
[ N ][ A ] Nam postquam Cn. Pompeio et M. Crasso consulibus tribunicia potestas restituta est, homines adulescentes summam potestatem nacti, quibus aetas animusque ferox erat, coepere senatum criminando plebem exagitare, dein largiundo atque pollicitando magis incendere, ita ipsi clari potentesque fieri. Contra eos summa ope nitebatur pleraque nobilitas senatus specie pro sua magnitudine. Namque, uti paucis verum absolvam, post illa tempora quicumque rem publicam agitavere honestis nominibus, alii sicuti populi iura defenderent, pars quo senatus auctoritas maxuma foret, bonum publicum simulantes pro sua quisque potentia certebant. Neque illis modestia neque modus contentionis erat: utrique victoriam crudeliter exercebant.
[ N ][ A ] Sed postquam Cn. Pompeius ad bellum maritumum atque Mithridaticum missus est, plebis opes inminutae, paucorum potentia crevit. Ei magistratus provincias aliaque omnia tenere; ipsi innoxii, florentes, sine metu aetatem agere ceterosque iudiciis terrere, [qui] plebem in magistratu placidius tractarent. Sed ubi primum dubiis rebus novandi spes oblata est, vetus certamen animos eorum adrexit. Quod si primo proelio Catilina superior aut aequa manu discessisset, profecto magna clades atque calamitas rem publicam oppressisset; neque illis, qui victoriam adepti forent, diutius ea uti licuisset, quin defessis et exsanguibus, qui plus posset, imperium atque libertatem extorqueret. Fuere tamen extra coniurationem complures, qui ad Catilinam initio profecti sunt. In iis erat Fulvius, senatoris filius, quem retractum ex itinere parens necari iussit.
Isdem temporibus Romae Lentulus, sicuti Catilina praeceperat, quoscumque moribus aut fortuna novis rebus idoneos credebat, aut per se aut per alios sollicitabat, neque solum civis, sed cuiusque modi genus hominum quod modo bello usui foret.
[ N ][ A ][ C ] Igitur P. Umbreno cuidam negotium dat, uti legatos Allobrogum requirat eosque, si possit, inpellat ad societatem belli, existumans publice privatimque aere alieno oppressos, praeterea quod natura gens Gallica bellicosa esset, facile eos ad tale consilium adduci posse. Umbrenus, quod in Gallia negotiatus erat, plerisque principibus civitatum notus erat atque eos noverat. Itaque sine mora, ubi primum legatos in foro conspexit, percontatus pauca de statu civitatis et quasi dolens eius casum requirere coepit quem exitum tantis malis sperarent? Postquam illos videt queri de avaritia magistratuum, accusare senatum quod in eo auxili nihil esset, miseriis suis remedium mortem exspectare! « At ego », inquit, « vobis, si modo viri esse voltis, rationem ostendam, qua tanta ista mala effugiatis. » Haec ubi dixit, Allobroges in maxumam spem adducti Umbrenum orare, ut sui misereretur: nihil tam asperum neque tam difficile esse, quod non cupidissume facturi essent, dum ea res civitatem aere alieno liberaret. Ille eos in domum D. Bruti perducit, quod foro propinqua erat neque aliena consili propter Semproniam; nam tum Brutus ab Roma aberat. Praeterea Gabinium arcessit, quo maior auctoritas sermoni inesset. Eo praesente coniurationem aperit, nominat socios, praeterea multos cuiusque generis innoxios, quo legatis animus amplior esset. Deinde eos pollicitos operam suam domum dimittit.
[ N ][ A ] Sed Allobroges diu in incerto habuere, quidnam consili caperent. In altera parte erat aes alienum, studium belli, magna merces in spe victoriae, at in altera maiores opes, tuta consilia, pro incerta spe certa praemia. Haec illis volventibus tandem vicit fortuna rei publicae. Itaque Q. Fabio Sangae, cuius patrocinio civitas plurumum utebatur, rem omnem, uti cognoverant, aperiunt. Cicero per Sangam consilio cognito legatis praecipit ut studium coniurationis vehementer simulent, ceteros adeant, bene polliceantur dentque operam, uti eos quam maxume manufestos habeant.
[ N ][ A ][ C ] Isdem fere temporibus in Gallia citeriore atque ulteriore, item in agro Piceno, Bruttio, Apulia motus erat. Namque illi, quos ante Catilina dimiserat, inconsulte ac veluti per dementiam cuncta simul agebant. Nocturnis consiliis armorum atque telorum portationibus, festinando, agitando omnia plus timoris quam periculi effecerant. Ex eo numero compluris Q. Metellus Celer praetor ex senatus consulto causa cognita in vincula coniecerat, item in citeriore Gallia C. Murena, qui ei provinciae legatus praeerat.
[ N ][ A ] At Romae Lentulus cum ceteris, qui princeps coniurationis erant, paratis, ut videbatur, magnis copiis constituerant, uti, cum Catilina in agrum +Faesulanum+ cum exercitu venisset, L. Bestia tribunus plebis contione habita quereretur de actionibus Ciceronis bellique gravissumi invidiam optumo consuli inponeret; eo signo proxuma nocte cetera multitudo coniurationis suum quisque negotium exsequeretur. Sed ea divisa hoc modo dicebantur: Statilius et Gabinius uti cum magna manu duodecim simul opportuna loca urbis incenderent, quo tumultu facilior aditus ad consulem ceterosque, quibus insidiae parabantur, fieret; Cethegus Ciceronis ianuam obsideret eumque vi aggrederetur, alius autem alium, sed filii familiarum, quorum ex nobilitate maxuma pars erat, parentis interficerent; simul caede et incendio perculsis omnibus ad Catilinam erumperent. Inter haec parata atque decreta Cethegus semper querebatur de ignavia sociorum: illos dubitando et dies prolatando magnas opportunitates corrumpere; facto, non consulto in tali periculo opus esse seque, si pauci adiuvarent, languentibus aliis impetum in curiam facturum. Natura ferox, vehemens, manu promptus erat, maxumum bonum in celeritate putabat.
[ N ][ A ] Sed Allobroges ex praecepto Ciceronis per Gabinium ceteros conveniunt. Ab Lentulo, Cethego, Statilio, item Cassio postulant ius iurandum, quod signatum ad civis perferant: aliter haud facile eos ad tantum negotium inpelli posse. Ceteri nihil suspicantes dant, Cassius semet eo brevi venturum pollicetur ac paulo ante legatos ex urbe proficiscitur. Lentulus cum iis T. Volturcium quendam Crotoniensem mittit, ut Allobroges, priusquam domum pergerent, cum Catilina data atque accepta fide societatem confirmarent. Ipse Volturcio litteras ad Catilinam dat, quarum exemplum infra scriptum est:
« Quis sim, ex eo, quem ad te misi, cognosces. Fac cogites, in quanta calamitate sis, et memineris te virum esse! Consideres, quid tuae rationes postulent! Auxilium petas ab omnibus, etiam ab infumis! »
Ad hoc mandata verbis dat: Cum ab senatu hostis iudicatus sit, quo consilio servitia repudiet? In urbe parata esse, quae iusserit; ne cunctetur ipse propius accedere.
[ N ][ A ][ C ] His rebus ita actis constituta nocte, qua profiscerentur, Cicero per legatos cuncta edoctus L. Valerio Flacco et C. Pomptino praetoribus imperat, ut in ponte Mulvio per insidias Allobrogum comitatus deprehendant. Rem omnem aperit, cuius gratia mittebantur; cetera, uti facto opus sit, ita agant, permittit. Illi, homines militares, sine tumultu praesidiis conlocatis, sicuti praeceptum erat, occulte pontem obsidunt. Postquam ad id loci legati cum Volturcio venerunt et simul utrimque clamor exortus est, Galli cito cognito consilio sine mora praetoribus se tradunt; Volturcius primo cohortatus ceteros gladio se a multitudine defendit, deinde, ubi a legatis desertus est, multa prius de salute sua Pomptinum obtestatus, quod ei notus erat, postremo timidus ac vitae diffidens velut hostibus sese praetoribus dedit.
[ N ][ A ][ C ] Quibus rebus confectis omnia propere per nuntios consuli declarantur. At illum ingens cura atque laetitia simul occupavere. Nam laetabatur intellegens coniuratione patefacta civitatem periculis ereptam esse: porro autem anxius erat dubitans, in maxumo scelere tantis civibus deprehensis quid facto opus esset: poenam illorum sibi oneri, inpunitatem perdundae rei publicae fore credebat. Igitur confirmato animo vocari ad sese iubet Lentulum, Cethegum, Statilium, Gabinium itemque Caeparium Terracinensem, qui in Apuliam ad concitanda servitia proficisci parabat. Ceteri sine mora veniunt; Caeparius, paulo ante domo egressus, cognito indicio ex urbe profugerat. Consul Lentulum, quod praetor erat, ipse manu tenens in senatum perducit, reliquos cum custodibus in aedem Concordiae venire iubet. Eo senatum advocat magnaque frequentia eius ordinis Volturcium cum legatis introducit; Flaccum praetorem scrinium cum litteris, quas a legatis acceperat, eodem adferre iubet.
[ N ][ A ] Volturcius interrogatus de itinere, de litteris, postremo quid aut qua de causa consili habuisset? primo fingere alia, dissimulare de coniuratione; post, ubi fide publica dicere iussus est, omnia, uti gesta erant, aperit docetque se paucis ante diebus a Gabinio et Caepario socium adscitum nihil amplius scire quam legatos; tantummodo audire solitum ex Gabinio P. Autronium, Ser. Sullam, L. Vargunteium, multos praeterea in ea coniuratione esse. Eadem Galli fatentur ac Lentulum dissimulantem coarguunt praeter litteras sermonibus, quos ille habere solitus erat: Ex libris Sibyllinis regnum Romae tribus Corneliis portendi; Cinnam atque Sullam antea, se tertium esse, cui fatum foret urbis potiri; praeterea ab incenso Capitolio illum esse vigesumum annum, quem saepe ex prodigiis haruspices respondissent bello civili cruentum fore. Igitur perlectis litteris, cum prius omnes signa sua cognovissent, senatus decernit uti abdicato magistratu Lentulus itemque ceteri in liberis custodiis habeantur. Itaque Lentulus P. Lentulo Spintheri, qui tum aedilis erat, Cethegus Q. Cornificio, Statilius C. Caesari, Gabinius M. Crasso, Caeparius nam is paulo ante ex fuga retractus erat Cn. Terentio senatori traduntur.
[ N ][ A ] Interea plebs coniuratione patefacta, quae primo cupida rerum novarum nimis bello favebat, mutata mente Catilinae consilia exsecrari, Ciceronem ad caelum tollere, veluti ex servitute erepta gaudium atque laetitiam agitabat. Namque alia belli facinora praedae magis quam detrimento fore, incendium vero crudele, inmoderatum ac sibi maxume calamitosum putabat, quippe cui omnes copiae in usu cotidiano et cultu corporis erant.
Post eum diem quidam L. Tarquinius ad senatum adductus erat, quem ad Catilinam proficiscentem ex itinere retractum aiebant. Is cum se diceret indicaturum de coniuratione, si fides publica data esset, iussus a consule, quae sciret, edicere, eadem fere, quae Volturcius, de paratis incendiis, de caede bonorum, de itinere hostium senatum docet; praeterea se missum a M. Crasso, qui Catilinae nuntiaret, ne eum Lentulus et Cethegus aliique ex coniuratione deprehensi terrerent eoque magis properaret ad urbem accedere, quo et ceterorum animos reficeret et illi facilius e periculo eriperentur. Sed ubi Tarquinius Crassum nominavit, hominem nobilem, maxumis divitiis, summa potentia, alii rem incredibilem rati, pars, tametsi verum existumabant, tamen, quia in tali tempore tanta vis hominis magis leniunda quam exagitanda videbatur, plerique Crasso ex negotiis privatis obnoxii, conclamant indicem falsum esse deque ea re postulant uti referatur. Itaque consulente Cicerone frequens senatus decernit Tarquini indicium falsum videri eumque in vinculis retinendum neque amplius potestatem faciundam, nisi de eo indicaret, cuius consilio tantam rem esset mentitus.
Erant eo tempore, qui existumarent indicium illud a P. Autronio machinatum, quo facilius appellato Crasso per societatem periculi reliquos illius potentia tegeret. Alii Tarquinium a Cicerone inmissum aiebant, ne Crassus more suo suspecto malorum patrocinio rem publicam conturbaret. Ipsum Crassum ego postea praedicantem audivi tantam illam contumeliam sibi ab Cicerone inpositam.
[ N ][ A ] Sed isdem temporibus Q. Catulus et C. Piso neque precibus neque gratia neque pretio Ciceronem inpellere potuere, uti per Allobroges aut alium indicem C. Caesar falso nominaretur. Nam uterque cum illo gravis inimicitias exercebat: Piso oppugnatus in iudicio pecuniarum repetundarum propter cuiusdam Transpadani supplicium iniustum, Catulus ex petitione pontificatus odio incensus, quod extrema aetate, maxumis honoribus usus, ab adulescentulo Caesare victus discesserat. Res autem opportuna videbatur, quod is privatim egregia liberalitate, publice maxumis muneribus grandem pecuniam debebat. Sed ubi consulem ad tantum facinus inpellere nequeunt, ipsi singillatim circumeundo atque ementiundo, quae se ex Volturcio aut Allobrogibus audisse dicerent, magnam illi invidiam conflaverant usque eo, ut nonnulli equites Romani, qui praesidi causa cum telis erant circum aedem Concordiae, seu periculi magnitudine seu animi mobilitate inpulsi, quo studium suum in rem publicam clarius esset, egredienti ex senatu Caesari gladio minitarentur.
[ N ][ A ][ C ] Dum haec in senatu aguntur et dum legatis Allobrogum et T. Volturcio conprobato eorum indicio praemia decernuntur, liberti et pauci ex clientibus Lentuli divorsis itineribus opifices atque servitia in vicis ad eum eripiundum sollicitabant, partim exquirebant duces multitudinum, qui pretio rem publicam vexare soliti erant. Cethegus autem per nuntios familiam atque libertos suos, lectos et exercitatos, orabat, ut grege facto cum telis ad sese inrumperent. Consul ubi ea parari cognovit, dispositis praesidiis, ut res atque tempus monebat, convocato senatu refert, quid de iis fieri placeat, qui in custodiam traditi erant. Sed eos paulo ante frequens senatus iudicaverat contra rem publicam fecisse. Tum D. Iunius Silanus primus sententiam rogatus, quod eo tempore consul designatus erat, de iis, qui in custodiis tenebantur, et praeterea de L. Cassio, P. Furio, P. Umbreno, Q. Annio, si deprehensi forent, supplicium sumundum decreverat; isque postea permotus oratione C. Caesaris pedibus in sententiam Ti. Neronis iturum se dixit, qui de ea re praesidiis additis referundum censuerat. Sed Caesar, ubi ad eum ventum est, rogatus sententiam a consule huiusce modi verba locutus est:
[ N ][ A ] « Omnis homines, patres conscripti, qui de rebus dubiis consultant, ab odio, amicitia, ira atque misericordia vacuos esse decet. Haud facile animus verum providet, ubi illa officiunt, neque quisquam omnium lubidini simul et usui paruit. Ubi intenderis ingenium, valet; si lubido possidet, ea dominatur, animus nihil valet. Magna mihi copia est memorandi, patres conscripti, quae reges atque populi ira aut misericordia inpulsi male consuluerint. Sed ea malo dicere, quae maiores nostri contra lubidinem animi sui recte atque ordine fecere. Bello Macedonico, quod cum rege Perse gessimus, Rhodiorum civitas magna atque magnifica, quae populi Romani opibus creverat, infida et advorsa nobis fuit. Sed postquam bello confecto de Rhodiis consultum est, maiores nostri, ne quis divitiarum magis quam iniuriae causa bellum inceptum diceret, inpunitos eos dimisere. Item bellis Punicis omnibus, cum saepe Carthaginienses et in pace et per indutias multa nefaria facinora fecissent, numquam ipsi per occasionem talia fecere: magis, quid se dignum foret, quam quid in illos iure fieri posset, quaerebant. Hoc item vobis providendum est, patres conscripti, ne plus apud vos valeat P. Lentuli et ceterorum scelus quam vostra dignitas neu magis irae vostrae quam famae consulatis. Nam si digna poena pro factis eorum reperitur, novum consilium adprobo; sin magnitudo sceleris omnium ingenia exsuperat, his utendum censeo, quae legibus conparata sunt.
[ N ][ A ] « Plerique eorum, qui ante me sententias dixerunt, conposite atque magnifice casum rei publicae miserati sunt. Quae belli saevitia esset, quae victis acciderent, enumeravere: rapi virgines, pueros, divelli liberos a parentum complexu, matres familiarum pati quae victoribus conlubuissent, fana atque domos spoliari, caedem, incendia fieri, postremo armis, cadaveribus, cruore atque luctu omnia conpleri. Sed per deos inmortalis, quo illa oratio pertinuit? An uti vos infestos coniurationi faceret? Scilicet, quem res tanta et tam atrox non permovit, eum oratio accendet. Non ita est neque cuiquam mortalium iniuriae suae parvae videntur; multi eas gravius aequo habuere. Sed alia aliis licentia est, patres conscripti. Qui demissi in obscuro vitam habent, si quid iracundia deliquere, pauci sciunt: fama atque fortuna eorum pares sunt; qui magno imperio praediti in excelso aetatem agunt, eorum facta cuncti mortales novere. Ita in maxuma fortuna minuma licentia est; neque studere neque odisse, sed minume irasci decet; quae apud alios iracundia dicitur, ea in imperio superbia atque crudelitas appellatur. Equidem ego sic existumo, patres conscripti, omnis cruciatus minores quam facinora illorum esse. Sed plerique mortales postrema meminere et in hominibus inpiis sceleris eorum obliti de poena disserunt, si ea paulo severior fuit.
[ N ][ A ] « D. Silanum, virum fortem atque strenuum, certo scio, quae dixerit, studio rei publicae dixisse neque illum in tanta re gratiam aut inimicitias exercere: eos mores eamque modestiam viri cognovi. Verum sententia eius mihi non crudelis — quid enim in talis homines crudele fieri potest? — sed aliena a re publica nostra videtur. Nam profecto aut metus aut iniuria te subegit, Silane, consulem designatum genus poenae novum decernere. De timore supervacaneum est disserere, cum praesertim diligentia clarissumi viri consulis tanta praesidia sint in armis. De poena possum equidem dicere, id quod res habet, in luctu atque miseriis mortem aerumnarum requiem, non cruciatum esse; eam cuncta mortalium mala dissolvere; ultra neque curae neque gaudio locum esse. Sed, per deos inmortalis, quam ob rem in sententiam non addidisti, uti prius verberibus in eos animadvorteretur? An quia lex Porcia vetat? At aliae leges item condemnatis civibus non animam eripi, sed exsilium permitti iubent. An quia gravius est verberari quam necari? Quid autem acerbum aut nimis grave est in homines tanti facinoris convictos? Sin, quia levius est, qui convenit in minore negotio legem timere, cum eam in maiore neglegeris?
[ N ][ A ] « At enim quis reprehendet, quod in parricidas rei publicae decretum erit? Tempus, dies, fortuna, cuius lubido gentibus moderatur. Illis merito accidet, quicquid evenerit; ceterum vos patres conscripti, quid in alios statuatis, considerate! Omnia mala exempla ex rebus bonis orta sunt. Sed ubi imperium ad ignaros eius aut minus bonos pervenit, novum illud exemplum ab dignis et idoneis ad indignos et non idoneos transfertur. Lacedaemonii devictis Atheniensibus triginta viros inposuere, qui rem publicam eorum tractarent. Ii primo coepere pessumum quemque et omnibus invisum indemnatum necare: ea populus laetari et merito dicere fieri. Post, ubi paulatim licentia crevit, iuxta bonos et malos lubidinose interficere, ceteros metu terrere: ita civitas servitute oppressa stultae laetitiae gravis poenas dedit. Nostra memoria victor Sulla cum Damasippum et alios eius modi, qui malo rei publicae creverant, iugulari iussit, quis non factum eius laudabat? Homines scelestos et factiosos, qui seditionibus rem publicam exagitaverant, merito necatos aiebant. Sed ea res magnae initium cladis fuit. Nam uti quisque domum aut villam, postremo vas aut vestimentum alicuius concupiverat, dabat operam, ut is in proscriptorum numero esset. Ita illi, quibus Damasippi mors laetitiae fuerat, paulo post ipsi trahebantur neque prius finis iugulandi fuit, quam Sulla omnis suos divitiis explevit. Atque ego haec non in M. Tullio neque his temporibus vereor; sed in magna civitate multa et varia ingenia sunt. Potest alio tempore, alio consule, cui item exercitus in manu sit, falsum aliquid pro vero credi. Ubi hoc exemplo per senatus decretum consul gladium eduxerit, quis illi finem statuet aut quis moderabitur?
[ N ][ A ] « Maiores nostri, patres conscripti, neque consili neque audaciae umquam eguere; neque illis superbia obstat, quo minus aliena instituta, si modo proba erant, imitarentur. Arma atque tela militaria ab Samnitibus, insignia magistratuum ab Tuscis pleraque sumpserunt. Postremo, quod ubique apud socios aut hostis idoneum videbatur, cum summo studio domi exsequebantur: imitari quam invidere bonis malebant. Sed eodem illo tempore Graeciae morem imitati verberibus animadvortebant in civis, de condemnatis summum supplicium sumebant. Postquam res publica adolevit et multitudine civium factiones valuere, circumveniri innocentes, alia huiusce modi fieri coepere, tum lex Porcia aliaeque leges paratae sunt, quibus legibus exsilium damnatis permissum est. Hanc ego causam, patres conscripti, quo minus novum consilium capiamus, in primis magnam puto. Profecto virtus atque sapientia maior illis fuit, qui ex parvis opibus tantum imperium fecere, quam in nobis, qui ea bene parta vix retinemus.
[ N ][ A ] « Placet igitur eos dimitti et augeri exercitum Catilinae? Minume. Sed ita censeo: publicandas eorum pecunias, ipsos in vinculis habendos per municipia, quae maxume opibus valent; neu quis de iis postea ad senatum referat neve cum populo agat; qui aliter fecerit, senatum existumare eum contra rem publicam et salutem omnium facturum. »
[ N ][ A ] Postquam Caesar dicundi finem fecit, ceteri verbo alius alii varie adsentiebantur. At M. Porcius Cato rogatus sententiam huiusce modi orationem habuit:
[ N ][ A ] « Longe alia mihi mens est, patres conscripti, cum res atque pericula nostra considero et cum sententias nonnullorum ipse mecum reputo. Illi mihi disseruisse videntur de poena eorum, qui patriae, parentibus, aris atque focis suis bellum paravere; res autem monet cavere ab illis magis quam, quid in illos statuamus, consultare. Nam cetera maleficia tum persequare, ubi facta sunt; hoc, nisi provideris ne accidat, ubi evenit, frustra iudicia inplores: capta urbe nihil fit reliqui victis. Sed, per deos inmortalis, vos ego appello, qui semper domos, villas, signa, tabulas vostras pluris quam rem publicam fecistis: si ista, cuiuscumque modi sunt, quae amplexamini, retinere, si voluptatibus vostris otium praebere voltis, expergiscimini aliquando et capessite rem publicam! Non agitur de vectigalibus neque de sociorum iniuriis: libertas et anima nostra in dubio est.
[ N ][ A ] « Saepenumero, patres conscripti, multa verba in hoc ordine feci, saepe de luxuria atque avaritia nostrorum civium questus sum multosque mortalis ea causa advorsos habeo. Qui mihi atque animo meo nullius umquam delicti gratiam fecissem, haud facile alterius lubidini malefacta condonabam. Sed ea tametsi vos parvi pendebatis, tamen res publica firma erat: opulentia neglegentiam tolerabat. Nunc vero non id agitur, bonisne an malis moribus vivamus, neque quantum aut quam magnificum imperium populi Romani sit, sed haec, cuiuscumque modi videntur, nostra an nobiscum una hostium futura sint. Hic mihi quisquam mansuetudinem et misericordiam nominat! Iam pridem equidem nos vera vocabula rerum amisimus: quia bona aliena largiri liberalitas, malarum rerum audacia fortitudo vocatur, eo res publica in extremo sita est. Sint sane, quoniam ita se mores habent, liberales ex sociorum fortunis, sint misericordes in furibus aerari; ne illi sanguinem nostrum largiantur et, dum paucis sceleratis parcunt, bonos omnis perditum eant!
[ N ][ A ] « Bene et conposite C. Caesar paulo ante in hoc ordine de vita et morte disseruit, credo falsa existumans ea, quae de inferis memorantur: divorso itinere malos a bonis loca taetra, inculta, foeda atque formidulosa habere. Itaque censuit pecunias eorum publicandas, ipsos per municipia in custodiis habendos, videlicet timens, ne, si Romae sint, aut a popularibus coniurationis aut a multitudine conducta per vim eripiantur. Quasi vero mali atque scelesti tantummodo in urbe et non per totam Italiam sint aut non ibi plus possit audacia, ubi ad defendundum opes minores sunt! Quare vanum equidem hoc consilium est, si periculum ex illis metuit; si in tanto omnium metu solus non timet, eo magis refert me mihi atque vobis timere. Quare, cum de P. Lentulo ceterisque statuetis, pro certo habetote vos simul de exercitu Catilinae et de omnibus coniuratis decernere! Quanto vos attentius ea agetis, tanto illis animus infirmior erit; si paulum modo vos languere viderint, iam omnes feroces aderunt.
[ N ][ A ] « Nolite existumare maiores nostros armis rem publicam ex parva magnam fecisse! Si ita esset, multo pulcherrumam eam nos haberemus; quippe sociorum atque civium, praeterea armorum atque equorum maior copia nobis quam illis est. Sed alia fuere, quae illos magnos fecere, quae nobis nulla sunt: domi industria, foris iustum imperium, animus in consulundo liber, neque delicto neque lubidini obnoxius. Pro his nos habemus luxuriam atque avaritiam, publice egestatem, privatim opulentiam. Laudamus divitias, sequimur inertiam. Inter bonos et malos discrimen nullum; omnia virtutis praemia ambitio possidet. Neque mirum: ubi vos separatim sibi quisque consilium capitis, ubi domi voluptatibus, hic pecuniae aut gratiae servitis, eo fit, ut impetus fiat in vacuam rem publicam.
[ N ][ A ] « Sed ego haec omitto. Coniuravere nobilissumi cives patriam incendere, Gallorum gentem infestissumam nomini Romano ad bellum arcessunt, dux hostium cum exercitu supra caput est. Vos cunctamini etiam nunc et dubitatis, quid intra moenia deprensis hostibus faciatis? Misereamini censeo: deliquere homines adulescentuli per ambitionem atque etiam armatos dimittatis. Ne ista vobis mansuetudo et misericordia, si illi arma ceperint, in miseriam convortat! Scilicet res ipsa aspera est, sed vos non timetis eam. Immo vero maxume. Sed inertia et mollitia animi alius alium exspectantes cunctamini, videlicet dis inmortalibus confisi, qui hanc rem publicam saepe in maxumis periculis servavere. Non votis neque suppliciis muliebribus auxilia deorum parantur: vigilando, agundo, bene consulundo prospere omnia cedunt. Ubi socordiae te atque ignaviae tradideris, nequiquam deos implores: irati infestique sunt.
[ N ][ A ] « Apud maiores nostros A. Manlius Torquatus bello Gallico filium suum, quod is contra imperium in hostem pugnaverat, necari iussit atque ille egregius adulescens inmoderatae fortitudinis morte poenas dedit: vos de crudelissumis parricidis quid statuatis, cunctamini? Videlicet cetera vita eorum huic sceleri obstat. Verum parcite dignitati Lentuli, si ipse pudicitiae, si famae suae, si dis aut hominibus umquam ullis pepercit! Ignoscite Cethegi adulescentiae, nisi iterum patriae bellum fecit! Nam quid ego de Gabinio, Statilio, Caepario loquar? Quibus si quicquam umquam pensi fuisset, non ea consilia de re publica habuissent.
[ N ][ A ] « Postremo, patres conscripti, si mehercule peccato locus esset, facile paterer vos ipsa re corrigi, quoniam verba contemnitis. Sed undique circumventi sumus. Catilina cum exercitu faucibus urget, alii intra moenia atque in sinu urbis sunt hostes; neque parari neque consuli quicquam potest occulte: quo magis properandum est.
[ N ][ A ] « Quare ego ita censeo: Cum nefario consilio sceleratorum civium res publica in maxuma pericula venerit iique indicio T. Volturci et legatorum Allobrogum convicti confessique sint caedem, incendia aliaque se foeda atque crudelia facinora in civis patriamque paravisse, de confessis, sicuti de manufestis rerum capitalium, more maiorum supplicium sumundum. »
[ N ][ A ] Postquam Cato adsedit, consulares omnes itemque senatus magna pars sententiam eius laudant, virtutem animi ad caelum ferunt, alii alios increpantes timidos vocant. Cato clarus atque magnus habetur; senati decretum fit, sicuti ille censuerat.
Sed mihi multa legenti, multa audienti, quae populus Romanus domi militiaeque, mari atque terra praeclara facinora fecit, forte lubuit attendere, quae res maxume tanta negotia sustinuisset. Sciebam saepenumero parva manu cum magnis legionibus hostium contendisse; cognoveram parvis copiis bella gesta cum opulentis regibus, ad hoc saepe fortunae violentiam toleravisse, facundia Graecos, gloria belli Gallos ante Romanos fuisse. Ac mihi multa agitanti constabat paucorum civium egregiam virtutem cuncta patravisse eoque factum uti divitias paupertas, multitudinem paucitas superaret. Sed postquam luxu atque desidia civitas corrupta est, rursus res publica magnitudine sua imperatorum atque magistratuum vitia sustentabat ac, sicuti effeta parentum <vi>, multis tempestatibus haud sane quisquam Romae virtute magnus fuit. Sed memoria mea ingenti virtute, divorsis moribus fuere viri duo, M. Cato et C. Caesar. Quos quoniam res obtulerat, silentio praeterire non fuit consilium, quin utriusque naturam et mores, quantum ingenio possum, aperirem.
[ N ][ A ] Igitur iis genus, aetas, eloquentia prope aequalia fuere, magnitudo animi par, item gloria, sed alia alii. Caesar beneficiis ac munificentia magnus habebatur, integritate vitae Cato. Ille mansuetudine et misericordia clarus factus, huic severitas dignitatem addiderat. Caesar dando, sublevando, ignoscundo, Cato nihil largiundo gloriam adeptus est. In altero miseris perfugium erat, in altero malis pernicies. Illius facilitas, huius constantia laudabatur. Postremo Caesar in animum induxerat laborare, vigilare; negotiis amicorum intentus sua neglegere, nihil denegare, quod dono dignum esset; sibi magnum imperium, exercitum, bellum novum exoptabat, ubi virtus enitescere posset. At Catoni studium modestiae, decoris, sed maxume severitatis erat; non divitiis cum divite neque factione cum factioso, sed cum strenuo virtute, cum modesto pudore, cum innocente abstinentia certabat; esse quam videri bonus malebat: ita, quo minus petebat gloriam, eo magis illum sequebatur.
[ N ][ A ] Postquam, ut dixi, senatus in Catonis sententiam discessit, consul optumum factu ratus noctem, quae instabat, antecapere, ne quid eo spatio novaretur, tresviros, quae supplicium postulabat, parare iubet. Ipse praesidiis dispositis Lentulum in carcerem deducit; idem fit ceteris per praetores. Est in carcere locus, quod Tullianum appellatur, ubi paululum ascenderis ad laevam, circiter duodecim pedes humi depressus. Eum muniunt undique parietes atque insuper camera lapideis fornicibus iuncta; sed incultu, tenebris, odore foeda atque terribilis eius facies est. In eum locum postquam demissus est Lentulus, vindices rerum capitalium, quibus praeceptum erat, laqueo gulam fregere. Ita ille patricius ex gente clarissuma Corneliorum, qui consulare imperium Romae habuerat, dignum moribus factisque suis exitium vitae invenit. De Cethego, Statilio, Gabinio, Caepario eodem modo supplicium sumptum est.
[ N ][ A ][ C ] Dum ea Romae geruntur, Catilina ex omni copia, quam et ipse adduxerat et Manlius habuerat, duas legiones instituit, cohortis pro numero militum conplet. Deinde, ut quisque voluntarius aut ex sociis in castra venerat, aequaliter distribuerat ac brevi spatio legiones numero hominum expleverat, cum initio non amplius duobus milibus habuisset. Sed ex omni copia circiter pars quarta erat militaribus armis instructa; ceteri, ut quemque casus armaverat, sparos aut lanceas, alii praeacutas sudis portabant. Sed postquam Antonius cum exercitu adventabat, Catilina per montis iter facere, modo ad urbem, modo in Galliam vorsus castra movere, hostibus occasionem pugnandi non dare. Sperabat propediem magnas copias sese habiturum, si Romae socii incepta patravissent. Interea servitia repudiabat, cuius generis initio ad eum magnae copiae concurrebant, opibus coniurationis fretus, simul alienum suis rationibus existumans videri causam civium cum servis fugitivis communicavisse.
[ N ][ A ][ C ] Sed postquam in castra nuntius pervenit Romae coniurationem patefactam, de Lentulo et Cethego ceterisque, quos supra memoravi, supplicium sumptum, plerique, quos ad bellum spes rapinarum aut novarum rerum studium illexerat, dilabuntur; reliquos Catilina per montis asperos magnis itineribus in agrum Pistoriensem abducit eo consilio, uti per tramites occulte perfugeret in Galliam Transalpinam. At Q. Metellus Celer cum tribus legionibus in agro Piceno praesidebat ex difficultate rerum eadem illa existumans, quae supra diximus, Catilinam agitare. Igitur ubi iter eius ex perfugis cognovit, castra propere movit ac sub ipsis radicibus montium consedit, qua illi descensus erat in Galliam properanti. Neque tamen Antonius procul aberat, utpote qui magno exercitu locis aequioribus +expeditos+ in fuga sequeretur. Sed Catilina, postquam videt montibus atque copiis hostium sese clausum, in urbe res advorsas, neque fugae neque praesidi ullam spem, optumum factu ratus in tali re fortunam belli temptare, statuit cum Antonio quam primum confligere. Itaque contione advocata huiusce modi orationem habuit:
[ N ][ A ] « Compertum ego habeo, milites, verba virtutem non addere neque ex ignavo strenuum neque fortem ex timido exercitum oratione imperatoris fieri. Quanta cuiusque animo audacia natura aut moribus inest, tanta in bello patere solet. Quem neque gloria neque pericula excitant, nequiquam hortere: timor animi auribus officit. Sed ego vos, quo pauca monerem, advocavi, simul uti causam mei consili aperirem.
« Scitis equidem, milites, socordia atque ignavia Lentuli quantam ipsi nobisque cladem attulerit quoque modo, dum ex urbe praesidia opperior, in Galliam proficisci nequiverim. Nunc vero quo loco res nostrae sint, iuxta mecum omnes intellegitis. Exercitus hostium duo, unus ab urbe, alter a Gallia obstant; diutius in his locis esse, si maxume animus ferat, frumenti atque aliarum rerum egestas prohibet; quocumque ire placet, ferro iter aperiundum est. Quapropter vos moneo, uti forti atque parato animo sitis et, cum proelium inibitis, memineritis vos divitias, decus, gloriam, praeterea libertatem atque patriam in dextris vostris portare. Si vincimus, omnia nobis tuta erunt: commeatus abunde, municipia atque coloniae patebunt; si metu cesserimus, eadem illa advorsa fient, neque locus neque amicus quisquam teget, quem arma non texerint. Praeterea, milites, non eadem nobis et illis necessitudo inpendet: nos pro patria, pro libertate, pro vita certamus, illis supervacaneum est pugnare pro potentia paucorum. Quo audacius aggredimini memores pristinae virtutis! Licuit vobis cum summa turpitudine in exsilio aetatem agere, potuistis nonnulli Romae amissis bonis alienas opes exspectare: quia illa foeda atque intoleranda viris videbantur, haec sequi decrevistis. Si haec relinquere voltis, audacia opus est; nemo nisi victor pace bellum mutavit. Nam in fuga salutem sperare, cum arma, quibus corpus tegitur, ab hostibus avorteris, ea vero dementia est. Semper in proelio iis maxumum est periculum, qui maxume timent; audacia pro muro habetur.
« Cum vos considero, milites, et cum facta vostra aestumo, magna me spes victoriae tenet. Animus, aetas, virtus vostra me hortantur, praeterea necessitudo, quae etiam timidos fortis facit. Nam multitudo hostium ne circumvenire queat, prohibent angustiae loci. Quod si virtuti vostrae fortuna inviderit, cavete inulti animam amittatis neu capiti potius sicuti pecora trucidemini quam virorum more pugnantes cruentam atque luctuosam victoriam hostibus relinquatis! »
[ N ][ A ] Haec ubi dixit, paululum conmoratus signa canere iubet atque instructos ordines in locum aequum deducit. Dein remotis omnium equis, quo militibus exaequato periculo animus amplior esset, ipse pedes exercitum pro loco atque copiis instruit. Nam uti planities erat inter sinistros montis et ab dextra rupe aspera, octo cohortis in fronte constituit, reliquarum signa in subsidio artius conlocat. Ab iis centuriones, omnis lectos et evocatos, praeterea ex gregariis militibus optumum quemque armatum in primam aciem subducit. C. Manlium in dextra, Faesulanum quendam in sinistra parte curare iubet. Ipse cum libertis et colonis propter aquilam adsistit, quam bello Cimbrico C. Marius in exercitu habuisse dicebatur.
At ex altera parte C. Antonius, pedibus aeger quod proelio adesse nequibat, M. Petreio legato exercitum permittit. Ille cohortis veteranas, quas tumultus causa conscripserat, in fronte, post eas ceterum exercitum in subsidiis locat. Ipse equo circumiens unumquemque nominans appellat, hortatur, rogat, ut meminerint se contra latrones inermis pro patria, pro liberis, pro aris atque focis suis certare. Homo militaris, quod amplius annos triginta tribunus aut praefectus aut legatus aut praetor cum magna gloria in exercitu fuerat, plerosque ipsos factaque eorum fortia noverat; ea conmemorando militum animos accendebat.
[ N ][ A ] Sed ubi omnibus rebus exploratis Petreius tuba signum dat, cohortis paulatim incedere iubet; idem facit hostium exercitus. Postquam eo ventum est, unde a ferentariis proelium conmitti posset, maxumo clamore cum infestis signis concurrunt: pila omittunt, gladiis res geritur. Veterani pristinae virtutis memores comminus acriter instare, illi haud timidi resistunt: maxuma vi certatur. Interea Catilina cum expeditis in prima acie vorsari, laborantibus succurrere, integros pro sauciis arcessere, omnia providere, multum ipse pugnare, saepe hostem ferire: strenui militis et boni imperatoris officia simul exsequebatur. Petreius ubi videt Catilinam, contra ac ratus erat, magna vi tendere, cohortem praetoriam in medios hostis inducit eosque perturbatos atque alios alibi resistentis interficit. Deinde utrimque ex lateribus ceteros aggreditur. Manlius et Faesulanus in primis pugnantes cadunt. Catilina postquam fusas copias seque cum paucis relictum videt, memor generis atque pristinae suae dignitatis in confertissumos hostis incurrit ibique pugnans confoditur.
[ N ][ A ] Sed confecto proelio tum vero cerneres, quanta audacia quantaque animi vis fuisset in exercitu Catilinae. Nam fere quem quisque vivus pugnando locum ceperat, eum amissa anima corpore tegebat. Pauci autem, quos medios cohors praetoria disiecerat, paulo divorsius, sed omnes tamen advorsis volneribus conciderant. Catilina vero longe a suis inter hostium cadavera repertus est paululum etiam spirans ferociamque animi, quam habuerat vivus, in voltu retinens. Postremo ex omni copia neque in proelio neque in fuga quisquam civis ingenuus captus est: ita cuncti suae hostiumque vitae iuxta pepercerant. Neque tamen exercitus populi Romani laetam aut incruentam victoriam adeptus erat; nam strenuissumus quisque aut occiderat in proelio aut graviter volneratus discesserat. Multi autem, qui e castris visundi aut spoliandi gratia processerant, volventes hostilia cadavera amicum alii, pars hospitem aut cognatum reperiebant; fuere item, qui inimicos suos cognoscerent. Ita varie per omnem exercitum laetitia, maeror, luctus atque gaudia agitabantur.
[ L ] For as for the imputation which has been levelled against Caelius, of having been intimate with Catiline, he ought to be wholly exempt from any such suspicion. For you all know that he was a very young man when Catiline stood for the consulship the same year that I did; and if he ever joined his party, or ever departed from mine, (though many virtuous young men did espouse the cause of that worthless and abandoned man,) then, indeed, I will allow it to be thought that Caelius was too intimate with Catiline. "But we know, and we ourselves saw after that, that he was one of his friends." Well, who denies it? But I am at this moment engaged in defending his conduct at that period of life, which is of itself unsteady and very liable to be at the mercy of the passions of others. He was continually with me while I was praetor; he knew nothing of Catiline. After that Catiline being praetor had Africa for his province. Another year ensued in which Catiline was prosecuted for extortions and peculation. Caelius was still with me and never went to him not even as an advocate of his cause. The next year was the one in which I was a candidate for the consulship; Catiline was also a candidate. He never went over to him; he never departed from me.
[ L ] Having then been so many years about the forum without any suspicion, and without any slur on his character, he espoused the cause of Catiline when he offered himself for the consulship a second time. How long then do you think that men of his age are to be kept in a state of pupilage? Formerly, we had one year established by custom during which the arm was restrained by our robe and during which we practised our exercises and sports in the Campus Martius in our tunics. And the very same practice prevailed in the camps and in the army, if we began to serve in campaigns at once. And at that age, unless a man protected himself by great gravity and chastity on his own part and not only by rigid domestic discipline, but by an extraordinary degree of natural virtue, however he was looked after by his relations, he still could not escape some slur on his character. But any one who passed that beginning of his life in perfect purity, and free from all stain, never was liable to have any one speak against his fair fame and his chastity when his principles had gained strength, and when he was a man and among men.
[ L ] Caelius espoused the cause of Catiline, when he had been for several years mixing in the forum; and many of every rank and of every age did the very same thing. For that man, as I should think many of you must remember, had very many marks—not indeed fully brought out, but only in outline as it were of the most eminent virtues. He was intimate with many thoroughly wicked men; but he pretended to be entirely devoted to the most virtuous of the citizens. He had many things about him which served to allure men to the gratification of their passions; he had also many things which acted as incentives to industry and toil. The vices of lust raged in him; but at the same time he was conspicuous for great energy and military skill. Nor do I believe that there ever existed so strange a prodigy upon the earth, made up in such a manner of the most various, and different and inconsistent studies and desires.
[ L ] Who was ever more acceptable at one time to most illustrious men? Who was more intimate with the very basest? What citizen was there at times who took a better part than he did? who was there at other times a fouler enemy to this state? Who was more debased in his pleasures? who was more patient in undergoing labours? who was more covetous as regards his rapacity? who more prodigal in squandering? And besides all this, there were, O judges, these marvellous qualities in that man, that he was able to embrace many men in his friendship, to preserve their regard by attention, to share with every one what he had, to assist all his friends in their necessities with money, with influence, with his personal toil, even with his own crimes and audacity, if need were; to keep his nature under restraint and to guide it according to the requirements of the time, and to turn and twist it hither and thither; to live strictly when in company with the morose, merrily with the cheerful, seriously with the old, courteously with the young, audaciously with the criminal, and luxuriously with the profligate.
[ L ] When—by giving full swing to this various and multiform natural disposition of his—he had collected together every wicked and audacious man from every country, so also he retained the friendship of many gallant and virtuous men, by a certain appearance of pretended virtue. Nor would that infamous attempt to destroy this empire have ever proceeded from him, if the ferocity of so many vices had not been based on the deep-rooted foundations of affability and patience.
Let that allegation then, O judges, be disregarded by you, and let not the charge of intimacy with Catiline make any impression upon you. For it is one which only applies to him in common with many other men, and even with some very good men. Even me myself—yes, even me, I say—he once almost deceived, as he seemed to me a virtuous citizen, and desirous of the regard of every good man, and a firm and trustworthy friend; so that in truth, I detected his wickedness with my eyes, before I did so by my opinion; I was aroused to the necessity of acting against him by force, before my suspicions were awakened. So that if Caelius also was one of the great number of friends whom he had to boast of, there is more reason for his being vexed at having fallen into such a mistake, just as sometimes I myself repent also of having been deceived by the same person, than for his having any reason to fear the accusation of having been a friend of his.
[ L ] Accordingly, your speech descended from vituperations of him on the score of chastity, to endeavours to excite odium against him on account of that conspiracy. For you laid it down,—though with hesitating steps and without dwelling on it,—that he must have been an accomplice in the conspiracy, on account of his friendship with Catiline; in advancing which charge, not only the accusation itself failed to wound, but the speech of that eloquent young man lost its usual coherency. For how could Caelius have been capable of such frenzy? What enormous depravity was there in his natural disposition, or in his habits, or what deficiency in his fortunes or prospects, to dispose him to such a crime? And lastly, when was the name of Caelius ever heard of in connection with any suspicion of the sort? I am saying too much about a matter about which there is not the least doubt; but I say this,—that if he had not, not merely been guiltless of any participation in the conspiracy, but been a most decided and avowed enemy of that wickedness, he would never have gone so far as to seek for an especial commendation of his youth by a prosecution of men implicated in that conspiracy.
Lucius Catiline, a man of noble extraction, and who had already been praetor, had been a competitor of Cicero's for the consulship; the next year he again offered himself for the office, practicing such excessive and open bribery, that Cicero published a new law against it, with the additional penalty of ten years' exile; prohibiting likewise all shows of gladiators from being exhibited by a candidate within two years of the time of his suing for any magistracy, unless they were ordered by the will of a person deceased. Catiline, who knew this law to be aimed chiefly at him, formed a design to murder Cicero and some others of the chief men of the senate, on the day of election, which was fixed for the twentieth of October. But Cicero had information of his plans, and laid them before the senate, on which the election was deferred, that they might have time to deliberate on an affair of so much importance. The day following, when the senate met, he charged Catiline with having entertained this design, and Catiline's behaviour had been so violent, that the senate passed the decree to which they had occasionally recourse in times of imminent danger from treason or sedition, “Let the consuls take care that the republic suffers no harm.” This decree invested the consuls with absolute power, and suspended all the ordinary forms of law, till the danger was over. On this Cicero doubled his guards, introduced some additional troops into the city, and when the elections came on, he wore a breastplate under his robe for his protection; by which precaution he prevented Catiline from executing his design of murdering him and his competitors for the consulship, of whom Decius Junius Silanus and Lucius Licinius Murena were elected.
Catiline was rendered desperate by this his second defeat, and resolved without further delay to attempt the execution of all his schemes. His greatest hopes lay in Sulla's veteran soldiers, whose cause he had always espoused. They were scattered about in the different districts and colonies of Italy; but he had actually enlisted a considerable body of them in Etruria, and formed them into a little army under the command of Manlius, a centurion of considerable military experience, who was only waiting for his orders. He was joined in his conspiracy by several senators of profligate lives and desperate fortunes, of whom the chiefs were Publius Cornelius Lentulus, Caius Cethegus, Publius Autronius, Lucius Cassius Longinus, Marcus Porcius Lecca, Publius Sulla, Servilius Sulla, Quintus Curius, Lucius Vargunteius, Quintus Annius, and Lucius Bestia. These men resolved that a general insurrection should be raised throughout all Italy; that Catiline should put himself at the head of the troops in Etruria; that Rome should be set on fire in many places at once and that a general massacre should be made of all the senate, and of all their enemies, of whom none were to be spared but the sons of Pompey, who were to be kept as hostages, and as a check upon their father, who was in command in the east. Lentulus was to be president of their councils, Cassius was to manage the firing of the city, and Cethegus the massacre. But, as the vigilance of Cicero was the greatest obstacle to their success, Catiline desired to see him slain before he left Rome; and two knights, parties to the conspiracy, undertook to visit him early on pretence of business, and to kill him in his bed. The name of one of them was Caius Cornelius.
Cicero, however, had information of all the designs of the conspirators, as by the intrigues of a woman called Fulvia, the mistress of Curius, he had gained him over, and received regularly from him an account of all their operations. He sent for some of the chief men of the city and informed them of the plot against himself; and even of the names of the knights who were to come to his house, and of the hour at which they were to come. When they did come they found the house carefully guarded, and all admission refused to them. He was enabled also to disappoint an attempt made by Catiline to seize on the town of Praeneste, which was a very strong fortress, and would have been of great use to him. The meeting of the conspirators had taken place on the evening of the sixth of November. On the eighth Cicero summoned the senate to meet in the temple of Jupiter in the Capitol, a place which was only used for this purpose on occasions of great danger. (There had been previously several debates on the subject of Catiline's treasons and design of murdering Cicero, and a public reward had actually been offered to the first discoverer of the plot. But Catiline had nevertheless continued to dissemble; had offered to give security for his behaviour, and to deliver himself to the custody of any one whom the senate chose to name, even to that of Cicero himself.). Catiline had the boldness to attend this meeting, and all the senate, even his own most particular acquaintance, were so astonished at his impudence that none of them would salute him; the consular senators quitted that part of the house in which he sat, and left the bench empty; and Cicero himself was so provoked at his audacity, that, instead of entering on any formal business, he addressed himself directly to Catiline in the following invective.
[ L ] I. When, O Catiline, do you mean to cease abusing our patience? How long is that madness of yours still to mock us? When is there to be an end of that unbridled audacity of yours, swaggering about as it does now? Do not the night guards placed on the Palatine Hill—do not the watches posted throughout the city—does not the alarm of the people, and the union of all good men—does not the precaution taken of assembling the senate in this most defensible place—do not the looks and countenances of this venerable body here present, have any effect upon you? Do you not feel that your plans are detected? Do you not see that your conspiracy is already arrested and rendered powerless by the knowledge which every one here possesses of it? What is there that you did last night, what the night before—where is it that you were—who was there that you summoned to meet you—what design was there which was adopted by you, with which you think that any one of us is unacquainted?
[ L ] Shame on the age and on its principles! The senate is aware of these things; the consul sees them; and yet this man lives. Lives! aye, he comes even into the senate. He takes a part in the public deliberations; he is watching and marking down and checking off for slaughter every individual among us. And we, gallant men that we are, think that we are doing our duty to the republic if we keep out of the way of his frenzied attacks. You ought, O Catiline, long ago to have been led to execution by command of the consul. That destruction which you have been long plotting against us ought to have already fallen on your own head.
[ L ] What? Did not that most illustrious man, Publius Scipio, the Pontifex Maximus, in his capacity of a private citizen, put to death Tiberius Gracchus, though but slightly undermining the constitution? And shall we, who are the consuls, tolerate Catiline, openly desirous to destroy the whole world with fire and slaughter? For I pass over older instances, such as how Caius Servilius Ahala with his own hand slew Spurius Mælius when plotting a revolution in the state. There was—there was once such virtue in this republic, that brave men would repress mischievous citizens with severer chastisement than the most bitter enemy. For we have a resolution of the senate, a formidable and authoritative decree against you, O Catiline; the wisdom of the republic is not at fault, nor the dignity of this senatorial body. We, we alone,—I say it openly,—we, the consuls, are wanting in our duty.
[ L ] II. The senate once passed a decree that Lucius Opimius, the consul, should take care that the republic suffered no injury. Not one night elapsed. There was put to death, on some mere suspicion of disaffection, Caius Gracchus, a man whose family had borne the most unblemished reputation for many generations. There was slain Marcus Fulvius, a man of consular rank, and all his children. By a like decree of the senate the safety of the republic was entrusted to Caius Marius and Lucius Valerius, the consuls. Did not the vengeance of the republic, did not execution overtake Lucius Saturninus, a tribune of the people, and Caius Servilius, the prætor, without the delay of one single day? But we, for these twenty days, have been allowing the edge of the senate's authority to grow blunt, as it were. For we are in possession of a similar decree of the senate, but we keep it locked up in its parchment—buried, I may say, in the sheath; and according to this decree you ought, O Catiline, to be put to death this instant. You live,—and you live, not to lay aside, but to persist in your audacity. I wish, O patres conscipti, to be merciful; I wish not to appear negligent amid such danger to the state; but I do now accuse myself of remissness and culpable inactivity.
[ L ] A camp is pitched in Italy, at the entrance of Etruria, in hostility to the republic; the number of the enemy increases every day; and yet the general of that camp, the leader of those enemies, we see within the walls—ay, and even in the senate,—planning every day some internal injury to the republic. If, O Catiline, I should now order you to be arrested, to be put to death, I should, I suppose, have to fear lest all good men should say that I had acted tardily, rather than that any one should affirm that I acted cruelly. But yet this, which ought to have been done long since, I have good reason for not doing as yet; I will put you to death, then, when there shall be not one person possible to be found so wicked, so abandoned, as like yourself, as not to allow that it has been rightly done.
[ L ] As long as one person exists who can dare to defend you, you shall live; but you shall live as you do now, surrounded by my many and trusty guards, so that you shall not be able to stir one finger against the republic: many eyes and ears shall still observe and watch you, as they have hitherto done, though you shall not perceive them.
III. For what is there, O Catiline, that you can still expect, if night is not able to veil your nefarious meetings in darkness, and if private houses cannot conceal the voice of your conspiracy within their walls;—if everything is seen and displayed? Change your mind: trust me: forget the slaughter and conflagration you are meditating. You are hemmed in on all sides; all your plans are clearer than the day to us; let me remind you of them.
[ L ] Do you recollect that on the 21st of October I said in the senate, that on a certain day, which was to be the 27th of October, C. Manlius, the satellite and servant of your audacity, would be in arms? Was I mistaken, Catiline, not only in so important, so atrocious, so incredible a fact, but, what is much more remarkable, in the very day? I said also in the senate that you had fixed the massacre of the nobles for the 28th of October, when many chief men of the senate had left Rome, not so much for the sake of saving themselves as of checking your designs. Can you deny that on that very day you were so hemmed in by my guards and my vigilance, that you were unable to stir one finger against the republic; when you said that you would be content with the flight of the rest, and the slaughter of us who remained?
[ L ] What? when you made sure that you would be able to seize Præneste on the first of November by a nocturnal attack, did you not find that that colony was fortified by my order, by my garrison, by my watchfulness and care? You do nothing, you plan nothing, you think of nothing which I not only do not hear, but which I do not see and know every particular of.
IV. Listen while I speak of the night before. You shall now see that I watch far more actively for the safety than you do for the destruction of the republic. I say that you came the night before (I will say nothing obscurely) into the Scythedealers' street, to the house of Marcus Lecca; that many of your accomplices in the same insanity and wickedness came there too. Do you dare to deny it? Why are you silent? I will prove it if you do deny it; for I see here in the senate some men who were there with you.
[ L ] O ye immortal Gods, where on earth are we? in what city are we living? what constitution is ours? There are here,—here in our body, O patres conscripti, in this the most holy and dignified assembly of the whole world, men who meditate my death, and the death of all of us, and the destruction of this city, and of the whole world. I, the consul, see them; I ask them their opinion about the republic, and I do not yet attack, even by words, those who ought to be put to death by the sword.
You were, then, O Catiline, at Lecca's that night; you divided Italy into sections; you settled where every one was to go; you fixed whom you were to leave at Rome, whom you were to take with you; you portioned out the divisions of the city for conflagration; you undertook that you yourself would at once leave the city, and said that there was then only this to delay you, that I was still alive. Two Roman knights were found to deliver you from this anxiety, and to promise that very night, before daybreak, to slay me in my bed.
[ L ] All this I knew almost before your meeting had broken up. I strengthened and fortified my house with a stronger guard; I refused admittance, when they came, to those whom you sent in the morning to salute me, and of whom I had foretold to many eminent men that they would come to me at that time.
V. As, then, this is the case, O Catiline, continue as you have begun. Leave the city at last: the gates are open; depart. That Manlian camp of yours has been waiting too long for you as its general. And lead forth with you all your friends, or at least as many as you can; purge the city of your presence; you will deliver me from a great fear, when there is a wall between me and you. Among us you can dwell no longer—I will not bear it, I will not permit it, I will not tolerate it.
[ L ] Great thanks are due to the immortal gods, and to this very Jupiter Stator, in whose temple we are, the most ancient protector of this city, that we have already so often escaped so foul, so horrible, and so deadly an enemy to the republic.
But the safety of the commonwealth must not be too often allowed to be risked on one man. As long as you, O Catiline, plotted against me while I was the consul-elect, I defended myself not with a public guard, but by my own private diligence. When, in the next consular comitia, you wished to slay me when I was actually consul, and your competitors also, in the Campus Martius, I checked your nefarious attempt by the assistance and resources of my own friends, without exciting any disturbance publicly. In short, as often as you attacked me, I by myself opposed you, and that, too, though I saw that my ruin was connected with great disaster to the republic.
[ L ] But now you are openly attacking the entire republic. You are summoning to destruction and devastation the temples of the immortal gods, the houses of the city, the lives of all the citizens; in short, all Italy. Wherefore, since I do not yet venture to do that which is the best thing, and which belongs to my office and to the discipline of our ancestors, I will do that which is more merciful if we regard its rigour, and more expedient for the state. For if I order you to be put to death, the rest of the conspirators will still remain in the republic; if, as I have long been exhorting you, you depart, your companions, those worthless dregs of the republic, will be drawn off from the city too.
[ L ] What is the matter, Catiline? Do you hesitate to do that when I order you which you were already doing of your own accord? The consul orders an enemy to depart from the city. Do you ask me, Are you to go into banishment? I do not order it; but, if you consult me, I advise it.
VI. For what is there, O Catiline, that can now afford you any pleasure in this city? for there is no one in it, except that band of profligate conspirators of yours, who does not fear you,—no one who does not hate you. What brand of domestic baseness is not stamped upon your life?
What disgraceful circumstance is wanting to your infamy in your private affairs? From what licentiousness have your eyes, from what atrocity have your hands, from what iniquity has your whole body ever abstained? Is there one youth, when you have once entangled him in the temptations of your corruption, to whom you have not held out a sword for audacious crime, or a torch for licentious wickedness?
[ L ] What? when lately by the death of your former wife you had made your house empty and ready for a new bridal, did you not even add another incredible wickedness to this wickedness? But I pass that over, and willingly allow it to be buried in silence, that so horrible a crime may not be seen to have existed in this city, and not to have been chastised. I pass over the ruin of your fortune, [all] which you know is hanging over you against the ides of the very next month; I come to those things which relate not to the infamy of your private vices, not to your domestic difficulties and baseness, but to the welfare of the republic and to the lives and safety of us all.
[ L ] Can the light of this life, O Catiline, can the breath of this atmosphere be pleasant to you, when you know that there is not one man of those here present who is ignorant that you, on the last day of the year, when Lepidus and Tullus were consuls, stood in the assembly armed; that you had prepared your hand for the slaughter of the consuls and chief men of the state, and that no reason or fear of yours hindered your crime and madness, but the fortune of the republic?
And I say no more of these things, for they are not unknown to every one. How often have you endeavoured to slay me, both as consul-elect and as actual consul? how many shots of yours, so aimed that they seemed impossible to be escaped, have I avoided by some slight stooping aside, and some dodging, as it were, of my body? You attempt nothing, you execute nothing, you devise nothing that can be kept hid from me at the proper time; and yet you do not cease to attempt and to contrive.
[ L ] How often already has that dagger of yours been wrested from your hands? how often has it slipped through them by some chance, and dropped down? and yet you cannot any longer do without it; and to what sacred mysteries it is consecrated and devoted by you I know not, that you think it necessary to plunge it in the body of the consul.
VII. But now, what is that life of yours that you are leading? For I will speak to you not so as to seem influenced by the hatred I ought to feel, but by pity, nothing of which is due to you. You came a little while ago into the senate: in so numerous an assembly, who of so many friends and connexions of yours saluted you? If this in the memory of man never happened to any one else, are you waiting for insults by word of mouth, when you are overwhelmed by the most irresistible condemnation of silence? Is it nothing that at your arrival all those seats were vacated? that all the men of consular rank, who had often been marked out by you for slaughter, the very moment you sat down, left that part of the benches bare and vacant? With what feelings do you think you ought to bear this?
[ L ] On my honour, if my slaves feared me as all your fellow-citizens fear you, I should think I must leave my house. Do not you think you should leave the city? If I saw that I was even undeservedly so suspected and hated by my fellow-citizens, I would rather flee from their sight than be gazed at by the hostile eyes of every one. And do you, who, from the consciousness of your wickedness, know that the hatred of all men is just and has been long due to you, hesitate to avoid the sight and presence of those men whose minds and senses you offend? If your parents feared and hated you, and if you could by no means pacify them, you would, I think, depart somewhere out of their sight. Now, your country, which is the common parent of all of us, hates and fears you, and has no other opinion of you, than that you are meditating parricide in her case; and will you neither feel awe of her authority, nor deference for her judgment, nor fear of her power?
[ L ] And she, O Catiline, thus pleads with you, and after a manner silently speaks to you:—There has now for many years been no crime committed but by you; no atrocity has taken place without you : you alone unpunished and unquestioned have murdered the citizens, have harassed and plundered the allies; you alone have had power not only to neglect all laws and investigations, but to overthrow and break through them. Your former actions, though they ought not to have been borne, yet I did bear as well as I could; but now that I should be wholly occupied with fear of you alone, that at every sound I should dread Catiline, that no design should seem possible to be entertained against me which does not proceed from your wickedness, this is no longer endurable. Depart, then, and deliver me from this fear; that, if it be a just one, I may not be destroyed; if an imaginary one, that at least I may at last cease to fear.
[ L ] VIII. If, as I have said, your country were thus to address you, ought she not to obtain her request, even if she were not able to enforce it? What shall I say of your having given yourself into custody? what of your having said, for the sake of avoiding suspicion, that you were willing to dwell in the house of Marcus Lepidus? And when you were not received by him, you dared even to come to me, and begged me to keep you in my house; and when you had received answer from me that I could not possibly be safe in the same house with you, when I considered myself in great danger as long as we were in the same city, you came to Quintus Metellus, the prætor, and being rejected by him, you passed on to your associate, that most excellent man, Marcus Marcellus, who would be, I suppose you thought, most diligent in guarding you, most sagacious in suspecting you, and most bold in punishing you; but how far can we think that man ought to be from bonds and imprisonment who has already judged himself deserving of being given into custody?
[ L ] Since, then, this is the case, do you hesitate, O Catiline, if you cannot remain here with tranquillity, to depart to some distant land, and to trust your life, saved from just and deserved punishment, to flight and solitude? Make a motion, say you, to the senate, (for that is what you demand,) and if this body votes that you ought to go into banishment, you say that you will obey. I will not make such a motion, it is contrary to my principles, and yet I will let you see what these men think of you: Be gone from the city, O Catiline, deliver the republic from fear; depart into banishment, if that is the word you are waiting for.
What now, O Catiline? Do you not perceive, do you not see the silence of these men; they permit it, they say nothing; why wait you for the authority of their words when you see their wishes in their silence?
[ L ] But had I said the same to this excellent young man, Publius Sextius, or to that brave man, Marcus Marcellus, before this time the senate would deservedly have laid violent hands on me, consul though I be, in this very temple. But as to you, Catiline, while they are quiet they approve, while they permit me to speak they vote, while they are silent they are loud and eloquent. And not they alone, whose authority forsooth is dear to you, though their lives are unimportant, but the Roman knights too, those most honourable and excellent men, and the other virtuous citizens who are now surrounding the senate, whose numbers you could see, whose desires you could know, and whose voices you a few minutes ago could hear,—ay, whose very hands and weapons I have for some time been scarcely able to keep off from you; but those, too, I will easily bring to attend you to the gates if you leave these places you have been long desiring to lay waste.
[ L ] IX. And yet, why am I speaking? that anything may change your purpose? that you may ever amend your life? that you may meditate flight or think of voluntary banishment? I wish the gods may give you such a mind; though I see, if alarmed at my words you bring your mind to go into banishment, what a storm of unpopularity hangs over me, if not at present, while the memory of your wickedness is fresh, at all events hereafter. But it is worth while to incur that, as long as that is but a private misfortune of my own, and is unconnected with the dangers of the republic. But we cannot expect that you should be concerned at your own vices, that you should fear the penalties of the laws, or that you should yield to the necessities of the republic, for you are not, O Catiline, one whom either shame can recall from infamy, or fear from danger, or reason from madness.
[ L ] Wherefore, as I have said before, go forth, and if you wish to make me, your enemy as you call me, unpopular, go straight into banishment. I shall scarcely be able to endure all that will be said if you do so; I shall scarcely be able to support my load of unpopularity if you do go into banishment at the command of the consul; but if you wish to serve my credit and reputation, go forth with your ill-omened band of profligates; betake yourself to Manlius, rouse up the abandoned citizens, separate yourself from the good ones, wage war against your country, exult in your impious banditti, so that you may not seem to have been driven out by me and gone to strangers, but to have gone invited to your own friends.
[ L ] Though why should I invite you, by whom I know men have been already sent on to wait in arms for you at the forum Aurelium; who I know has fixed and agreed with Manlius upon a settled day; by whom I know that that silver eagle, which I trust will be ruinous and fatal to you and to all your friends, and to which there was set up in your house a shrine as it were of your crimes, has been already sent forward. Need I fear that you can long do without that which you used to worship when going out to murder, and from whose altars you have often transferred your impious hand to the slaughter of citizens?
[ L ] X. You will go at last where your unbridled and mad desire has been long hurrying you. And this causes you no grief, but an incredible pleasure. Nature has formed you, desire has trained you, fortune has preserved you for this insanity. Not only did you never desire quiet, but you never even desired any war but a criminal one; you have collected a band of profligates and worthless men, abandoned not only by all fortune but even by hope.
[ L ] Then what happiness will you enjoy! with what delight will you exult! in what pleasure will you revel! when in so numerous a body of friends, you neither hear nor see one good man. All the toils you have gone through have always pointed to this sort of life; your lying on the ground not merely to lie in wait to gratify your unclean desires, but even to accomplish crimes; your vigilance, not only when plotting against the sleep of husbands, but also against the goods of your murdered victims, have all been preparations for this. Now you have an opportunity of displaying your splendid endurance of hunger, of cold, of want of everything; by which in a short time you will find yourself worn out.
[ L ] All this I effected when I procured your rejection from the consulship, that you should be reduced to make attempts on your country as an exile, instead of being able to distress it as consul, and that that which had been wickedly undertaken by you should be called piracy rather than war.
XI. Now that I may remove and avert, O patres conscipti, any in the least reasonable complaint from myself, listen, I beseech you, carefully to what I say, and lay it up in your inmost hearts and minds. In truth, if my country, which is far dearer to me than my life,—if all Italy,—if the whole republic were to address me, "Marcus Tullius, what are you doing? will you permit that man to depart whom you have ascertained to be an enemy? whom you see ready to become the general of the war? whom you know to be expected in the camp of the enemy as their chief, the author of all this wickedness, the head of the conspiracy, the instigator of the slaves and abandoned citizens, so that he shall seem not driven out of the city by you, but let loose by you against the city? Will you not order him to be thrown into prison, to be hurried off to execution, to be put to death with the most prompt severity?
[ L ] What hinders you? is it the customs of our ancestors? But even private men have often in this republic slain mischievous citizens.—Is it the laws which have been passed about the punishment of Roman citizens? But in this city those who have rebelled against the republic have never had the rights of citizens.—Do you fear odium with posterity? You are showing fine gratitude to the Roman people which has raised you, a man known only by your own actions, of no ancestral renown, through all the degrees of honour at so early an age to the very highest office, if from fear of unpopularity or of any danger you neglect the safety of your fellow-citizens.
[ L ] But if you have a fear of unpopularity, is that arising from the imputation of vigour and boldness, or that arising from that of inactivity and indecision most to be feared? When Italy is laid waste by war, when cities are attacked and houses in flames, do you not think that you will be then consumed by a perfect conflagration of hatred?"
XII. To this holy address of the republic, and to the feelings of those men who entertain the same opinion, I will make this short answer:—If, O patres conscipti, I thought it best that Catiline should be punished with death, I would not have given the space of one hour to this gladiator to live in. If, forsooth, those excellent men and most illustrious cities not only did not pollute themselves, but even glorified themselves by the blood of Saturninus, and the Gracchi, and Flaccus, and many others of old time, surely I had no cause to fear lest for slaying this parricidal murderer of the citizens any unpopularity should accrue to me with posterity. And if it did threaten me to ever so great a degree, yet I have always been of the disposition to think unpopularity earned by virtue and glory, not unpopularity.
[ L ] Though there are some men in this body who either do not see what threatens, or dissemble what they do see; who have fed the hope of Catiline by mild sentiments, and have strengthened the rising conspiracy by not believing it; influenced by whose authority many, and they not wicked, but only ignorant, [MacDonald, Loeb: the merely naïve as well as those of ill will] if I punished him would say that I had acted cruelly and tyranically. But I know that if he arrives at the camp of Manlius to which he is going, there will be no one so stupid as not to see that there has been a conspiracy, no one so hardened as not to confess it. But if this man alone were put to death, I know that this disease of the republic would be only checked for awhile, not eradicated for ever. But if he banishes himself, and takes with him all his friends, and collects at one point all the ruined men from every quarter, then not only will this full-grown plague of the republic be extinguished and eradicated, but also the root and seed of all future evils.
[ L ] XIII. We have now for a long time, O patres conscipti, lived among these dangers and machinations of conspiracy; but somehow or other, the ripeness of all wickedness, and of this long-standing madness and audacity, has come to a head at the time of my consulship. But if this man alone is removed from this piratical crew, we may appear, perhaps, for a short time relieved from fear and anxiety, but the danger will settle down and lie hid in the veins and bowels of the republic. As it often happens that men afflicted with a severe disease, when they are tortured with heat and fever, if they drink cold water, seem at first to be relieved, but afterwards suffer more and more severely; so this disease which is in the republic, if relieved by the punishment of this man, will only get worse and worse, as the rest will be still alive.
[ L ] Wherefore, O patres conscipti, let the worthless begone,—let them separate themselves from the good,—let them collect in one place,—let them, as I have often said before, be separated from us by a wall; let them cease to plot against the consul in his own house,—to surround the tribunal of the city prætor,—to besiege the senate-house with swords,—to prepare brands and torches to burn the city; let it, in short, be written on the brow of every citizen, what are his sentiments about the republic. I promise you this, O patres conscipti, that there shall be so much diligence in us the consuls, so much authority in you, so much virtue in the Roman knights, so much unanimity in all good men, that you shall see everything made plain and manifest by the departure of Catiline,—everything checked and punished.
[ L ] With these omens, O Catiline, begone to your impious and nefarious war, to the great safety of the republic, to your own misfortune and injury, and to the destruction of those who have joined themselves to you in every wickedness and atrocity. Then do you, O Jupiter, who were consecrated by Romulus with the same auspices as this city, whom we rightly call the stay of this city and empire, repel this man and his companions from your altars and from the other temples,—from the houses and walls of the city,—from the lives and fortunes of all the citizens; and overwhelm all the enemies of good men, the foes of the republic, the robbers of Italy, men bound together by a treaty and infamous alliance of crimes, dead and alive, with eternal punishments.
Catiline did not venture to make any reply to the former speech, but he begged the senate not to be too hasty in believing everything which was said to his prejudice by one who had always been his enemy, as Cicero had; and alleged his high birth, and the stake which he had in the prosperity of the commonwealth, as arguments to make it appear improbable that he should seek to injure it; and called Cicero a stranger, and a new inhabitant of Rome. But the senate interrupted him with a general outcry, calling him traitor and parricide. Upon which, being rendered furious and desperate, he declared aloud what he had before said to Cato, that since he was circumvented and driven headlong by his enemies, he would quench the flame which his enemies were kindling around him in the common ruin. And so he rushed out of the temple. On his arrival at his own house he held a brief conference with the other conspirators, in which it was resolved that he should go at once to the camp of Manlius, and return as speedily as he could at the head of the army which was there awaiting him. Accordingly, that night he left Rome with a small retinue, and made the best of his way towards Etruria. His friends gave out that he had gone into voluntary banishment at Marseilles; and spread that report through the city the next morning, in order to excite odium against Cicero, as having driven him out without any trial or proof of his guilt. But Cicero was aware of his motions, and knew that he had previously sent a quantity of arms, and military ensigns, and especially a silver eagle which he had been used to keep in his own house with a superstitious reverence, because it had been used by the great Marius in his expedition against the Cimbri. However, he thought it desirable to counteract the story of his having gone into exile, and therefore summoned the people into the forum, and made them the following speech.
[ L ] I. At length, O Romans, we have dismissed from the city, or driven out, or, when he was departing of his own accord, we have pursued with words, Lucius Catiline, mad with audacity, breathing wickedness, impiously planning mischief to his country, threatening fire and sword to you and to this city. He is gone, he has departed, he has disappeared, he has issued [Editor: illegible word?] out. No injury will now be prepared against these walls within the walls themselves by that monster and prodigy of wickedness. And we have, without controversy, defeated him, the sole general of this domestic war. For now that dagger will no longer hover about our sides; we shall not be afraid in the campus, in the forum, in the senatehouse,—ay, and within our own private walls. He was moved from his place when he was driven from the city. Now we shall openly carry on a regular war with an enemy without hindrance. Beyond all question we ruin the man; we have defeated him splendidly when we have driven him from secret treachery into open warfare.
[ L ] But that he has not taken with him his sword red with blood as he intended,—that he has left us alive,—that we wrested the weapon from his hands,—that he has left the citizens safe and the city standing, what great and overwhelming grief must you think that this is to him! Now he lies prostrate, O Romans, and feels himself stricken down and abject, and often casts back his eyes towards this city, which he mourns over as snatched from his jaws, but which seems to me to rejoice at having vomited forth such a pest, and cast it out of doors.
[ L ] II. But if there be any one of that disposition which all men should have, who yet blames me greatly for the very thing in which my speech exults and triumphs,—namely, that I did not arrest so capital mortal an enemy rather than let him go,—that is not my fault, O citizens, but the fault of the times. Lucius Catiline ought to have been visited with the severest punishment, and to have been put to death long since; and both the customs of our ancestors, and the rigour of my office, and the republic, demanded this of me; but how many, think you, were there who did not believe what I reported? how many who out of stupidity did not think so? how many who even defended him,—how many who, out of their own depravity, favoured him? If, in truth, I had thought that, if he were removed, all danger would be removed from you, I would long since have cut off Lucius Catiline, had it been at the risk, not only of my popularity, but even of my life.
[ L ] But as I saw that, since the matter was not even then proved to all of you, if I had punished him with death, as he had deserved, I should be borne down by unpopularity, and so be unable to follow up his accomplices, I brought the business on to this point that you might be able to combat openly when you saw the enemy without disguise. But how exceedingly I think this enemy to be feared now that he is out of doors, you may see from this,—that I am vexed even that he has gone from the city with but a small retinue. I wish he had taken with him all his forces. He has taken with him Tongillus, with whom he had been said to have a criminal intimacy, and Publicius, and Munatius, whose debts contracted in taverns could cause no great disquietude to the republic. He has left behind him others—you all know what men they are, how overwhelmed with debt, how powerful, how noble.
[ L ] III. Therefore, with our Gallic legions, and with the levies which Quintus Metellus has raised in the Picenian and Gallic territory, and with these troops which are every day being got ready by us, I thoroughly despise that army composed of desperate old men, of clownish profligates, and uneducated spendthrifts; of those who have preferred to desert their bail rather than that army, and which will fall to pieces if I show them not the battle array of our army, but an edict of the prætor. I wish he had taken with him those soldiers of his, whom I see hovering about the forum, standing about the senate-house, even coming into the senate, who shine with ointment, who glitter in purple; and if they remain here, remember that that army is not so much to be feared by us as these men who have deserted the army. And they are the more to be feared, because they are aware that I know what they are thinking of, and yet they are not influenced by it.
[ L ] I know to whom Apulia has been allotted, who has Etruria, who the Picenian territory, who the Gallic district, who has begged for himself the office of spreading fire and sword by night through the city. They know that all the plans of the preceding night are brought to me. I laid them before the senate yesterday. Catiline himself was alarmed and fled. Why do these men wait? Verily, they are greatly mistaken if they think that former lenity of mine will last for ever.
IV. What I have been waiting for, that I have gained,—namely, that you should all see that a conspiracy has been openly formed against the republic; unless, indeed, there be any one who thinks that those who are like Catiline do not agree with Catiline. There is not any longer room for lenity; the business itself demands severity. One thing, even now, I will grant,—let them depart, let them begone. Let them not suffer the unhappy Catiline to pine away for want of them. I will tell them the road. He went by the Aurelian road. If they make haste, they will catch him by the evening.
[ L ] O happy republic, if it can cast forth these dregs of the republic! Even now, when Catiline alone is got rid of, the republic seems to me relieved and refreshed; for what evil or wickedness can be devised or imagined which he did not conceive? What poisoner, what gladiator, what thief, what assassin, what parricide, what forger of wills, what cheat, what debauchee, what spendthrift, what adulterer, what abandoned woman, what corrupter of youth, what profligate, what scoundrel can be found in all Italy, who does not avow that he has been on terms of intimacy with Catiline? What murder has been committed for years without him? What nefarious act of infamy that has not been done by him?
[ L ] But in what other man were there ever so many allurements for youth as in him, who both indulged in infamous love for others, and encouraged their infamous affections for himself, promising to some enjoyment of their lust, to others the death of their parents, and not only instigating them to iniquity, but even assisting them in it. But now, how suddenly had he collected, not only out of the city, but even out of the country, a number of abandoned men? No one, not only at Rome, but in every corner of Italy, was overwhelmed with debt whom he did not enlist in this incredible association of wickedness.
[ L ] V. And, that you may understand the diversity of his pursuits and the variety of his designs, there was no one in any school of gladiators, at all inclined to audacity, who does not avow himself to be an intimate friend of Catiline,—no one on the stage, at all of a fickle and worthless disposition, who does not profess himself his companion. And he, trained in the practice of insult and wickedness, in enduring cold, and hunger, and thirst, and watching, was called a brave man by those fellows, while all the appliances of industry and instruments of virtue were devoted to lust and atrocity.
[ L ] But if his companions follow him,—if the infamous herd of desperate men depart from the city, O happy shall we be, fortunate will be the republic, illustrious will be the renown of my consulship. For theirs is no ordinary insolence,—no common and endurable audacity. They think of nothing but slaughter, conflagration, and rapine. They have dissipated their patrimonies, they have squandered their fortunes. Money has long failed them, and now credit begins to fail; but the same desires remain which they had in their time of abundance. But if in their drinking and gambling parties they were content with feasts and harlots, they would be in a hopeless state indeed; but yet they might be endured. But who can bear this,—that indolent men should plot against the bravest,—drunkards against the sober,—men asleep against men awake,—men lying at feasts, embracing abandoned women, languid with wine, crammed with food, crowned with chaplets, recking with ointments, worn out with lust, belch out in their discourse the murder of all good men, and the conflagration of the city?
[ L ] But I am confident that some fate is hanging over these men; and that the punishment long since due to their iniquity and worthlessness, and wickedness, and lust, is either visibly at hand or at least rapidly approaching. And if my consulship shall have removed, since it cannot cure them, it will have added, not some brief span, but many ages of existence to the republic. For there is no nation for us to fear,—no king who can make war on the Roman people. All foreign affairs are tranquillized, both by land and sea, by the valour of one man. Domestic war alone remains. The only plots against us are within our own walls,—the danger is within,—the enemy is within. We must war with luxury, with madness, with wickedness. For this war, O citizens, I offer myself as the general. I take on myself the enmity of profligate men. What can be cured, I will cure, by whatever means it may be possible. What must be cut away, I will not suffer to spread, to the ruin of the republic. Let them depart, or let them stay quiet; or if they remain in the city and in the same disposition as at present, let them expect what they deserve.
[ L ] VI. But there are men, O Romans, who say that Catiline has been driven by me into banishment. But if I could do so by a word, I would drive out those also who say so. Forsooth, that timid, that excessively bashful man could not bear the voice of the consul; as soon as he was ordered to go into banishment, he obeyed, he was quiet. Yesterday, when I had been all but murdered at my own house, I convoked the senate in the temple of Jupiter Stator; I related the whole affair to the patres conscipti; and when Catiline came thither, what senator addressed him? who saluted him? who looked upon him not so much even as an abandoned citizen, as an implacable enemy? Nay the chiefs of that body left that part of the benches to which he came naked and empty.
[ L ] On this I, that violent consul, who drive citizens into exile by a word, asked of Catiline whether he had been at the nocturnal meeting at Marcus Lecca’s, or not; when that most audacious man, convicted by his own conscience, was at first silent. I related all the other circumstances; I described what he had done that night, where he had been, what he had arranged for the next night, how the plan of the whole war had been laid down by him. When he hesitated, when he was convicted, I asked why he hesitated to go whither he had been long preparing to go; when I knew that arms, that the axes, the fasces, and trumpets, and military standards, and that silver eagle to which he had made a shrine in his own house, had been sent on.
[ L ] Did I drive him into exile who I knew had already entered upon war? I suppose Manlius, that centurion who has pitched his camp in the Fæsulan district, has proclaimed war against the Roman people in his own name; and that camp is not now waiting for Catiline as its general, and he, driven forsooth into exile, will go to Marseilles, as they say, and not to that camp.
VII. O the hard lot of those, not only of those who govern, but even of those who save the republic. Now, if Lucius Catiline, hemmed in and rendered powerless by my counsels, by my toils, by my dangers, should on a sudden become alarmed, should change his designs, should desert his friends, should abandon his design of making war, should change his path from this course of wickedness and war, and betake himself to flight and exile, he will not be said to have been deprived by me of the arms of his audacity, to have been astounded and terrified by my diligence, to have been driven from his hope and from his enterprise, but, uncondemned and innocent, to have been driven into banishment by the consul by threats and violence; and there will be some who will seek to have him thought not worthless but unfortunate, and me considered not a most active consul, but a most cruel tyrant.
[ L ] I am not unwilling, O Romans, to endure this storm of false and unjust unpopularity as long as the danger of this horrible and nefarious war is warded off from you. Let him be said to be banished by me as long as he goes into banishment; but, believe me, he will not go. I will never ask of the immortal gods, O Romans, for the sake of lightening my own unpopularity, for you to hear that Lucius Catiline is leading an army of enemies, and is hovering about in arms; but yet in three days you will hear it. And I much more fear that it will be objected to me some day or other, that I have let him escape, rather than that I have banished him. But when there are men who say he has been banished because he has gone away, what would these men say if he had been put to death?
[ L ] Although those men who keep saying that Catiline is going to Marseilles do not complain of this so much as they fear it; for there is not one of them so inclined to pity, as not to prefer that he should go to Manlius rather than to Marseilles. But he, if he had never before planned what he is now doing, yet would rather be slain while living as a bandit, than live as an exile; but now, when nothing has happened to him contrary to his own wish and design,—except, indeed, that he has left Rome while we are alive,—let us wish rather that he may go into exile than complain of it.
[ L ] VIII. But why are we speaking so long about one enemy; and about that enemy who now avows that he is one; and whom I now do not fear, because, as I have always wished, a wall is between us; and are saying nothing about those who dissemble, who remain at Rome, who are among us? Whom, indeed, if it were by any means possible, I should be anxious not so much to chastise as to cure, and to make friendly to the republic; nor, if they will listen to me, do I quite know why that may not be. For I will tell you, O Romans, of what classes of men those forces are made up, and then, if I can, I will apply to each the medicine of my advice and persuasion.
[ L ] There is one class of them, who, with enormous debts, have still greater possessions, and who can by no means be detached from their affection to them. Of these men the appearance is most respectable, for they are wealthy, but their intention and their cause are most shameless. Will you be rich in lands, in houses, in money, in slaves, in all things, and yet hesitate to diminish your possessions to add to your credit? What are you expecting? War? What! in the devastation of all things, do you believe that your own possessions will be held sacred? do you expect an abolition of debts? They are mistaken who expect that from Catiline. There may be schedules made out, owing to my exertions, but they will be only catalogues of sale. Nor can those who have possessions be safe by any other means; and if they had been willing to adopt this plan earlier, and not, as is very foolish, to struggle on against usury with the profits of their farms, we should have them now richer and better citizens. But I think these men are the least of all to be dreaded, because they can either be persuaded to abandon their opinions, or if they cling to them, they seem to me more likely to form wishes against the republic than to bear arms against it.
[ L ] IX. There is another class of them, who, although they are harassed by debt, yet are expecting supreme power; they wish to become masters. They think that when the republic is in confusion they may gain those honours which they despair of when it is in tranquillity. And they must, I think, be told the same as every one else,—to despair of obtaining what they are aiming at; that in the first place, I myself am watchful for, am present to, am providing for the republic. Besides that, there is a high spirit in the virtuous citizens, great unanimity, great numbers, and also a large body of troops. Above all that, the immortal gods will stand by and bring aid to this invincible nation, this most illustrious empire, this most beautiful city, against such wicked violence. And if they had already got that which they with the greatest madness wish for, do they think that in the ashes of the city and blood of the citizens, which in their wicked and infamous hearts they desire, they will become consuls and dictators and even kings? Do they not see that they are wishing for that which, if they were to obtain it, must be given up to some fugitive slave, or to some gladiator?
[ L ] There is a third class, already touched by age, but still vigorous from constant exercise; of which class is Manlius himself, whom Catiline is now succeeding. These are men of those colonies which Sylla established [at Fæsulæ], which I know to be composed, on the whole, of excellent citizens and brave men; but yet these are colonists, who, from becoming possessed of unexpected and sudden wealth, boast themselves extravagantly and insolently; these men, while they build like rich men, while they delight in farms, in litters, in vast families of slaves, in luxurious banquets, have incurred such great debts, that, if they would be saved, they must raise Sylla from the dead; and they have even excited some countrymen, poor and needy men, to entertain the same hopes of plunder as themselves. And all these men, O Romans. I place in the same class of robbers and banditti. But, I warn them, let them cease to be mad, and to think of proscriptions and dictatorships; for such a horror of these times is ingrained into the city, that not even men, but it seems to me that even the very cattle would refuse to bear them again.
[ L ] X. There is a fourth class, various, promiscuous and turbulent; who indeed are now overwhelmed; who will never recover themselves; who, partly from indolence, partly from managing their affairs badly, partly from extravagance, are embarrassed by old debts; and worn out with bail bonds, and judgments and seizures of their goods, are said to be betaking themselves in numbers to that camp both from the city and the country. These men I think not so much active soldiers as lazy insolvents; who, if they cannot stand at first, may fall, but fall so, that not only the city but even their nearest neighbours know nothing of it. For I do not understand why, if they cannot live with honour, they should wish to die shamefully; or why they think they shall perish with less pain in a crowd, than if they perish by themselves.
[ L ] There is a fifth class, of parricides, assassins, in short of all infamous characters, whom I do not wish to recall from Catiline, and indeed they cannot be separated from him. Let them perish in their wicked war, since they are so numerous that a prison cannot contain them.
There is a last class, last not only in number but in the sort of men and in their way of life; the especial body-guard of Catiline, of his levying; ay, the friends of his embraces and of his bosom; whom you see with carefully combed hair, glossy, beardless, or with well-trimmed beards; with tunics with sleeves, or reaching to the ancles; clothed with veils, not with robes; all the industry of whose life, all the labour of whose watchfulness, is expended in suppers lasting till daybreak.
[ L ] In these bands are all the gamblers, all the adulterers, all the unclean and shameless citizens. These boys, so witty and delicate, have learnt not only to love and to be loved, not only to sing and to dance, but also to brandish daggers and to administer poisons; and unless they are driven out, unless they die, even should Catiline die, I warn you that the school of Catiline would exist in the republic. But what do those wretches want? Are they going to take their wives with them to the camp? How can they do without them, especially in these nights? and how will they endure the Apennines, and these frosts, and this snow? unless they think that they will bear the winter more easily because they have been in the habit of dancing naked at their feasts.
[ L ] O war much to be dreaded, when Catiline is going to have his body-guard of prostitutes!
XI. Array now, O Romans, against these splendid troops of Catiline, your guards and your armies; and first of all oppose to that worn-out and wounded gladiator your consuls and generals; then against that banished and enfeebled troop of ruined men lead out the flower and strength of all Italy: instantly the cities of the colonies and municipalities will match the rustic mounds of Catiline; and I will not condescend to compare the rest of your troops and equipments and guards with the want and destitution of that highwayman.
[ L ] But if, omitting all these things in which we are rich and of which he is destitute,—the senate, the Roman knights, the people, the city, the treasury, the revenues, all Italy, all the provinces, foreign nations,—if, I say, omitting all these things, we choose to compare the causes themselves which are opposed to one another, we may understand from that alone how thoroughly prostrate they are. For on the one side are fighting modesty, on the other wantonness; on the one chastity, on the other uncleanness; on the one honesty, on the other fraud; on the one piety, on the other wickedness; on the one consistency, on the other insanity; on the one honour, on the other baseness; on the one continence, on the other lust; in short, equity, temperance, fortitude, prudence, all the virtues contend against iniquity with luxury, against indolence, against rashness, against all the vices; lastly, abundance contends against destitution, good plans against baffled designs, wisdom against madness, well-founded hope against universal despair. In a contest and war of this sort, even if the zeal of men were to fail, will not the immortal gods compel such numerous and excessive vices to be defeated by these most eminent virtues?
[ L ] XII. And as this is the case, O Romans, do ye, as I have said before, defend your house with guards and vigilance. I have taken care and made arrangements that there shall be sufficient protection for the city without distressing you and without any tumult. All the colonists and citizens of your municipal towns, being informed by me of this nocturnal sally of Catiline, will easily defend their cities and territories; the gladiators which he thought would be his most numerous and most trusty band, although they are better disposed than part of the patricians, will be held in check by our power. Quintus Metellus, whom I, making provision for this, sent on to the Gallic and Picenian territory, will either overwhelm the man, or will prevent all his motions and attempts; but with respect to the arrangement of all other matters, and maturing and acting on our plans, we shall consult the senate, which, as you are aware, is convened.
[ L ] Now once more I wish those who have remained in the city, and who, contrary to the safety of the city and of all of you, have been left in the city by Catiline, although they are enemies, yet because they were born citizens, to be warned again and again by me. If my lenity has appeared to any one too remiss, it has been only waiting that that might break out which was lying hid. As to the future, I cannot now forget that this is my country, that I am the consul of these citizens; that I must either live with them, or die for them. There is no guard at the gate, no one plotting against their path; if any one wishes to go, he can provide for himself; but if any one stirs in the city, and if I detect not only any action, but any attempt or design against the country, he shall feel that there are in this city vigilant consuls, eminent magistrates, a brave senate, arms, and prisons; which our ancestors appointed as the avengers of nefarious and convicted crimes.
[ L ] XIII. And all this shall be so done, O Romans, that affairs of the greatest importance shall be transacted with the least possible disturbance; the greatest dangers shall be avoided without any tumult; an internal civil war the most cruel and terrible in the memory of man, shall be put an end to by me alone in the robe of peace acting as general and commander-in-chief. And this I will so arrange, O Romans, that if it can be by any means managed, even the most worthless man shall not suffer the punishment of his crimes in this city. But if the violence of open audacity, if danger impending over the republic drives me of necessity from this merciful disposition, at all events I will manage this, which seems scarcely even to be hoped for in so great and so treacherous a war, that no good man shall fall, and that you may all be saved by the punishment of a few.
[ L ] And I promise you this, O Romans, relying neither on my own prudence, nor on human counsels, but on many and manifest intimations of the will of the immortal gods; under whose guidance I first entertained this hope and this opinion; who are now defending their temples and the houses of the city, not afar off, as they were used to, from a foreign and distant enemy, but here on the spot, by their own divinity and present help. And you, O Romans, ought to pray to and implore them to defend from the nefarious wickedness of abandoned citizens, now that all the forces of all enemies are defeated by land and sea, this city which they have ordained to be the most beautiful and flourishing of all cities.
While Cicero was addressing the preceding speech to the people, a debate was going on in the senate of which we have no account. In the meanwhile Catiline, after staying a few days on the road to raise the country as he passed along, where his agents had been previously busy among the people, proceeded to Manlius's army with the fasces and all the ensigns of military command displayed before him. Upon this news the senate immediately declared him and Manlius public enemies; they offered pardon to all his followers who should return to their duty by a certain day and ordered the consuls to make new levies, and that Antonius should follow Catiline with his army, and Cicero remain behind to protect the city.
In the meantime Lentulus, and the other conspirators who remained behind, were proceeding with their designs. And among other steps, they decided on endeavouring to tamper with some ambassadors from the Allobroges[*], who were at that moment within the city, as the Allobroges were supposed not to be very well affected to the Roman power. At first these ambassadors appear to have willingly given ear to their proposals; but after a while they began to consider the difficulty of the business proposed to them, and the danger which would ensue to their state if it failed after they had become implicated in it and accordingly they revealed the business to Quintus Fabius Sanga, the patron of their city, who communicated it to Cicero.
Cicero desired the ambassadors to continue to listen to the proposals of the conspirators, till they had become fully acquainted with the extent of the plot, and till they were able to furnish him with full evidence against the actors in it; and by his suggestion they required the conspirators to furnish them with credentials to show to their countrymen. This was thought reasonable by Lentulus and his party, and they accordingly appointed a man named Vulturcius to accompany them, who was to introduce them to Catiline on their road, in order to confirm the agreement, and to exchange pledges with him, and Lentulus also furnished them with a letter to Catiline under his own hand and seal, though not signed. Cicero being privately informed of all these particulars, concerted with the ambassadors the time and manner of their leaving Rome by night, and had them arrested on the Mulvian bridge, about a mile from the city, with these letters and papers in their possession. This was all done, and they brought as prisoners to Cicero's house early in the morning.
Cicero immediately summoned the senate and at the same time he sent for Lentulus, Cethegus, and others of the conspirators who were more especially implicated, such as Gabinius and Statilius, who all came immediately to his house, being ignorant of the discovery that had taken place. Being informed also that a quantity of arms had been provided by Cethegus for the purpose of the conspiracy, he orders Caius Sulpicius, one of the praetors, to search his house, and he did so, and found a great number of swords and daggers ready cleaned and fit for use.
He then proceeds to meet the senate in the Temple of Concord, with the ambassadors and conspirators in custody. He relates the whole affair to them, and introduces Vulturcius to be examined before them. Cicero, by the order of the senate, promises him pardon and reward if he reveals what he knew. On which he confesses everything; tells them that he had letters from Lentulus to Catiline to urge him to avail himself of the assistance of the slaves, and to lead his army with all exposition against Rome in order, when the city had been set on fire, and the massacre commenced, that he might be able to intercept and destroy those who fled.
Then the ambassadors were examined, who declared that they had received letters to the chief men of their nation from Lentulus, Cethegus, and Statilius; and that they, and Lucius Cassius also, begged them to send a body of cavalry into Italy, and that Lentulus assured them, from the Sibylline books, that he was the third Cornelius who was destined to reign at Rome. 2 The letters were produced and opened. On the sight of them the conspirators respectively acknowledged them to be theirs, and Lentulus was even so conscience-stricken that he confessed his whole crime.
The senate passed a vote acknowledging the services of Cicero in the most ample terms, and voted that Lentulus should he deposed from his office of praetor, and, with all the other conspirators, committed to safe custody. Cicero, after the senate adjourned, proceeded to the forum and gave an account to the people of everything which had passed, both in regard to the steps that he had taken to detect the whole conspiracy, and to convict the conspirators and also of what had taken place in the senate, and of the votes and resolutions which that body had just passed.
While the prisoners were before the senate he had copies of their examinations and confessions taken down, and dispersed through Italy and all the provinces. This happened on the third of December.
[ L ] I. You see this day, O Romans, the republic, and all your lives, your goods, your fortunes, your wives and children, this home of most illustrious empire, thus most fortunate and beautiful city, by the great love of the immortal gods for you, by my labours and counsels and dangers, snatched from fire and sword, and almost from the very jaws of fate, and preserved and restored to you.
[ L ] And if those days on which we are preserved are not less pleasant to us, or less illustrious, than those on which we are born, because the joy of being saved is certain, the good fortune of being born uncertain, and because we are born without feeling it, but we are preserved with great delight; yes; since we have, by our affection and by our good report, raised to the immortal gods that Romulus who built this city, he, too, who has preserved this city, built by him, and embellished as you see it, ought to be held in terror by you and your posterity; for we have extinguished flames which were almost laid under and placed around the temples and shrines, and houses and walls of the whole city; we have turned the edge of swords drawn against the republic, and have turned aside their points from your throats.
[ L ] And since all this has been displayed in the senate, and made manifest, and detected by me, I will now explain it briefly, that you, O citizens, that are as yet ignorant of it, and are in suspense, may be able to see how great the danger was, how evident and by what means it was detected and arrested. First of all, since Catiline, a few days ago, burst out of the city, when he had left behind the companions of his wickedness, the active leaders of this infamous war, I have continually watched and taken care, O Romans, of the means by which we might be safe amid such great and such carefully concealed treachery.
II. Further, when I drove Catiline out of the city, (for I do not fear the unpopularity of this expression, when that is more to be feared that I should be blamed because he has departed alive,) but then when I wished him to be removed, I thought either that the rest of the band of conspirators would depart with him, or that they who remained would be weak and powerless without him.
[ L ] And I, as I saw that those whom I knew to be inflamed with the greatest madness and wickedness were among us, and had remained at Rome, spent all my nights and days in taking care to know and see what they were doing, and what they were contriving that, since what I said would, from the incredible enormity of the wickedness, make less impression on your ears, I might so detect the whole business that you might with all your hearts provide for your safety, when you saw the crime with your own eyes. Therefore, when I found that the ambassadors of the Allobroges had been tampered with by Publius Lentulus, for the sake of exciting a Transalpine war and commotion in Gaul, and that they, on their return to Gaul, had been sent with letters and messages to Catiline on the same road, and that Vulturcius had been added to them as a companion, and that he too had had letters given him for Catiline, I thought that an opportunity was given me of contriving what was most difficult, and which I was always wishing the immortal gods might grant, that the whole business might be manifestly detected not by me alone, but by the senate also, and by you.
[ L ] Therefore, yesterday I summoned Lucius Flaccus and C. Pomtinus, the praetors, brave men and well-affected to the republic. I explained to them the whole matter, and showed them what I wished to have done. But they, full of noble and worthy sentiments towards the republic, without hesitation, and without any delay, undertook the business, and when it was evening, went secretly to the Mulvian bridge, and there so distributed themselves in the nearest villas, that the Tiber and the bridge was between them. And they took to the same place, without any one having the least suspicion of it, many brave men, and I had sent many picked young men of the prefecture of Reate, whose assistance I constantly employ in the protection of the republic, armed with swords.
[ L ] In the meantime, about the end of the third watch, when the ambassadors of the Allobroges, with a great retinue and Vulturcius with them, began to come upon the Mulvian bridge, an attack is made upon them; swords are drawn both by them and by our people; the matter was understood by the praetors alone, but was unknown to the rest.
III. Then, by the intervention of Pomtinus and Flaccus, the fight which had begun was put an end to; all the letters which were in the hands of the whole company are delivered to the praetors with the seals unbroken; the men themselves are arrested and brought to me at daybreak. And I immediately summoned that most worthless contriver of all this wickedness, Gabinius, as yet suspecting nothing; after him, P. Statilius is sent for, and after him Cethegus; but Lentulus was a long time in coming,—I suppose, because, contrary to his custom, he had been up a long time the night before, writing letters.
[ L ] But when those most noble and excellent men of the whole city, who, hearing of the matter, came in crowds to me in the morning, thought it best for me to open the letters before I related the matter to the senate, lest, if nothing were found in them, so great a disturbance might seem to have been caused to the state for nothing, I said I would never so act as shrink from referring matter of public danger to the public council. In truth if, O Romans, these things which had been reported to me had not been found in them, yet I did not think I ought, in such a crisis of the republic, to be afraid of the imputation of over-diligence.
[ L ] I quickly summoned a full senate, as you saw; and meantime, without any delay, by the advice of the Allobroges, I sent Caius Sulpicius the praetor, a brave man, to bring whatever arms he could find in the house of Cethegus, whence he did bring a great number of swords and daggers.
IV. I introduced Vulturcius without the Gauls. By the command of the senate, I pledged him the public faith for his safety. I exhorted him fearlessly to tell all he knew. Then, when he had scarcely recovered himself from his great alarm, he said: that he had messages and letters for Catiline, from Publius Lentulus, to avail himself of the guard of the slaves, and to come towards the city with his army as quickly as possible; and that was to be done with the intention that, when they had set fire to the city on all sides as it had been arranged and distributed, and had made a great massacre of the citizens, he might be at hand to catch those who fled, and to join himself to the leaders within the city.
[ L ] But the Gauls being introduced, said that an oath had been administered to them, and letters given them by Publius Lentulus, Cethegus, and Statilius, for their nation; and that they had been enjoined by them, and by Lucius Cassius, to send cavalry into Italy as early as possible; that infantry should not be wanting; and that Lentulus had assured him, from the Sibylline oracles and the answers of soothsayers, that he was that third Cornelius to whom the kingdom and sovereignty over this city was fated to come; that Cinna and Sulla[*] had been before him; and that he had also said that was the year destined to the destruction of this city and empire, being the tenth year after the acquittal of the virgins, and the twentieth after the burning of the Capitol.
[ L ] But they said there had been this dispute between Cethegus and the rest,—that Lentulus and others thought it best that the massacre should take place and the city be burnt at the Saturnalia, but that Cethegus thought it too long to wait.
V. And, not to detain you, O Romans, we ordered the letters to be brought forward which were said to have been given them by each of the men. First I showed his seal to Cethegus; he recognised it: we cut the thread; we read the letter. It was written with his own hand: that he would do for the senate and people of the Allobroges what he had promised their ambassadors; and that he begged them also to do what their ambassadors had arranged. Then Cethegus, who a little before had made answer about the swords and daggers which had been found in his house, and had said that he had always been fond of fine arms, being stricken down and dejected at the reading of his letters, convicted by his own conscience, became suddenly silent. Statilius, being introduced, owned his handwriting and his seal. His letters were read, of nearly the same tenor: he confessed it. Then I showed Lentulus his letters, and asked him whether he recognised the seal? He nodded assent. But it is, said I, a well-known seal;—the likeness of your grandfather, a most illustrious man, who greatly loved his country and his fellow-citizens; and it even though silent, ought to have called you back from such wickedness.
[ L ] Letters are read of the same tenor to the senate and people of the Allobroges. I offered him leave, if he wished to say anything of these matters: and at first he declined to speak; but a little afterwards, when the whole examination had been gone through and concluded, he rose. He asked the Gauls what he had had to do with them? why they had come to his house? and he asked Vulturcius too. And when they had answered him briefly and steadily, under whose guidance they had come to him, and how often; and when they asked him whether he had said nothing to them about the Sibylline oracles, then he on a sudden, mad with wickedness, showed how great was the power of conscience; for though he might have denied it, he suddenly, contrary to every one's expectation confessed it: so not only did his genius and skill in oratory, for which he was always eminent, but even through the power of his manifest and detected wickedness, that impudence in which he surpassed all men, and audacity deserted him.
[ L ] But Vulturcius on a sudden ordered the letters to be produced and opened which he said had been given to him for Catiline, by Lentulus. And though Lentulus was greatly agitated at that, yet he acknowledged his seal and his handwriting; but the letter was anonymous, and ran thus:--
“Who I am you will know from him whom I have sent to you: take care to behave like a man, and consider to what place you have proceeded, and provide for what is now necessary for you: take care to associate to yourself the assistance of every one, even of the powerless.” Then Gabinius being introduced, when at first he had begun to answer impudently, at last denied nothing of those things which the Gauls alleged against him.
[ L ] And to me, indeed, O Romans, though the letters, the seals, the handwriting, and the confession of each individual seemed most certain indications and proofs of wickedness, yet their colour, their eyes, their countenance, their silence, appeared more certain still; for they stood so stupefied, they kept their eyes so fixed on the ground, at times looking stealthily at one another, that they appeared now not so much to be informed against by others as to be informing against themselves.
VI. Having produced and divulged these proofs, O Romans, I consulted the senate what ought to be done for the interests of the republic. Vigorous and fearless opinions were delivered by the chief men, which the senate adopted without any variety; and since the decree of the senate is not yet written out, I will relate to you from memory, O citizens, what the senate has decreed.
[ L ] First of all, a vote of thanks to me is passed in the most honourable words, because the republic has been delivered from the greatest dangers by my valour and wisdom, and prudence. Then Lucius Flaccus and Caius Pomtinus, the praetors, are deservedly and rightly praised, because I had availed myself of their brave and loyal assistance. And also, praise is given to that brave man, my colleague, because he had removed from his counsels, and from the counsels of the republic, these who had been accomplices in this conspiracy. And they voted that Publius Lentulus, when he had abdicated the praetorship, should be given into custody; and also, that Caius Cethegus, Lucius Statilius, Publius Gabinius, who were all present, should be given into custody: and the same decree was passed against Lucius Cassius, who had begged for himself the office of burning the city; against Marcus Caparius, to whom it had been proved that Apulia had been allotted for the purpose of exciting disaffection among the shepherds; against Publius Furius, who belongs to the colonies which Lucius Sulla led to Faesulae; against Quintus Manlius Chilo, who was always associated with this man Furius in his tampering with the Allobroges; against Publius Umbrenus, a freedman, by whom it was proved that the Gauls were originally brought to Gabinius.
[ L ] And the senate, O citizens, acted with such lenity, that, out of so great a conspiracy, and such a number and multitude of domestic enemies, it thought that since the republic was saved, the minds of the rest might be restored to a healthy state by the punishment of nine most abandoned men. And also a supplication[*] was decreed in my name, (which is the first time since the building of the city that such an honour has ever been paid to a man in a civil capacity,) to the immortal gods, for their singular kindness. And it was decreed in these words, “because I had delivered the city from conflagrations, the citizens from massacre, and Italy from war.” And if this supplication be compared with others, O citizens, there is this difference between them,—that all others have been appointed because of the successes of the republic; this one alone for its preservation. And that which was the first thing to be done, has been done and executed; for Publius Lentulus, though, being convicted by proofs and, by his own confession, by the judgment of the senate he had lost not only the rights of a praetor but also those of a citizen, still resigned his office; so that though Caius Marcius, that most illustrious of men, had no scruples about putting to death Caius Glaucius the praetor against whom nothing had been decreed by name, still we are relieved from that scruple in the case of Publius Lentulus, who is now a private individual.
[ L ] VII. Now, since, O citizens you have the nefarious leaders of this most wicked and dangerous war taken prisoners and in your grasp, you ought to think that all the resources of Catiline,—all his hopes and all his power, now that these dangers of the city are warded off, have fallen to pieces. And, indeed, when I drove him from the city I foresaw in my mind, O citizens, that if Catiline were removed, I had no cause to fear either the drowsiness of Publius Lentulus, or the fat of Lucius Cassius, or the mad rashness of Cassius Cethegus. He alone was to be feared of all these men, and that, only as long as he was within the walls of the city. He knew everything, he had access to everybody. He had the skill and the audacity to address, to tempt and to tamper with every one. He had acuteness suited to crime; and neither tongue nor hand ever failed to support that acuteness. Already he had men he could rely on chosen and distributed for the execution of all other business and when he had ordered anything to be done he did not think it was done on that account. There was nothing to which he did not personally attend and see to,—for which he did not watch and toil. He was able to endure cold, thirst, and hunger.
[ L ] Unless I had driven this man, so active, so ready, so audacious, so crafty, so vigilant in wickedness, so industrious in criminal exploits, from his plots within the city to the open warfare of the camp, (I will express my honest opinion, O citizens,) I should not easily have removed from your necks so vast a weight of evil. He would not have determined on the Saturnalia[*] to massacre you, he would not have announced the destruction of the republic, and even the day of its doom so long beforehand,—he would never have allowed his seal and his letters, the undeniable witnesses of his guilt, to be taken, which now, since he is absent, has been so done that no larceny in a private house has ever been so thoroughly and clearly detected as this vast conspiracy against the republic. But if Catiline had remained in the city to this day, although, as long as he was so, I met all his designs and withstood them; yet, to say the least, we should have had to fight with him, and should never, while he remained as an enemy in the city, have delivered the republic from such dangers, with such ease, such tranquillity, and such silence.
[ L ] VIII. Although all these things, O Romans, have been so managed by men that they appear to have been done and provided for by the order and design of the immortal gods; and as we may conjecture this because the direction of such weighty affairs scarcely appears capable of having been carried out by human wisdom; so, too, they have at this time so brought us present aid and assistance, that we could almost behold them with our eyes. For to say nothing of those things, namely, the firebrands seen in the west in the night time, and the heat of the atmosphere,—to pass over the falling of thunderbolts and the earthquakes,—to say nothing of all the other portents which have taken place in such number during my consulship, that the immortal gods themselves have been seeming to predict what is now taking place; yet, at all events, this which I am about to mention, O Romans, must be neither passed over nor omitted.
[ L ] For you recollect, I suppose, when Cotta and Torquatus were consuls, that many towers in the Capitol were struck with lightning, when both the images of the immortal gods were moved, and the statues of many ancient men were thrown down, and the brazen tablets on which the laws were written were melted. Even Romulus, who built this city, was struck, which, you recollect, stood in the Capitol, a gilt statue, little and sucking, and clinging to the teats of the wolf. And when at this time the soothsayers were assembled out of all Etruria, they said that slaughter, and conflagration, and the overthrow of the laws, and civil and domestic war, and the fall of the whole city and empire was at hand, unless the immortal gods, being appeased in every possible manner, by their own power turned aside, as I may say, the very fates themselves.
[ L ] Therefore, according to their answers, games were celebrated for ten days, nor was anything omitted which might tend to the appeasing of the gods. And they enjoined also that we should make a greater statue of Jupiter, and place it in a lofty situation, and (contrary to what had been done before) turn it towards the east. And they said that they hoped that if that statue which you now behold looked upon the rising of the sun, and the forum, and the senate-house, that those designs which were secretly formed against the safety of the city and empire would be brought to light so as to be able to be thoroughly seen by the senate and by the Roman people. And the consuls ordered it to be so placed; but so great was the delay in the work, that it was never set up by the former consuls nor by us before this day.
[ L ] IX. Here who, O Romans can there be so obstinate against the truth, so headstrong, so void of sense, as to deny that all these things which we see, and especially this city, is governed by the divine authority and power of the immortal gods? Forsooth, when this answer had been given, that massacre, and conflagration, and ruin was prepared for the republic; and that, too, by profligate citizens, which, from the enormity of the wickedness, appeared incredible to some people, you found that it had not only been planned by wicked citizens, but had even been undertaken and commenced. And is not this fact so present that it appears to have taken place by the express will of the good and mighty Jupiter, that, when this day, early in the morning, both the conspirators and their accusers were being led by my command through the forum to the Temple of Concord, at that very time the statue was being erected? And when it was set up and turned towards you and towards the senate the senate and you yourselves saw everything which had been planned against the universal safety brought to light and made manifest.
[ L ] And on this account they deserve even greater hatred and greater punishment, for having attempted to apply their fatal and wicked fire, not only to your houses and homes, but even to the shrines and temples of the Gods. And if I were to say that it was I who resisted them, I should take too much to myself and ought not to be borne. He—he, Jupiter, resisted them, He determined that the Capitol should be safe, he saved these temples, he saved this city, he saved all of you. It is under the guidance of the immortal gods, O Romans, that I have cherished the intention and desires which I have, and have arrived at such undeniable proofs. Surely, that tampering with the Allobroges would never have taken place, so important a matter would never have been so madly entrusted, by Lentulus and the rest of our internal enemies, to strangers and foreigners, such letters would never have been written, unless all prudence had been taken by the immortal gods from such terrible audacity. What shall I say? That Gauls, men from a state scarcely at peace with us, the only nation existing which seems both to be able to make war on the Roman people, and not to be unwilling to do so,—that they should disregard the hope of empire and of the greatest success voluntarily offered to them by patricians; and should prefer your safety to their own power—do you not think that that was caused by divine interposition? especially when they could have destroyed us, not by fighting, but by keeping silence.
[ L ] X. Wherefore, O citizens, since a supplication has been decreed at all the altars, celebrate those days with your wives and children; for many just and deserved honours have been often paid to the immortal gods, but juster ones never. For you have been snatched from a most cruel and miserable destruction, and you have been snatched from it without slaughter, without bloodshed, without an army, without a battle. You have conquered in the garb of peace, with me in the garb of peace for your only general and commander.
[ L ] Remember, O citizens, all civil dissensions, and not only those which you have heard of but these also which you yourselves remember and have seen. Lucius Sulla crushed Publius Sulpicius[*]; he drove from the city Caius Marius the guardian of this city; and of many other brave men some he drove from the city, and some he murdered. Cnaeus Octavius the consul drove his colleague by force of arms out of the city; all this place was crowded with heaps of carcasses and flowed with the blood of citizens; afterwards Cinna and Marius got the upper hand; and then most illustrious men were put to death, and the spirits of the state were extinguished. Afterwards Sulla avenged the cruelty of this victory; it is needless to say with what a diminution of the citizens and with what disasters to the republic Marcus Lepidus disagreed with that most eminent and brave man Quintus Catulus. His death did not cause as much grief to the republic as that of the others.
[ L ] And these dissensions, O Romans, were such as concerned not the destruction of the republic, but only a change in the constitution. They did not wish that there should be no republic, but that they themselves should be the chief men in that which existed; nor did they desire that the city should be burnt, but that they themselves should flourish in it. And yet all those dissensions, none of which aimed at the destruction of the republic, were such that they were to be terminated not by a reconciliation and concord, but only by internecine war among the citizens. But in this war alone, the greatest and most cruel in the memory of man,—a war such as even the countries of the barbarians have never waged with their own tribes,—a war in which this law was laid down by Lentulus, and Catiline, and Cassius and Cethegus that every one, who could live in safety as long as the city remained in safety, should be considered as an enemy, in this war I have so managed matters, O Romans that you should all be preserved in safety; and though your enemies had thought that only such a number of the citizens would be left as had held out against an interminable massacre and only so much of the city as the flames could not devour, I have preserved both the city and the citizens unhurt and undiminished.
[ L ] XI. And for these exploits, important as they are, O Romans, I ask from you no reward of virtue, no badge of honour, no monument of my glory, beyond the everlasting recollection of this day. In your minds I wish all my triumphs, all my decorations of honour; the monuments of my glory, the badges of my renown, to be stored and laid up. Nothing voiceless can delight me, nothing silent,—nothing, in short, such as even those who are less worthy can obtain. In your memory, O Romans, my name shall be cherished, in your discourses it shall grow, in the monuments of your letters it shall grow old and strengthen; and I feel assured that the same day which I hope will be for everlasting; will be remembered for ever, so as to tend both to the safety of the city and the recollection of my consulship; and that it will be remembered that there existed in this city at the same time two citizens, one of whom limited the boundaries of your empire only by the regions of heaven, not by those of the earth, while the other preserved the abode and home of that same empire.
[ L ] XII. But since the fortune and condition of those exploits which I have performed is not the same with that of those men who have directed foreign wars—because I must live among those whom I have defeated and subdued, they have left their enemies either slain or crushed,—it is your business, O Romans, to take care, if their good deeds are a benefit to others, that mine shall never be an injury to me. For that the wicked and profligate designs of audacious men shall not be able to injure you, I have taken care; it is your business to take care that they do not injure me. Although, O Romans, no injury can be done to me by them,—for there is a great protection in the affection of all good men, which is procured for me for ever; there is great dignity in the republic, which will always silently defend me; there is great power in conscience, and those who neglect it when they desire to attack me will destroy themselves.
[ L ] There is moreover that disposition in me, O Romans, that I not only will yield to the audacity of no one, but that I always voluntarily attack the worthless. And if all the violence of domestic enemies being warded off from you turns itself upon me alone, you will have to take care, O Romans, in what condition you wish those men to be for the future, who for your safety have exposed themselves to unpopularity and to all sorts of dangers. As for me, myself, what is there which now can be gained by me for the enjoyment of life, especially when neither in credit among you, nor in the glory of virtue, do I see any higher point to which I can be desirous to climb?
[ L ] That indeed I will take care of, O Romans, as a private man to uphold and embellish the exploits which I have performed in my consulship: so that if there has been any unpopularity incurred in preserving the republic, it may injure those who envy me, and may tend to my glory. Lastly, I will so behave myself in the republic as always to remember what I have done, and to take care that they shall appear to have been done through virtue, and not by chance. Do you, O Romans, since it is now night, with that Jupiter having been worshipped, the guardian of this city and of yourselves, and depart to your homes; and defend those homes, though the danger is now removed, with guard and watch as you did last night. That you shall not have to do so long, and that you shall enjoy perpetual tranquillity, shall, O Romans, be my care.
The night after the events mentioned in the argument to the preceding oration, Cicero's wife Terentia, with the vestal virgins was performing at home the mystic rites of the Bona Dea while Cicero was deliberating with his friends on the best mode of punishing the conspirators. Terentia interrupted their deliberations by coming in to inform them of a prodigy which had just happened that after the sacrifice in which she had been engaged was over the fire revived spontaneously; on which the vestal virgins had sent her to him to inform him of it, and to bid him pursue what he was then thinking of and intending for the good of his country, since the goddess had given this sign that she was watching over his safety and glory.
The next day the senate ordered public rewards to the ambassadors and to Vulturcius; and showed signs of intending to proceed with extreme rigour against the conspirators when on a sudden rumours arose of plots having been formed by the slaves of Lentulus and Cethegus for their masters' rescue; which obliged Cicero to double all the guards, and determined him to prevent any repetition of such attempts by bringing before the senate without delay the question of the punishment of the prisoners. On which account he summoned the senate to meet the next morning.
There were many difficulties in the matter. Capital punishments were unusual and very unpopular at Rome. And there was an old law of Porcius Lecca, a tribune of the people, which granted to all criminals who were capitally condemned an appeal to the people; and also a law had been passed, since his time, by Caius Gracchus, to prohibit the taking away the life of any citizen without a formal hearing before the people. And these considerations had so much weight with some of the senators, that they absented themselves from the senate during this debate, in order to have no share in sentencing prisoners of such high rank to death. The debate was opened by Silanus, the consul-elect, who declared his opinion that those in custody, and those also who should be taken subsequently, should all be put to death. Everyone who followed him agreed with him, till Julius Caesar, the praetor elect (who has been often suspected of having at least to some extent, privy to the conspiracy) rose, and in an elaborate speech proposed that they should not be put to death, but that their estates should be confiscated, and they themselves kept in perpetual confinement. Cato opposed him with great earnestness. But some of Cicero's friends appeared inclined to Caesar's motion, thinking it a safer measure for Cicero himself; but when Cicero perceived this, he rose himself; and discussed the opinions both of Silanus and Caesar in the following speech, which decided the senate to vote for their condemnation. And as soon as the vote had passed, Cicero went immediately from the senate house, took Lentulus from the custody of his kinsman Lentulus Spinther, and delivered him to the executioner. The other conspirators, Cethegus, Statilius, Gabinius, were in like manner conducted to execution by the praetors; and Cicero was conducted home to his house in triumph by the whole body of the senate and by the knights, the whole multitude following him, and saluting him as their deliverer.
[ L ] I. I see, O patres conscipti, that the looks and eyes of you all are turned towards me; I see that you are anxious not only for your own danger and that of the republic, but even, if that be removed, for mine. Your good-will is delightful to one amid evils, and pleasing amid grief; but I entreat you, in the name of the immortal gods, lay it aside now, and, forgetting my safety, think of yourselves and of your children. If indeed, this condition of the consulship has been allotted to me, that I should bear all bitterness, all pains and tortures, I will bear them not only bravely but even cheerfully, provided that by my toils dignity and safety are procured for you and for the Roman people.
[ L ] I am that consul, O patres conscipti, to whom neither the forum in which all justice is contained, nor the Campus Martius, consecrated to the consular assemblies, nor the senate house, the chief assistance of all nations, nor my own home, the common refuge of all men, nor my bed devoted to rest, in short, not even this seat of honour, this curule chair has ever been free from the danger of death, or from plots and treachery. I have been silent about many things, I have borne much, I have conceded much, I have remedied many things with some pain to myself amid the alarm of you all. Now if the immortal gods have determined that there shall be this end to my consulship that I should snatch you, O patres conscipti, and the Roman people from miserable slaughter, your wives and children and the vestal virgins from most bitter distress, the temples and shrines of the gods and this most lovely country of all of us, from impious flames, all Italy from war and devastation, then whatever fortune is laid up for me by myself it shall be borne. If, indeed, Publius Lentulus, being led on by soothsayers believed that his name was connected by destiny with the destruction of the republic, why should not I rejoice that my consulship has taken place almost by the express appointment of fate for the preservation of the republic?
[ L ] II. Wherefore, O patres conscipti, consult the welfare of yourselves, provide for that of the republic; preserve yourselves, your wives, your children, and your fortunes; defend the name and safety of the Roman people; cease to consider me, and to think of me. For, in the first place, I ought to hope that all the gods who preside over this city will show me gratitude in proportion as I deserve it; and in the second place, if anything does happen to me, I shall fall with a contented and prepared mind; and, indeed, death cannot be disgraceful to a brave man, nor premature to one of consular rank, nor miserable to a wise man. Not that I am a man of so iron a disposition as not to be moved by the grief of a most dear and affectionate brother now present, and by the tears of all these men by whom you now see me surrounded. Nor does my fainting wife, my daughter prostrate with fear, and my little son whom the republic seems to me to embrace as a sort of hostage for my consulship, the son-in-law who, awaiting the end of that day, is now standing in my sight, fail often to recall my mind to my home. I am moved by all these circumstances, but in such a direction as to wish that they all may be safe together with you, even if some violence overwhelms me, rather than that both they and we should perish together with the republic.
[ L ] Wherefore, O patres conscipti, attend to the safety of the republic; look round upon all the storms which are impending, unless you guard against them. It is not Tiberius Gracchus, who wished to be made a second time a tribune of the people; it is not Caius Gracchus, who endeavoured to excite the partisans of the agrarian law; it is not Lucius Saturninus, who slew Memmius, who is now in some danger, who is now brought before the tribunal of your severity. They are now in your hands who withstood all Rome, with the object of bringing conflagration on the whole city, massacre on all of you, and of receiving Catiline; their letters are in your possession, their seals, their handwriting, and the confession of each individual of them; the Allobroges are tampered with, the slaves are excited, Catiline is sent for; the design is actually begun to be put in execution, that all should be put to death, so that no one should be left even to mourn the name of the republic, and to lament over the downfall of so mighty a dominion.
[ L ] III. All these things the witnesses have informed you of; the prisoners have confessed, you by many judgments have already decided; first, because you have thanked me in unprecedented language, and have passed a vote that the conspiracy of abandoned men has been laid open by my virtue and diligence; secondly, because you have compelled Publius Lentulus to abdicate the praetorship; again, because you have voted that he and the others about whom you have decided should be given into custody; and above all because you have decreed a supplication in my name, an honour which has never been paid to any one before acting in a civil capacity; last of all because yesterday you gave most ample rewards to the ambassadors of the Allobroges and to Titus Vulturcius; all which acts are such that they, who have been given into custody by name, without any doubt seem already condemned by you.
[ L ] But I have determined to refer the business to you as a fresh matter, O patres conscipti, both as to the fact, what you think of it and as to the punishment, what you vote. I will state what it behoves the consul to state. I have seen for a long time great furor [for political change] existing in the republic, and new [revolutionary] designs being formed, and evil passions being stirred up; but I never thought that so great, so destructive a conspiracy as this was being meditated by citizens. Now to whatever point your minds and opinions incline, you must decide before night. You see how great a crime has been made known to you; if you think that but few are implicated in it you are greatly mistaken; this evil has spread wider than you think; it has spread not only throughout Italy, but it has even crossed the Alps, and creeping stealthily on, it has already occupied many of the provinces; it can by no means be crushed by tolerating it, and by temporising with it; however you determine on chastising it, you must act with promptitude.
[ L ] IV. I see that as yet there are two opinions. One that of Decius Silanus, who thinks that those who have endeavoured to destroy all these things should be punished with death; the other, that of Caius Caesar, who objects to the punishment of death, but adopts the most extreme severity of all other punishment. Each acts in a manner suitable to his own dignity and to the magnitude of the business with the greatest severity. The one thinks that it is not right that those, who have attempted to deprive all or us and the while Roman people of life, to destroy the empire, to extinguish the name of the Roman people, should enjoy life and the breath of heaven common to us all, for one moment; and he remembers that this sort of punishment has often been employed against worthless citizens in this republic. The other feels that death was not appointed by the immortal gods for the sake of punishment, but that it is either a necessity of nature, or a rest from toils and miseries; therefore wise men have never met it unwillingly, brave men have often encountered it even voluntarily. But imprisonment and that too perpetual, was certainly invented for the extraordinary punishment of nefarious wickedness; therefore he proposes that they should be distributed among the municipal towns. This proposition seems to have in it injustice if you command it, difficulty if you request it.
[ L ] Let it, however, be so decreed if you like. For I will undertake, and, as I hope, I shall find men who will not think it suitable to their dignity to refuse what you decide on for the sake of the universal safety. He imposes besides a severe punishment on the burgesses of the municipal town if any of the prisoners escape; he surrounds them with the most terrible guard, and with everything worthy of the wickedness of abandoned men. And he proposes to establish a decree that no one shall be able to alleviate the punishment of those whom he is condemning by a vote of either the senate or the people. He takes away even hope, which alone can comfort men in their miseries; besides this, he votes that their goods should be confiscated; he leaves life alone to these infamous men, and if he had taken that away; he would have relieved them by one pang of many tortures of mind and body, and of all the punishment of their crimes. Therefore, that there might be some dread in life to the wicked, men of old have believed that there were some punishments of that sort appointed for the wicked in the shades below; because in truth they perceived that if this were taken away death itself would not be terrible.
[ L ] V. Now, O patres conscipti, I see what is my interest. If you follow the opinion of Caius Caesar, (since he has adopted this path in the republic which is accounted the popular one,) perhaps since he is the author and promoter of this opinion, the popular violence will be less to be dreaded by me; if you adopt the other opinion, I know not whether I am not likely to have more trouble; but still let the advantage of the republic outweigh the consideration of my danger. For we have from Caius Caesar, as his own dignity and as the illustrious character of his ancestors demanded, a proposal as a pledge of his lasting good-will to the republic. It has been clearly seen how great is the difference between the lenity of demagogues, and a disposition really attached to the interests of the people.
[ L ] I see that of those men who wish to be considered attached to the people one man is absent, that he may not seem forsooth to give a vote about the lives of Roman citizens. He only three days ago gave Roman citizens into custody, and decreed me a supplication, and voted most magnificent rewards to the witnesses only yesterday. It is not now doubtful to any one what he, who voted for the imprisonment of the criminals, congratulation to him who had detected them, and rewards to those who had proved the crime, thinks of the whole matter, and of the cause. But Caius Caesar considers that the Sempronian law was passed about Roman citizens, but that he who is an enemy of the republic can by no means be a citizen; and moreover that the very proposer of the Sempronian law suffered punishment [by?] without the command of the people. He also denies that Lentulus, a briber and a spendthrift, after he has formed such cruel and bitter plans about the destruction of the Roman people and the ruin of this city, can be called a friend of the people. Therefore this most gentle and merciful man does not hesitate to commit Publius Lentulus to eternal darkness and imprisonment, and establishes a law to all posterity that no one shall be able to boast of alleviating his punishment or hereafter to appear a friend of the people to the destruction of the Roman people. He adds also the confiscation of their goods, so that want also and beggary may be added to all the torments of mind and body.
[ L ] VI. Wherefore, if you decide on this you give me a companion in my address, dear and acceptable to the Roman people; or if you prefer to adopt the opinion of Silanus, you will easily defend me and yourselves from the reproach of cruelty, and I will prevail that it shall be much lighter. Although, O patres conscipti, what cruelty can there be in chastising the enormity of such excessive wickedness? For I decide from my own feeling. For so may I be allowed to enjoy the republic in safety in your company, as I am not moved to be somewhat vehement in this cause by any severity of disposition, (for who is more merciful than I am?) but rather by a singular humanity and mercifulness. For I seem to myself to see this city, the light of the world and the citadel of all nations, falling on a sudden by one conflagration. I see in my mind's eye miserable and unburied heaps of cities in my buried country; the sight of Cethegus and his madness raging amid your slaughter is ever present to my sight.
[ L ] But when I have set before myself Lentulus reigning, as he himself confesses that he had hoped was his destiny, and this Gabinius arrayed in the purple and Catiline arrived with his army, then I shudder at the lamentation of matrons, and the flight of virgins and of boys and the insults of the vestal virgins; and because these things appear to me exceedingly miserable and pitiable, therefore I show myself severe and rigorous to those who have wished to bring about this state of things. I ask, forsooth, if any father of a family, supposing his children had been slain by a slave, his wife murdered, his house burnt, were not to inflict on his slaves the severest possible punishment would he appear clement and merciful or most inhuman and cruel? To me he would seem unnatural and hard-hearted who did not soothe his own pain and anguish by the pain and torture of the criminal. And so we, in the case of these men who desired to murder us, and our wives, and our children,—who endeavoured to destroy the houses of every individual among us, and also the republic, the home of all,—who designed to place the nation of the Allobroges on the relics of this city, and on the ashes of the empire destroyed by fire;—if we are very rigorous, we shall be considered merciful; if we choose to be lax, we must endure the character of the greatest cruelty, to the damage of our country and our fellow-citizens.
[ L ] Unless, indeed, Lucius Caesar, a thoroughly brave man and of the best disposition towards the republic, seemed to any one to be too cruel three days ago, when he said that the husband of his own sister, a most excellent woman, (in his presence and in his hearing,) ought to be deprived of life,—when he said that his grandfather had been put to death by command of the consul and his youthful son, sent as an ambassador by his father, had been put to death in prison. And what deed had they done like these men? had they formed any plan for destroying the republic? At that time great corruption was rife in the republic, and there was the greatest strife between parties. And, at that time, the grandfather of this Lentulus, a most illustrious man, put on his armour and pursued Gracchus; he even received a severe wound that there might be no diminution of the great dignity of the republic. But this man, his grandson, invited the Gauls to overthrow the foundations of the republic; he stirred up the slaves, he summoned Catiline, he distributed us to Cethegus to be massacred, and the rest of the citizens to Gabinius to be assassinated, the city he allotted to Cassius to burn, and the plundering and devastating of all Italy he assigned to Catiline. You fear, I think, lest in the case of such unheard of and abominable wickedness you should seem to decide anything with too great severity; when we ought much more to fear lest by being remiss in punishing we should appear cruel to our country, rather than appear by the severity of our irritation too rigorous to its most bitter enemies.
[ L ] VII. But O patres conscipti, I cannot conceal what I hear; for sayings are bruited about, which come to my ears, of those men who seem to lack confidence that I may have force enough to put in execution the things which you determine on this day. Everything is provided for, and prepared, and arranged, O patres conscipti, both by my exceeding care and diligence, and also by the still greater zeal of the Roman people for the retaining of their supreme dominion, and for the preserving of the fortunes of all. All men of all ranks are present, and of all ages; the forum is full, the temples around the forum are full, all the approaches to this place and to this temple are full. For this is the only cause that has ever been known since the first foundation of the city, in which all men were of one and the same opinion—except those, who, as they saw they must be ruined, preferred to perish in company with all the world rather than by themselves.
[ L ] These men I except, and I willingly set apart from the rest; for I do not think that they should be classed in the number of worthless citizens, but in that of the most bitter enemies. But, as for the rest, O ye immortal gods! in what crowds, with what zeal, with what virtue do they agree in defence of the common dignity and safety. Why should I here speak of the Roman knights? who yield to you the supremacy in rank and wisdom, in order to vie with you in love for the republic,—whom this day and this cause now reunite with you in alliance and unanimity with your body reconciled after a disagreement of many years. And if we can preserve for ever in the republic this union now established in my consulship, I pledge myself to you that no civil and domestic calamity can hereafter reach any part of the republic. I see that the tribunes of the treasury—excellent men—have united with similar zeal in defence of the republic, and all the notaries. For as this day had by chance brought them in crowds to the treasury, I see that they were diverted from an anxiety for the money due to them, from an expectation of their capital, to a regard for the common safety.
[ L ] The entire multitude of honest men, even the poorest is present; for who is there to whom these temples, the sight of the city, the possession of liberty,—in short; this light and this soil of his, common to us all, is not both dear and pleasant and delightful?
VIII. It is worth while, O patres conscipti, to know the inclinations of the freedmen; who, having by their merits obtained the rights of citizens, consider this to be really their country, which some who have been born here, and born in the highest rank, have considered to be not their own country, but a city of enemies. But why should I speak of men of this body whom their private fortunes, whom their common republic, whom, in short, that liberty which is most delightful has called forth to defend the safety of their country? There is no slave who is only in an endurable condition of slavery who does not shudder at the audacity of citizens, who does not desire that these things may stand, who does not contribute all the good-will that he can, and all that he dares, to the common safety.
[ L ] Wherefore, if this consideration moves any one, that it has been heard that some tool of Lentulus is running about the shops,—is hoping that the minds of some poor and ignorant men may be corrupted by bribery; that, indeed, has been attempted and begun, but no one has been found either so wretched in their fortune or so abandoned in their inclination as not to wish the place of their seat and work and daily gain, their chamber and their bed, and, in short, the tranquil course of their lives, to be still preserved to them. And far the greater part of those who are in the shops,—yes, indeed, (for that is the more correct way of speaking,) the whole of this class is of all the most attached to tranquillity; their whole stock, indeed, their whole employment and livelihood, exists by the peaceful intercourse of the citizens, and is wholly supported by peace. And if their gains are diminished whenever their shops are shut, what will they be when they are burnt?
[ L ] And, as this is the case, O patres conscipti, the protection of the Roman people is not wanting to you; do you take care that you do not seem to be wanting to the Roman people.
IX. You have a consul preserved out of many dangers and plots, and from death itself not for his own life, but for your safety. All ranks agree for the preservation of the republic with heart and will, with zeal, with virtue, with their voice. Your common country, besieged by the hands and weapons of an impious conspiracy, stretches forth her hands to you as a suppliant; to you she recommends herself, to you she recommends the lives of all the citizens, and the citadel, and the Capitol, and the altars of the household gods, and the eternal inextinguishable fire of Vesta, and all the temples of all the gods, and the altars and the walls and the houses of the city. Moreover, your own lives, those of your wives and children, the fortunes of all men, your homes, your hearth; are this day interested in your decision.
[ L ] You have a leader mindful of you, forgetful of himself—an opportunity which is not always given to men; you have all ranks, all individuals, the whole Roman people, (a thing which in civil transactions we see this day for the first time) full of one and the same feeling. Think with what great labour this our dominion was founded, by what virtue this our liberty was established, by what kind favour of the gods our fortunes were aggrandized and ennobled, and how nearly one night destroyed them all. That this may never hereafter be able not only to be done, but not even to be thought of you must this day take care. And I have spoken thus, not in order to stir you up who almost outrun me myself but that my voice, which ought to be the chief voice in the republic, may appear to have fulfilled the duty which belongs to me as consul.
[ L ] X. Now, before I return to the decision, I will say a few words concerning myself. As numerous as is the band of conspirators—and you see that it is very great,—so numerous a multitude of enemies do I see that I have brought upon myself. But I consider them base and powerless and despicable and abject. But if at any time that band shall be excited by the wickedness and madness of any one, and shall show itself more powerful than your dignity and that of the republic, yet, O patres conscipti, I shall never repent of my actions and of my advice. Death, indeed, which they perhaps threaten me with, is prepared for all men; such glory during life as you have honoured me with by your decrees no one has ever attained to. For you have passed votes of congratulation to others for having governed the republic successfully, but to me alone for having saved it
[ L ] Let Scipio be thought illustrious, he by whose wisdom and valour Hannibal was compelled to return into Africa, and to depart from Italy. Let the second Africanus be extolled with conspicuous praise, who destroyed two cities most hostile to this empire, Carthage and Numantia. Let Lucius Paullus be thought a great man, he whose triumphal car was graced by Perses, previously a most powerful and noble monarch. Let Marius be held in eternal honour, who twice delivered Italy from siege, and from the fear of slavery. Let Pompey be preferred to them all—Pompey, whose exploits and whose virtues are bounded by the same districts and limits as the course of the sun. There will be, forsooth, among the praises of these men, some room for my glory, unless haply it be a greater deed to open to us provinces whither we may fly, than to take care that those who are at a distance may, when conquerors, have a home to return to.
[ L ] Although in one point the circumstances of foreign triumph are better than those of domestic victory; because foreign enemies, either if they be crushed become one's servants, or if they be received into the state, think themselves bound to us by obligations; but those of the number of citizens who become depraved by madness and once begin to be enemies to their country,—those men, when you have defeated their attempts to injure the republic, you can neither restrain by force nor conciliate by kindness. So that I see that an eternal war with all wicked citizens has been undertaken by me; which, however, I am confident can easily be driven back from me and mine by your aid, and by that of all good men, and by the memory of such great dangers, which will remain, not only among this people which has been saved, but in the discourse and minds of all nations forever. Nor, in truth, can any power be found which will be able to undermine and destroy your union with the Roman knights, and such unanimity as exists among all good men.
[ L ] XI. As, then, this is the case, O patres conscipti, instead of my military command—instead of the army,—instead of the province which I have neglected, and the other badges of honour which have been rejected by me for the sake of protecting the city and your safety,—in place of the ties of clientship and hospitality with citizens in the provinces, which, however, by my influence in the city, I study to preserve with as much toil as I labour to acquire them,—in place of all these things, and in reward for my singular zeal in your behalf, and for this diligence in saving the republic which you behold, I ask nothing of you but the recollection of this time and of my whole consulship. And as long as that is fixed in your minds, I still think I am fenced round by the strongest wall. But if the violence of wicked men shall deceive and overpower my expectations, I recommend to you my little son, to whom, in truth, it will be protection enough, not only for his safety, but even for his dignity if you recollect that he is the son of him who has saved all these things at his own single risk.
[ L ] Wherefore, O patres conscipti, determine with care, as you have begun, and boldly, concerning your own safety, and that of the Roman people, and concerning your wives and children; concerning your altars and your hearths your shrines and temples; concerning the houses and homes of the whole city; concerning your dominion, your liberty and the safety of Italy and the whole republic. For you have a consul who will not hesitate to obey your decrees, and who will be able as long as he lives, to defend what you decide on and of his own power to execute it.
[ L ] It becomes all men, who desire to excel other animals, to strive, to the utmost of their power, not to pass through life in obscurity, like the beasts of the field, which nature has formed groveling and subservient to appetite. All our power is situate in the mind and in the body. Of the mind we rather employ the government; of the body, the service. The one is common to us with the gods; the other with the brutes. It appears to me, therefore, more reasonable to pursue glory by means of the intellect than of bodily strength, and, since the life which we enjoy is short, to make the remembrance of us as lasting as possible. For the glory of wealth and beauty is fleeting and perishable; that of intellectual power is illustrious and immortal. Yet it was long a subject of dispute among mankind, whether military efforts were more advanced by strength of body, or by force of intellect. For, in affairs of war, it is necessary to plan before beginning to act, and, after planning, to act with promptitude and vigor. Thus, each being insufficient of itself, the one requires the assistance of the other.
[ L ] In early times, accordingly, kings (for that was the first title of sovereignty in the world) applied themselves in different ways; some exercised the mind, others the body. At that period, however, the life of man was passed without covetousness; every one was satisfied with his own. But after Cyrus in Asia, and the Lacedaemonians and Athenians in Greece, began to subjugate cities and nations, to deem the lust of dominion a reason for war, and to imagine the greatest glory to be in the most extensive empire, it was then at length discovered, by proof and experience, that mental power has the greatest effect in military operations. And, indeed, if the intellectual ability of kings and magistrates were exerted to the same degree in peace as in war, human affairs would be more orderly and settled, and you would not see governments shifted from hand to hand, and things universally changed and confused. For dominion is easily secured by those qualities by which it was at first obtained. But when sloth has introduced itself in the place of industry, and covetousness and pride in that of moderation and equity, the fortune of a state is altered together with its morals; and thus authority is always transferred from the less to the more deserving.
Even in agriculture, in navigation, and in architecture, whatever man performs owns the dominion of intellect. Yet many human beings, resigned to sensuality and indolence, uninstructed and unimproved, have passed through life like travelers in a strange country; to whom, certainly, contrary to the intention of nature, the body was a gratification, and the mind a burden. Of these I hold the life and death in equal estimations, for silence is maintained concerning both. But he only, indeed, seems to me to live, and to enjoy life, who, intent upon some employment, seeks reputation from some ennobling enterprise, or honorable pursuit.
[ L ] But in the great abundance of occupations, nature points out different paths to different individuals.
To act well for the Commonwealth is noble, and even to speak well for it is not without merits. Both in peace and in war it is possible to obtain celebrity; many who have acted, and many who have recorded the actions of others, receive their tribute of praise. And to me, assuredly, though by no means equal glory attends the narrator and the performer of illustrious deeds, it yet seems in the highest degree difficult to write the history of great transactions; first, because deeds must be adequately represented by words; and next, because most readers consider that whatever errors you mention with censure, are mentioned through malevolence and envy; while, when you speak of the great virtue and glory of eminent men, every one hears with acquiescence only that which he himself thinks easy to be performed; all beyond his own conception he regards as fictitious and incredible.
I myself, however, when a young man, was at first led by inclination, like most others, to engage in political affairs; but in that pursuit many circumstances were unfavorable to me; for, instead of modesty, temperance, and integrity, there prevailed shamelessness, corruption, and rapacity. And although my mind, inexperienced in dishonest practice, detested these vices, yet, in the midst of so great corruption, my tender age was ensnared and infected by ambition; and though I shrunk from the vicious principles of those around me, yet the same eagerness for honors, the same obloquy and jealousy, which disquieted others, disquieted myself.
[ L ] When, therefore, my mind had rest from its numerous troubles and trials, and I had determined to pass the remainder of my days unconnected with public life, it was not my intention to waste my valuable leisure in indolence and inactivity, or, engaging in servile occupations, to spend my time in agriculture or hunting; but, returning to those studies from which, at their commencement, a corrupt ambition had allured me, I determined to write, in detached portions, the transactions of the Roman people, as any occurrence should seem worthy of mention; an undertaking to which I was the rather inclined, as my mind was uninfluenced by hope, fear, or political partisanship. I shall accordingly give a brief account with as much truth as I can, of the Conspiracy of Catiline; for I think it an enterprise eminently deserving of record, from the unusual nature both of its guilt and of its perils. But before I enter upon my narrative, I must give a short description of the character of the man.
[ L ] Lucius Catiline was a man of noble birth, and of eminent mental and personal endowments, but of a vicious and depraved disposition. His delight, from his youth, had been in civil commotions, bloodshed, robbery, and sedition; and in such scenes he had spent his early years. His constitution could endure hunger, want of sleep, and cold, to a degree surpassing belief. His mind was daring, subtle, and versatile, capable of pretending or dissembling whatever he wished. He was covetous of other men's property, and prodigal of his own. He had abundance of eloquence, though but little wisdom. His insatiable ambition was always pursuing objects extravagant, romantic, and unattainable. Since the time of Sylla's dictatorship, a strong desire of seizing the government possessed him, nor did he at all care, provided that he secured power for himself, by what means he might arrive at it. His violent spirit was daily more and more hurried on by the diminution of his patrimony, and by his consciousness of guilt; both which evils he had increased by those practices which I have mentioned above. The corrupt morals of the state, too, which extravagance and selfishness, pernicious and contending vices, rendered thoroughly depraved, furnished him with additional incentives to action.
Since the occasion has thus brought public morals under my notice, the subject itself seems to call upon me to look back, and briefly to describe the conduct of our ancestors in peace and war; how they managed the state, and how powerful they left it; and how, by gradual alteration, it became, from being the most virtuous, the most vicious and depraved.
[ L ] Of the city of Rome, as I understand, the founders and earliest inhabitants were the Trojans, who, under the conduct of Aeneas, were wandering about as exiles from their country, without any settled abode; and with these were joined the Aborigines, a savage race of men, without laws or government, free and owning no control. How easily these two tribes, though of different origin, dissimilar language, and opposite habits of life, formed a union when they met within the same walls, is almost incredible.
But when their state, from an accession of population and territory, and an improved condition of morals, showed itself tolerably flourishing and powerful, envy, as is generally the case in human affairs, was the consequence of its prosperity. The neighboring kings and people, accordingly, began to assail them in war, while a few only of their friends came to their support; for the rest, struck with alarm, shrunk from sharing their dangers. But the Romans, active at home and in the field, prepared with alacrity for their defense. They encouraged one another, and hurried to meet the enemy. They protected with their arms, their liberty, their country, and their homes. And when they had at length repelled danger by valor, they lent assistance to their allies and supporters, and procured friendships rather by bestowing favors than by receiving them. They had a government regulated by laws. The denomination of their government was monarchy. Chosen men, whose bodies might be enfeebled by years, but whose minds were vigorous in understanding, formed the council of the state; and these, whether from their age, or from the similarity of their duty, were called fathers. But afterwards, when the monarchical power, which had been originally established for the protection of liberty, and for the promotion of the public interest, had degenerated into tyranny and oppression, they changed their plan, and appointed two magistrates, with power only annual; for they conceived that, by this method, the human mind would be least likely to grow overbearing through want of control.
[ L ] At this period every citizen began to seek distinction, and to display his talents with greater freedom; for, with princes, the meritorious are greater objects of suspicion than the undeserving, and to them the worth of others is a source of alarm. But when liberty was secured, it is almost incredible how much the state strengthened itself in a short space of time, so strong a passion for distinction had pervaded it. Now, for the first time, the youth, as soon as they were able to bear the toils of war, acquired military skill by actual service in the camp, and took pleasure rather in splendid arms and military steeds than in the society of mistresses and convivial indulgence. To such men no toil was unusual, no place was difficult or inaccessible, no armed enemy was formidable; their valor had overcome everything. But among themselves the grand rivalry was for glory; each sought to be first to wound an enemy, to scale a wall, and to be noticed while performing such an exploit. Distinction such as this they regarded as wealth, honor, and true nobility. They were covetous of praise, but liberal of money; they desired competent riches, but boundless glory. I could mention, but that the account would draw me too far from my subject, places in which the Roman people, with a small body of men, routed vast armies of the enemy; and cities which, though fortified by nature, they carried by assault.
[ L ] But, assuredly, Fortune rules in all things. She makes everything famous or obscure rather from caprice than in conformity with truth. The exploits of the Athenians, as far as I can judge, were very great and glorious, yet something inferior to what fame has represented them. But because writers of great talent flourished there, the actions of the Athenians are celebrated over the world as the most splendid of achievements. Thus, the merit of those who have acted is estimated at the highest point to which illustrious intellects could exalt it in their writings. But among the Romans there was never any such abundance of writers; for, with them, the most able men were the most actively employed. No one exercised the mind independently of the body; every man of ability chose to act rather than narrate, and was more desirous that his own merits should be celebrated by others, than that he himself should record theirs.
[ L ] Good morals, accordingly, were cultivated in the city and in the camp. There was the greatest possible concord, and the least possible avarice. Justice and probity prevailed among the citizens, not more from the influence of the laws than from natural inclination. They displayed animosity, enmity, and resentment only against the enemy. Citizens contended with citizens in nothing but honor. They were magnificent in their religious services, frugal in their families, and steady in their friendships. By these two virtues, intrepidity in war, and equity in peace, they maintained themselves and their state. Of their exercise of which virtues, I consider these as the greatest proofs; that, in war, punishment was oftener inflicted on those who attacked an enemy contrary to orders, and who, when commanded to retreat, retired too slowly from the contest, than on those who had dared to desert their standards or, when pressed by the enemy, to abandon their posts; and that, in peace, they governed more by conferring benefits than by exciting terror, and, when they received an injury, chose rather to pardon than to revenge it.
[ L ] But when, by perseverance and integrity, the republic had increased its power; when mighty princes had been vanquished in war; when barbarous tribes and populous states had been reduced to subjection; when Carthage, the rival of Rome's dominion, had been utterly destroyed, and sea and land lay everywhere open to her sway, Fortune then began to exercise her tyranny, and to introduce universal innovation. To those who had easily endured toils, dangers, and doubtful and difficult circumstances, ease and wealth, the objects of desire to others, became a burden and a trouble. At first the love of money, and then that of power, began to prevail, and these became, as it were, the sources of every evil. For avarice subverted honesty, integrity, and other honorable principles, and, in their stead, inculcated pride, inhumanity, contempt of religion, and general venality. Ambition prompted many to become deceitful; to keep one thing concealed in the breast, and another ready on the tongue; to estimate friendships and enmities, not by their worth, but according to interest; and to carry rather a specious countenance than an honest heart. These vices at first advanced but slowly, and were sometimes restrained by correction; but afterwards, when their infection had spread like a pestilence, the state was entirely changed, and the government, from being the most equitable and praiseworthy, became rapacious and insupportable.
[ L ] At first, however, it was ambition, rather than avarice, that influenced the minds of men; a vice which approaches nearer to virtue than the other. For of glory, honor, and power, the worthy is as desirous as the worthless; but the one pursues them by just methods; the other, being destitute of honorable qualities, works with fraud and deceit. But avarice has merely money for its object, which no wise man has ever immoderately desired. It is a vice which, as if imbued with deadly poison, enervates whatever is manly in body or mind. It is always unbounded and insatiable, and is abated neither by abundance nor by want. But after Lucius Sylla, having recovered the government by force of arms, proceeded, after a fair commencement, to a pernicious termination, all became robbers and plunderers; some set their affections on houses, others on lands; his victorious troops knew neither restraint nor moderation, but inflicted on the citizens disgraceful and inhuman outrages. Their rapacity was increased by the circumstance that Sylla, in order to secure the attachment of the forces which he had commanded in Asia, had treated them, contrary to the practice of our ancestors, with extraordinary indulgence, and exemption from discipline; and pleasant and luxurious quarters had easily, during seasons of idleness, enervated the minds of the soldiery. Then the armies of the Roman people first became habituated to licentiousness and intemperance, and began to admire statues, pictures, and sculptured vases; to seize such objects alike in public edifices and private dwellings; to spoil temples; and to cast off respect for everything, sacred and profane. Such troops, accordingly, when once they obtained the mastery, left nothing to the vanquished. Success unsettles the principles even of the wise, and scarcely would those of debauched habits use victory with moderation.
[ L ] When wealth was once considered an honor, and glory, authority, and power attended on it, virtue lost her influence, poverty was thought a disgrace, and a life of innocence was regarded as a life of ill-nature. From the influence of riches, accordingly, luxury, avarice, and pride prevailed among the youth; they grew at once rapacious and prodigal; they undervalued what was their own, and coveted what was another's; they set at naught modesty and continence; they lost all distinction between sacred and profane, and threw off all consideration and self-restraint. It furnishes much matter for reflection, after viewing our modern mansions and villas extended to the size of cities, to contemplate the temples which our ancestors, a most devout race of men, erected to the Gods. But our forefathers adorned the fanes of the deities with devotion, and their homes with their own glory, and took nothing from those whom they conquered but the power of doing harm; their descendants, on the contrary, the basest of mankind have even wrested from their allies, with the most flagrant injustice, whatever their brave and victorious ancestors had left to their vanquished enemies; as if the only use of power were to inflict injury.
[ L ] For why should I mention those displays of extravagance, which can be believed by none but those who have seen them; as that mountains have been leveled, and seas covered with edifices, by many private citizens; men whom I consider to have made a sport of their wealth, since they were impatient to squander disreputably what they might have enjoyed with honor. But the love of irregular gratification, open debauchery, and all kinds of luxury, had spread abroad with no less force. Men forgot their sex; women threw off all the restraints of modesty. To gratify appetite, they sought for every kind of production by land and by sea; they slept before there was any inclination for sleep; they no longer waited to feel hunger, thirst, cold, or fatigue, but anticipated them all by luxurious indulgence. Such propensities drove the youth, when their patrimonies were exhausted, to criminal practices; for their minds, impregnated with evil habits, could not easily abstain from gratifying their passions, and were thus the more inordinately devoted in every way to rapacity and extravagance.
[ L ] In so populous and so corrupt a city, Catiline, as it was very easy to do, kept about him, like a body-guard, crowds of the unprincipled and desperate. For all those shameless, libertine, and profligate characters, who had dissipated their patrimonies by gaming, luxury, and sensuality; all who had contracted heavy debts, to purchase immunity for their crimes or offences; all assassins or sacrilegious persons from every quarter, convicted or dreading conviction for their evil deeds; all, besides, whom their tongue or their hand maintained by perjury or civil bloodshed; all, in fine, whom wickedness, poverty, or a guilty conscience disquieted, were the associates and intimate friends of Catiline. And if any one, as yet of unblemished character, fell into his society, he was presently rendered, by daily intercourse and temptation, similar and equal to the rest. But it was the young whose acquaintance he chiefly courted; as their minds, ductile and unsettled from their age, were easily ensnared by his stratagems. For as the passions of each, according to his years, appeared excited, he furnished mistresses to some, bought horses and dogs for others, and spared, in a word, neither his purse nor his character, if he could but make them his devoted and trustworthy supporters. There were some, I know, who thought that the youth, who frequented the house of Catiline, were guilty of crimes against nature; but this report arose rather from other causes than from any evidence of the fact.
[ L ] Catiline, in his youth, had been guilty of many criminal connections, with a virgin of noble birth, with a priestess of Vesta, and of many other offences of this nature in defiance alike of law and religion. At last, when he was smitten with a passion for Aurelia Orestilla, in whom no good man, at any time of her life, commended anything but her beauty, it is confidently believed that because she hesitated to marry him, from the dread of having a grown-up step-son, he cleared the house for their nuptials by putting his son to death. And this crime appears to me to have been the chief cause of hurrying forward the conspiracy. For his guilty mind, at peace with neither gods nor men, found no comfort either waking or sleeping; so effectually did conscience desolate his tortured spirit. His complexion, in consequence, was pale, his eyes haggard, his walk sometimes quick and sometimes slow, and distraction was plainly apparent in every feature and look.
[ L ] The young men, whom, as I said before, he had enticed to join him, he initiated, by various methods, in evil practices. From among them he furnished false witnesses, and forgers of signatures; and he taught them all to regard, with equal unconcern, honor, property, and danger. At length, when he had stripped them of all character and shame, he led them to other and greater enormities. If a motive for crime did not readily occur, he invited them, nevertheless, to circumvent and murder inoffensive persons, just as if they had injured him; for, lest their hand or heart should grow torpid for want of employment, he chose to be gratuitously wicked and cruel. Depending on such accomplices and adherents, and knowing that the load of debt was everywhere great, and that the veterans of Sylla, having spent their money too liberally, and remembering their spoils and former victory, were longing for a civil war, Catiline formed the design of overthrowing the government. There was no army in Italy; Pompey was fighting in a distant part of the world; he himself had great hopes of obtaining the consulship; the senate was wholly off its guard; everything was quiet and tranquil, and all these circumstances were exceedingly favorable for Catiline.
[ L ] Accordingly, about the beginning of June, in the consulship of Lucius Caesar and Caius Figulus, he at first addressed each of his accomplices separately, encouraged some, and sounded others, and informed them of his own resources, of the unprepared condition of the state, and of the great prizes to be expected from the conspiracy. When he had ascertained, to his satisfaction, all that he required, he summoned all whose necessities were the most urgent, and whose spirits were the most daring, to a general conference. At that meeting there were present, of senatorial rank: Publius Lentulus Sura, Publius Autronius, Lucius Cassius Longinus, Caius Cethegus, Publius and Servius Sylla, the sons of Servius Sylla, Lucius Vargunteius, Quintus Annius, Marcus Porcius Laeca, Lucius Bestia, Quintus Curius; and of the equestrian order, Marcus Fulvius Nobilior, Lucius Statilius, Publius Gabinius Capito, Caius Cornelius; with many from the colonies and municipal towns, persons of consequence in their own localities. There were many others, too, among the nobility, concerned in the plot, but less openly; men whom the hope of power, rather than poverty or any other exigence, prompted to join in the affair. But most of the young men, and especially the sons of the nobility, favored the schemes of Catiline; they who had abundant means of living at ease, either splendidly or voluptuously, preferred uncertainties to certainties, war to peace. There were some, also, at that time, who believed that Marcus Licinius Crassus was not unacquainted with the conspiracy; because Cneius Pompey, whom he hated, was at the head of a large army, and he was willing that the power of anyone whomsoever should raise itself against Pompey's influence; trusting, at the same time, that if the plot should succeed, he would easily place himself at the head of the conspirators.
[ L ] But previously to this period, a small number of persons, among whom was Catiline, had formed a design against the state; of which affair I shall here give as accurate an account as I am able. Under the consulship of Lucius Tullus and Marcus Lepidus, Publius Autronius and Publius Sylla, having been tried for bribery under the laws against it, had paid the penalty of the offence. Shortly after Catiline, being brought to trial for extortion, had been prevented from standing for the consulship, because he had been unable to declare himself a candidate within the legitimate number of days. There was at that time, too, a young nobleman of the most daring spirit, needy and discontented, named Cneius Piso, whom poverty and vicious principles instigated to disturb the government. Catiline and Autronius, having concerted measures with this Piso, prepared to assassinate the consuls, Lucius Cotta and Lucius Torquatus, in the Capitol, on the first of February, when they, having seized on the fasces, were to send Piso with an army to take possession of the two Spains. But their design being discovered, they postponed the assassination to the fifth of February; when they meditated the destruction, not of the consuls only, but of most of the senate. And had not Catiline, who was in front of the senate-house, been too hasty to give the signal to his associates, there would that day have been perpetrated the most atrocious outrage since the city of Rome was founded. But as the armed conspirators had not yet assembled in sufficient numbers, the want of force frustrated the design.
[ L ] Some time afterwards, Piso was sent as quaestor, with Praetorian authority, into Hither Spain; Crassus promoting the appointment, because he knew him to be a bitter enemy to Cneius Pompey. Nor were the senate, indeed, unwilling to grant him the province; for they wished so infamous a character to be removed from the seat of government; and many worthy men, at the same time, thought that there was some security in him against the power of Pompey, which was then becoming formidable. But this Piso, on his march towards his province, was murdered by some Spanish cavalry whom he had in his army. These barbarians, as some say, had been unable to endure his unjust, haughty, and cruel orders; but others assert that this body of cavalry, being old and trusty adherents of Pompey, attacked Piso at his instigation, since the Spaniards, they observe, had never before committed such an outrage, but had patiently submitted to many severe commands. This question we shall leave undecided. Of the first conspiracy enough has been said.
[ L ] When Catiline saw those, whom I have just above mentioned, assembled, though he had often discussed many points with them singly, yet thinking it would be to his purpose to address and exhort them in a body, retired with them into a private apartment of his house, where, when all witnesses were withdrawn, he harangued them to the following effect:
"If your courage and fidelity had not been sufficiently proved by me, this favorable opportunity would have occurred to no purpose; mighty hopes, absolute power, would in vain be within our grasp; nor should I, depending on irresolution or ficklemindedness, pursue contingencies instead of certainties. But as I have, on many remarkable occasions, experienced your bravery and attachment to me, I have ventured to engage in a most important and glorious enterprise. I am aware, too, that whatever advantages or evils affect you, the same affect me, and to have the same desires and the same aversions, is assuredly a firm bond of friendship.
"What I have been meditating you have already heard separately. But my ardor for action is daily more and more excited when I consider what our future condition of life must be, unless we ourselves assert our claims to liberty. For since the government has fallen under the power and jurisdiction of a few, kings and princes have constantly been their tributaries; nations and states have paid them taxes; but all the rest of us, however brave and worthy, whether noble or plebeian, have been regarded as a mere mob, without interest or authority, and subject to those, to whom, if the state were in a sound condition, we should be a terror. Hence, all influence, power, honor, and wealth, are in their hands, or where they dispose of them; to us they have left only insults, dangers, prosecutions, and poverty. To such indignities, bravest of men, how long will you submit? Is it not better to die in a glorious attempt, than, after having been the sport of other men's insolence, to resign a wretched and degraded existence with ignominy?
"But success (I call gods and men to witness!) is in our own hands. Our years are fresh, our spirit is unbroken; among our oppressors, on the contrary, through age and wealth, a general debility has been produced. We have therefore only to make a beginning; the course of events will accomplish the rest.
"Who in the world, indeed, that has the feelings of a man, can endure that they should have a superfluity of riches, to squander in building over seas and leveling mountains, and that means should be wanting to us even for the necessaries of life, that they should join together two houses or more, and that we should not have a hearth to call our own? They, though they purchase pictures, statues, and embossed plate; though they pull down new buildings and erect others, and lavish and abase their wealth in every possible method, yet cannot, with the utmost efforts of caprice, exhaust it. But for us there is poverty at home, debts abroad; our present circumstances are bad, our prospects much worse; and what, in a word, have we left, but a miserable existence?
"Will you not, then awake to action? Behold that liberty, that liberty for which you have so often wished, with wealth, honor, and glory, are set before your eves. All these prizes fortune offers to the victorious. Let the enterprise itself, then, let the opportunity, let your poverty, your dangers, and the glorious spoils of war, animate you far more than my words. Use me either as your leader or your fellow-soldier; neither my heart nor my hand shall be wanting to you. These objects I hope to effect, in concert with you, in the character of consul; unless, indeed, my expectation deceives me, and you prefer to be slaves rather than masters."
[ L ] When these men, surrounded with numberless evils but without any resources or hopes of good, had heard this address, though they thought it much for their advantage to disturb the public tranquillity, yet most of them called on Catiline to state on what terms they were to engage in the contest; what benefits they were to expect from taking up arms; and what support or encouragement they had, and in what quarters. Catiline then promised them the abolition of their debts; a proscription of the wealthy citizens; offices, sacerdotal duties, plunder, and all other gratifications which war, and the license of conquerors, can afford. He added that Piso was in Hither Spain, and Publius Sittius Nucerinus with an army in Mauritania, both of whom were privy to his plans; that Caius Antonius, whom he hoped to have for a colleague, was canvassing for the consulship, a man with whom he was intimate, and who was involved in all manner of embarrassments; and that, in conjunction with him, he himself, when consul, would commence operations. He, moreover, assailed all the respectable citizens with reproaches, commended each of his associates by name, reminded one of his poverty, another of his ruling passion, several others of their danger or disgrace, and many of the spoils which they had obtained by the victory of Sylla. When he saw their spirits sufficiently elevated, he charged them to attend to his interest at the election of consuls, and dismissed the assembly.
[ L ] There were some, at that time, who said that Catiline, having ended his speech, and wishing to bind his accomplices in guilt by an oath, handed round among them in goblets, the blood of a human body mixed with wine; and that when all, after an imprecation, had tasted of it, as is usual in sacred rites, he disclosed his design; and they asserted that he did this, in order that they might be the more closely attached to one another, by being mutually conscious of such an atrocity. But some thought that this report, and many others, were invented by persons who supposed that the odium against Cicero, which afterwards arose, might be lessened by imputing an enormity of guilt to the conspirators who had suffered death. The evidence which I have obtained, in support of this charge, is not at all in proportion to its magnitude.
[ L ] Among those present at this meeting was Quintus Curius, a man of no mean family, but immersed in vices and crimes, and whom the censors had ignominiously expelled from the senate. In this person there was not less levity than impudence; he could neither keep secret what he heard, nor conceal his own crimes; he was altogether heedless what he said or what he did. He had long had a criminal intercourse with Fulvia, a woman of high birth, but growing less acceptable to her, because in his reduced circumstances he had less means of being liberal, he began, on a sudden, to boast, and to promise her seas and mountains; threatening her, at times, with the sword, if she were not submissive to his will; and acting, in his general conduct, with greater arrogance than ever. Fulvia, having learned the cause of his extravagant behavior, did not keep such danger to the state a secret; but, without naming her informant, communicated to several persons what she had heard, and under what circumstances, concerning Catiline's conspiracy. This intelligence it was that incited the feelings of the citizens to give the consulship to Marcus Tullius Cicero. For before this period, most of the nobility were moved with jealousy, and thought the consulship in some degree sullied, if a man of no family, however meritorious, obtained it. But when danger showed itself, envy and pride were laid aside.
[ L ] Accordingly, when the comitia were held, Marcus Tullius and Caius Antonius were declared consuls; an event which gave the first shock to the conspirators. The ardor of Catiline, however, was not at all diminished; he formed every day new schemes; he deposited arms, in convenient places, throughout Italy; he sent sums of money, borrowed on his own credit, or that of his friends, to a certain Manlius, at Faesulae, who was subsequently the first to engage in hostilities. At this period, too, he is said to have attached to his cause great numbers of men of all classes, and some women, who had, in their earlier days, supported an expensive life by the price of their beauty, but who, when age had lessened their gains but not their extravagance, had contracted heavy debts. By the influence of these females, Catiline hoped to gain over the slaves in Rome, to get the city set on fire, and either to secure the support of their husbands or take away their lives.
[ L ] In the number of these ladies was Sempronia, a woman who had committed many crimes with the spirit of a man. In birth and beauty, in her husband and her children, she was extremely fortunate; she was skilled in Greek and Roman literature; she could sing, play, and dance, with greater elegance than became a woman of virtue, and possessed many other accomplishments that tend to excite the passions. But nothing was ever less valued by her than honor or chastity. Whether she was more prodigal of her money or her reputation, it would have been difficult to decide. Her desires were so ardent that she oftener made advances to the other sex than waited for solicitation. She had frequently, before this period, forfeited her word, forsworn debts, been privy to murder, and hurried into the utmost excesses by her extravagance and poverty. But her abilities were by no means despicable; she could compose verses, jest, and join in conversation either modest, tender, or licentious. In a word, she was distinguished by much refinement of wit, and much grace of expression.
[ L ] Catiline, having made these arrangements, still canvassed for the consulship for the following year; hoping that, if he should be elected, he would easily manage Antonius according to his pleasure. Nor did he, in the mean time, remain inactive, but devised schemes, in every possible way, against Cicero, who, however, did not want skill or policy to guard against them. For, at the very beginning of his consulship, he had, by making many promises through Fulvia, prevailed on Quintus Curius, whom I have already mentioned, to give him secret information of Catiline's proceedings. He had also persuaded his colleague, Antonius, by an arrangement respecting their provinces, to entertain no sentiments of disaffection towards the state; and he kept around him, though without ostentation, a guard of his friends and dependents. When the day of the comitia came, and neither Catiline's efforts for the consulship, nor the plots which he had laid for the consuls in the Campus Martius, were attended with success, he determined to proceed to war, and to resort to the utmost extremities, since what he had attempted secretly had ended in confusion and disgrace.
[ L ] He accordingly dispatched Caius Manlius to Faesulae, and the adjacent parts of Etruria; one Septimius, of Camerinum, into the Picenian territory; Caius Julius into Apulia; and others to various places, wherever he thought each would be most serviceable.
He himself, in the mean time, was making many simultaneous efforts at Rome; he laid plots for the consul; he arranged schemes for burning the city; he occupied suitable posts with armed men, he went constantly armed himself, and ordered his followers to do the same; he exhorted them to be always on their guard and prepared for action; he was active and vigilant by day and by night, and was exhausted neither by sleeplessness nor by toil. At last, however, when none of his numerous projects succeeded, he again, with the aid of Marcus Porcius Laeca, convoked the leaders of the conspiracy in the dead of night, when, after many complaints of their apathy, he informed them that he had sent forward Manlius to that body of men whom he had prepared to take up arms; and others of the confederates into other eligible places, to make a commencement of hostilities; and that he himself was eager to set out to the army, if he could but first cut off Cicero, who was the chief obstruction to his measures.
[ L ] While, therefore, the rest were in alarm and hesitation, Caius Cornelius, a Roman knight, who offered his services, and Lucius Vargunteius, a senator, in company with him, agreed to go with an armed force, on that very night, and with but little delay, to the house of Cicero, under pretence of paying their respects to him, and to kill him unawares, and unprepared for defense, in his own residence. But Curius, when he heard of the imminent danger that threatened the consul, immediately gave him notice, by the agency of Fulvia, of the treachery which was contemplated. The assassins, in consequence, were refused admission, and found that they had undertaken such an attempt only to be disappointed. In the mean time, Manlius was in Etruria, stirring up the populace, who, both from poverty, and from resentment for their injuries (for, under the tyranny of Sylla, they had lost their lands and other property), were eager for a revolution. He also attached to himself all sorts of marauders, who were numerous in those parts, and some of Sylla's colonists, whose dissipation and extravagance had exhausted their enormous plunder.
[ L ] When these proceedings were reported to Cicero, he, being alarmed at the twofold danger, since he could no longer secure the city against treachery by his private efforts, nor could gain satisfactory intelligence of the magnitude or intentions of the army of Manlius, laid the matter, which was already a subject of discussion among the people, before the senate. The senate, accordingly, as is usual in any perilous emergency, decreed that THE CONSULS SHOULD MAKE IT THEIR CARE THAT THE COMMONWEALTH SHOULD RECEIVE NO INJURY. This is the greatest power which, according to the practice at Rome, is granted by the senate to the magistrate, and which authorizes him to raise troops; to make war; to assume unlimited control over the allies and the citizens; to take the chief command and jurisdiction at home and in the field, rights which, without an order of the people, the consul is not permitted to exercise.
[ L ] A few days afterwards, Lucius Saenius, a senator, read to the senate a letter, which, he said, he had received from Faesulae, and in which it was stated that Caius Manlius, with a large force, had taken the field by the 27th of October. Others at the same time, as is not uncommon in such a crisis, spread reports of omens and prodigies; others of meetings being held, of arms being transported, and of insurrections of the slaves at Capua and in Apulia.
In consequence of these rumors, Quintus Marcius Rex was dispatched, by a decree of the senate, to Faesulae, and Quintus Metellus Creticus into Apulia and the parts adjacent, both which officers, with the title of commanders, were waiting near the city, having been prevented from entering in triumph, by the malice of a cabal, whose custom was to ask a price for everything, whether honorable or infamous. The praetors, too, Quintus Pompeius Rufus, and Quintus Metellus Celer, were sent off, the one to Capua, the other to Picenum, and power was given them to levy a force proportioned to the exigency and the danger. The senate also decreed, that if any one should give information of the conspiracy which had been formed against the state, his reward should be, if a slave, his freedom and a hundred sestertia, if a freeman, a complete pardon and two hundred sestertia. They further appointed that the schools of gladiators should be distributed in Capua and other municipal towns, according to the capacity of each; and that, at Rome, watches should be posted throughout the city, of which the inferior magistrates should have the charge.
[ L ] By such proceedings as these the citizens were struck with alarm, and the appearance of the city was changed. In place of that extreme gaiety and dissipation, to which long tranquillity had given rise, a sudden gloom spread over all classes; they became anxious and agitated; they felt secure neither in any place, nor with any person; they were not at war, yet enjoyed no peace; each measured the public danger by his own fear. The women, also, to whom, from the extent of the empire, the dread of war was new, gave way to lamentation, raised supplicating hands to heaven, mourned over their infants, made constant inquiries, trembled at everything, and, forgetting their pride and their pleasures, felt nothing but alarm for themselves and their country.
Yet the unrelenting spirit of Catiline persisted in the same purposes, notwithstanding the precautions that were adopted against him, and though he himself was accused by Lucius Paullus under the Plautian law. At last, with a view to dissemble, and under pretence of clearing his character, as if he had been provoked by some attack, he walked into the senate- house. It was then that Marcus Tullius, the consul, whether alarmed at his presence, or fired with indignation against him, delivered that splendid speech, so beneficial to the republic, which he afterwards wrote and published. When Cicero sat down, Catiline, being prepared to pretend ignorance of the whole matter, entreated, with downcast looks and suppliant voice, that "the Conscript Fathers would not too hastily believe anything against him;" saying "that he was sprung from such a family, and had so ordered his life from his youth, as to have every happiness in prospect; and that they were not to suppose that he, a patrician, whose services to the Roman people, as well as those of his ancestors, had been so numerous, should want to ruin the state, where Marcus Tullius, a mere adopted citizen of Rome, was eager to preserve it." When he was proceeding to add other invectives, they all raised an outcry against him, and called him an enemy and a traitor. Being thus exasperated, "Since I am encompassed by enemies," he exclaimed, "and driven to desperation, I will extinguish the flame kindled around me in a general ruin."
[ L ] He then hurried from the senate to his own house; and then, after much reflection with himself, thinking that, as his plots against the consul had been unsuccessful, and as he knew the city to be secured from fire by the watch, his best course would be to augment his army, and make provision for the war before the legions could be raised, he set out in the dead of night, and with a few attendants, to the camp of Manlius. But he left in charge Lentulus and Cethegus, and others of whose prompt determination he was assured, to strengthen the interests of their party in every possible way, to forward the plots against the consul, and to make arrangements for a massacre, for firing the city, and for other destructive operations of war; promising that he himself would shortly advance on the city with a large army.
During the course of these proceedings at Rome, Caius Manlius dispatched some of his followers as envoys to Quintus Marcius Rex, with directions to address him to the following effect:
[ L ] "We call gods and men to witness, general, that we have taken up arms neither to injure our country, nor to occasion peril to any one, but to defend our own persons from harm, who, wretched and in want, have been deprived, most of us, of our homes, and all of us of our character and property, by the oppression and cruelty of usurers; nor has any one of us been allowed, according to the usage of our ancestors, to have the benefit of the law, or, when our property was lost, to keep our persons free. Such has been the inhumanity of the usurers and of the praetor.
"Often have your forefathers, taking compassion on the commonalty at Rome, relieved their distress by decrees; and very lately, within our own memory, silver, by reason of the pressure of debt, and with the consent of all respectable citizens, was paid with brass.
"Often too, have the commonalty themselves, driven by desire of power, or by the arrogance of their rulers, seceded under arms from the patricians. But at power or wealth, for the sake of which wars, and all kinds of strife, arise among mankind, we do not aim; we desire only our liberty, which no honorable man relinquishes but with life. We therefore conjure you and the senate to befriend your unhappy fellow-citizens; to restore us the protection of the law, which the injustice of the praetor has taken from us and not to lay on us the necessity of considering how we may perish, so best to avenge our blood."
[ L ] To this address Quintus Marcius replied, that, "if they wished to make any petition to the senate, they must lay down their arms, and proceed as suppliants to Rome;" adding, that "such had always been the kindness and humanity of the Roman senate and people, that none had ever asked help of them in vain."
Catiline, on his march, sent letters to most men of consular dignity, and to all the most respectable citizens, stating, that "as he was beset by false accusations, and unable to resist the combination of his enemies, he was submitting to the will of fortune, and going into exile at Marseilles; not that he was guilty of the great wickedness laid to his charge, but that the state might be undisturbed, and that no insurrection might arise from his defense of himself." Quintus Catulus, however, read in the senate a letter of a very different character, which, he said, was delivered to him in the name of Catiline, and of which the following is a copy:
[ L ] "Lucius Catiline to Quintus Catulus. Your eminent integrity, known to me by experience, gives a pleasing confidence, in the midst of great perils, to my present recommendation. I have determined therefore, to make no formal defense with regard to my new course of conduct; yet I was resolved, though conscious of no guilt, to offer you some explanation, which, on my word of honor, you may receive as true. Provoked by injuries and indignities, since, being robbed of the fruit of my labor and exertion, I did not obtain the post of honor due to me, I have undertaken, according to my custom, the public cause of the distressed. Not but that I could have paid, out of my own property, the debts contracted on my own security; while the generosity of Orestilla, out of her own fortune and her daughter's, would discharge those incurred on the security of others. But because I saw unworthy men ennobled with honors, and myself proscribed on groundless suspicion, I have, for this very reason, adopted a course, amply justifiable in my present circumstances, for preserving what honor is left to me. When I was proceeding to write more, intelligence was brought that violence is preparing against me. I now commend and entrust Orestilla to your protection; entreating you, by your love for your own children, to defend her from injury. Farewell."
[ L ] Catiline himself, having stayed a few days with Caius Flaminius Flamma in the neighborhood of Arretium while he was supplying the adjacent parts, already excited to insurrection, with arms, marched with the fasces, and other ensigns of authority, to join Manlius in his camp. When this was known at Rome, the senate declared Catiline and Manlius enemies to the state, and fixed a day as to the rest of their force, before which they might lay down their arms with impunity except such as had been convicted of capital offences. They also decreed that the consuls should hold a levy; that Antonius, with an army, should hasten in pursuit of Catiline; and that Cicero should protect the city.
At this period the empire of Rome appears to me to have been in an extremely deplorable condition; for though every nation, from the rising to the setting of the sun, lay in subjection to her arms, and though peace and prosperity, which mankind think the greatest blessings, were hers in abundance, there yet were found, among her citizens, men who were bent, with obstinate determination, to plunge themselves and their country into ruin; for, notwithstanding the two decrees of the senate, not one individual, out of so vast a number, was induced by the offer of reward to give information of the conspiracy; nor was there a single deserter from the camp of Catiline. So strong a spirit of disaffection had, like a pestilence, pervaded the minds of most of the citizens.
[ L ] Nor was this disaffected spirit confined to those who were actually concerned in the conspiracy; for the whole of the common people, from a desire of change, favored the projects of Catiline. This they seemed to do in accordance with their general character; for, in every state, they that are poor envy those of a better class, and endeavor to exalt the factious; they dislike the established condition of things, and long for something new; they are discontented with their own circumstances, and desire a general alteration; they can support themselves amidst revolt and sedition, without anxiety, since poverty does not easily suffer loss. As for the populace of the city, they had become disaffected from various causes. In the first place, such as everywhere took the lead in crime and profligacy, with others who had squandered their fortunes in dissipation, and, in a word, all whom vice and villainy had driven from their homes, had flocked to Rome as a general receptacle of impurity. In the next place, many, who thought of the success of Sylla, when they had seen some raised from common soldiers into senators, and others so enriched as to live in regal luxury and pomp, hoped, each for himself, similar results from victory, if they should once take up arms."
In addition to this, the youth, who, in the country, had earned a scanty livelihood by manual labor, tempted by public and private largesses, had preferred idleness in the city to unwelcome toil in the field. To these and all others of similar character, public disorders would furnish subsistence. It is not at all surprising, therefore, that men in distress, of dissolute principles and extravagant expectations, should have consulted the interest of the state no further than as it was subservient to their own. Besides, those whose parents, by the victory of Sylla, had been proscribed, whose property had been confiscated, and whose civil rights had been curtailed, looked forward to the event of a war with precisely the same feelings. All those, too, who were of any party opposed to that of the senate, were desirous rather that the state should be embroiled, than that they themselves should be out of power. This was an evil, which, after many years, had returned upon the community to the extent to which it now prevailed.
[ L ] For after the powers of the tribunes, in the consulate of Cneius Pompey and Marcus Crassus, had been fully restored, certain young men, of an ardent age and temper, having obtained that high office, began to stir up the populace by inveighing against the senate, and proceeded, in course of time, by means of largesses and promises, to inflame them more and more; by which methods they became popular and powerful. On the other hand, the most of the nobility opposed their proceedings to the utmost; under pretence, indeed, of supporting the senate, but in reality for their own aggrandizement. For, to state the truth in few words, whatever parties, during that period, disturbed the republic under plausible pretexts, some, as if to defend the rights of the people, others, to make the authority of the senate as great as possible, all, though affecting concern for the public good, contended everyone for his own interest. In such contests there was neither moderation nor limit; each party made a merciless use of its successes.
[ L ] After Pompey, however, was sent to the maritime and Mithridatic wars, the power of the people was diminished and the influence of the few increased. These few kept all public offices, the administration of the provinces, and everything else, in their own hands; they themselves lived free from harm, in flourishing circumstances, and without apprehension; overawing others, at the same time, with threats of impeachment, so that, when in office, they might be less inclined to inflame the people. But as soon as a prospect of change, in this dubious state of affairs, had presented itself, the old spirit of contention awakened their [populares'] passions; and had Catiline, in his first battle, come off victorious, or left the struggle undecided, great distress and calamity must certainly have fallen upon the state, nor would those, who might at last have gained the ascendancy, have been allowed to enjoy it long, for some superior power would have wrested dominion and liberty from them when weary and exhausted. There were some, however, unconnected with the conspiracy, who set out to join Catiline at an early period of his proceedings. Among these was Aulus Fulvius, the son of a senator, whom, being arrested on his journey, his father ordered to be put to death. In Rome, at the same time Lentulus, in pursuance of Catiline's directions, was endeavoring to gain over, by his own agency or that of others, all whom he thought adapted, either by principles or circumstances, to promote an insurrection; and not citizens only but every description of men who could be of any service in war.
[ L ] He accordingly commissioned one Publius Umbrenus to apply to certain deputies of the Allobroges, and to lead them, if he could, to a participation in the war; supposing that as they were nationally and individually involved in debt, and as the Gauls were naturally warlike, they might easily be drawn into such an enterprise. Umbrenus, as he had traded in Gaul, was known to most of the chief men there, and personally acquainted with them; and consequently without loss of time, as soon as he noticed the envoys in the Forum, he asked them, after making a few inquiries about the state of their country, and affecting to commiserate its fallen condition, "what termination they expected to such calamities?" When he found that they complained of the rapacity of the magistrates, inveighed against the senate for not affording them relief, and looked to death as the only remedy for their sufferings, "Yet I," said he, "if you will but act as men, will show you a method by which you may escape these pressing difficulties." When he had said this, the Allobroges, animated with the highest hopes, besought Umbrenus to take compassion on them; saying that there was nothing so disagreeable or difficult, which they would not most gladly perform, if it would but free their country from debt. He then conducted them to the house of Decimus Brutus, which was close to the Forum, and, on account of Sempronia, not unsuitable to his purpose, as Brutus was then absent from Rome. In order, too, to give greater weight to his representations, he sent for Gabinius, and, in his presence, explained the objects of the conspiracy, and mentioned the names of the confederates, as well as those of many other persons, of every sort, who were guiltless of it, for the purpose of inspiring the embassadors with greater confidence. At length, when they had promised their assistance, he let them depart.
[ L ] Yet the Allobroges were long in suspense what course they should adopt. On the one hand, there was debt, an inclination for war, and great advantages to be expected from victory; on the other, superior resources, safe plans, and certain rewards instead of uncertain expectations. As they were balancing these considerations, the good fortune of the state at length prevailed. They accordingly disclosed the whole affair, just as they had learned it, to Quintus Fabius Sanga, to whose patronage their state was very greatly indebted. Cicero, being apprised of the matter by Sanga, directed the deputies to pretend a strong desire for the success of the plot, to seek interviews with the rest of the conspirators, to make them fair promises, and to endeavor to lay them open to conviction as much as possible.
[ L ] Much about the same time there were commotions in Hither and Further Gaul, in the Picenian and Bruttian territories, and in Apulia. For those, whom Catiline had previously sent to those parts, had begun, without consideration and seemingly with madness, to attempt everything at once, and, by nocturnal meetings, by removing armor and weapons from place to place, and by hurrying and confusing everything, had created more alarm than danger. Of these, Quintus Metellus Celer, the praetor, having brought several to trial, under the decree of the senate, had thrown them into prison, as had also Caius Muraena in Further Gaul, who governed that province in quality of legate.
[ L ] But at Rome, in the mean time, Lentulus, with the other leaders of the conspiracy, having secured what they thought a large force, had arranged, that as soon as Catiline should reach the neighborhood of Faesulae, Lucius Bestia, a tribune of the people, having called an assembly, should complain of the proceedings of Cicero, and lay the odium of this most oppressive war on the excellent consul; and that the rest of the conspirators, taking this as a signal, should, on the following night, proceed to execute their respective parts. These parts are said to have been thus distributed. Statilius and Gabinius, with a large force, were to set on fire twelve places of the city, convenient for their purpose, at the same time; in order that, during the consequent tumult, an easier access might be obtained to the consul, and to the others whose destruction was intended; Cethegus was to beset the gate of Cicero, and attack him personally with violence; others were to single out other victims; while the sons of certain families, mostly of the nobility, were to kill their fathers; and, when all were in consternation at the massacre and conflagration, they were to sally forth to join Catiline. While they were thus forming and settling their plans, Cethegus was incessantly complaining of the want of spirit in his associates; observing, that they wasted excellent opportunities through hesitation and delay; that, in such an enterprise, there was need, not of deliberation, but of action and that he himself, if a few would support him, would storm the senate-house while the others remained inactive. Being naturally bold, sanguine, and prompt to act, he thought that success depended on rapidity of execution.
[ L ] The Allobroges, according to the directions of Cicero, procured interviews, by means of Gabinius, with the other conspirators; and from Lentulus, Cethegus, Statilius, and Cassius, they demanded an oath, which they might carry under seal to their countrymen, who otherwise would hardly join in so important an affair. To this the others consented without suspicion; but Cassius promised them soon to visit their country, and, indeed, left the city a little before the deputies. In order that the Allobroges, before they reached home, might confirm their agreement with Catiline, by giving and receiving pledges of faith, Lentulus sent with them one Titus Volturcius, a native of Crotona, he himself giving Volturcius a letter for Catiline, of which the following is a copy: "Who I am, you will learn from the person whom I have sent to you. Reflect seriously in how desperate a situation you are placed, and remember that you are a man. Consider what your views demand, and seek aid from all, even the lowest. In addition, he gave him this verbal message:
Since he was declared an enemy by the senate, for what reason should he reject the assistance of slaves? That, in the city, everything which he had directed was arranged and that he should not delay to make nearer approaches to it."
[ L ] Matters having proceeded thus far, and a night being appointed for the departure of the deputies, Cicero, being by them made acquainted with everything, directed the praetors, Lucius Valerius Flaccus, and Caius Pomtinus, to arrest the retinue of the Allobroges, by lying in wait for them on the Milvian Bridge; he gave them a full explanation of the object with which they were sent, and left them to manage the rest as occasion might require. Being military men, they placed a force, as had been directed, without disturbance, and secretly invested the bridge; when the envoys, with Volturcius, came to the place, and a shout was raised from each side of the bridge, the Gauls, at once comprehending the matter, surrendered themselves immediately to the praetors. Volturcius, at first, encouraging his companions, defended himself against numbers with his sword; but afterwards, being unsupported by the Allobroges, he began earnestly to beg Pomtinus, to whom he was known, to save his life, and at last, terrified and despairing of safety, he surrendered himself to the praetors as unconditionally as to foreign enemies.
[ L ] The affair being thus concluded, a full account of it was immediately transmitted to the consul by messengers. Great anxiety, and great joy, affected him at the same moment. He rejoiced that, by the discovery of the conspiracy, the state was freed from danger; but he was doubtful how he ought to act, when citizens of such eminence were detected in treason so atrocious. He saw that their punishment would be a weight upon himself, and their escape the destruction of the Commonwealth. Having, however, formed his resolutions he ordered Lentulus, Cethegus, Statilius, Gabinius, and one Quintus Coeparius of Terracina, who was preparing to go to Apulia to raise the slaves, to be summoned before him. The others came without delay; but Coeparius, having left his house a little before, and heard of the discovery of the conspiracy, had fled from the city. The consul himself conducted Lentulus, as he was praetor, holding him by the hand, and ordered the others to be brought into the Temple of Concord, under a guard. Here he assembled the senate, and in a very full attendance of that body, introduced Volturcius with the deputies. Hither also he ordered Valerius Flaccus, the praetor, to bring the box with the letters which he had taken from the deputies.
[ L ] Volturcius, being questioned concerning his journey, concerning his letter, and lastly, what object he had had in view, and from what motives he had acted, at first began to prevaricate, and to pretend ignorance of the conspiracy; but at length, when he was told to speak on the security of the public faith, he disclosed every circumstance as it had really occurred, stating that he had been admitted as an associate a few days before, by Gabinius and Coeparius; that he knew no more than the envoys, only that he used to hear from Gabinius, that Publius Autronius, Servius Sylla, Lucius Vargunteius, and many others, were engaged in the conspiracy. The Gauls made a similar confession, and charged Lentulus, who began to affect ignorance, not only with the letter to Catiline, but with remarks which he was in the habit of making, "that the sovereignty of Rome, by the Sibylline books, was predestined to three Cornelii, that Cinna and Sylla had ruled already; and that he himself was the third, whose fate it would be to govern the city; and that this, too, was the twentieth year since the Capitol was burnt; a year which the augurs, from certain omens, had often said would be stained with the blood of civil war." The letter then being read, the senate, when all had previously acknowledged their seals, decreed that Lentulus, being deprived of his office, should, as well as the rest, be placed in private custody. Lentulus, accordingly, was given in charge to Publius Lentulus Spinther, who was then aedile; Cethegus, to Quintus Cornificius; Statilius, to Caius Caesar; Gabinius, to Marcus Crassus; and Coeparius, who had just before been arrested in his flight, to Cneius Terentius, a senator.
[ L ] The common people, meanwhile, who had at first, from a desire of change in the government, been to much inclined to war, having, on the discovery of the plot, altered their sentiments, began to execrate the projects of Catiline, to extol Cicero to the skies; and, as if rescued from slavery, to give proofs of joy and exultation. Other effects of war they expected as a gain rather than a loss; but the burning of the city they thought inhuman, outrageous, and fatal especially to themselves, whose whole property consisted in their daily necessaries and the clothes which they wore.
On the following day, a certain Lucius Tarquinius was brought before the senate, who was said to have been arrested as he was setting out to join Catiline. This person, having offered to give information of the conspiracy, if the public faith were pledged to him, and being directed by the consul to state what he knew, gave the senate nearly the same account as Volturcius had given, concerning the intended conflagration, the massacre of respectable citizens, and the approach of the enemy, adding that "he was sent by Marcus Crassus to assure Catiline that the apprehension of Lentulus, Cethegus, and others of the conspirators, ought not to alarm him, but that he should hasten, with so much the more expedition, to the city, in order to revive the courage of the rest, and to facilitate the escape of those in custody." When Tarquinius named Crassus, a man of noble birth, of very great wealth, and of vast influence, some, thinking the statement incredible, others, though they supposed it true, yet, judging that at such a crisis a man of such power was rather to be soothed than irritated (most of them, too, from personal reasons, being under obligation to Crassus), exclaimed that he was "a false witness," and demanded that the matter should be put to the vote. Cicero, accordingly, taking their opinions, a full senate decreed, "that the testimony of Tarquinius appeared false; that he himself should be kept in prison; and that no further liberty of speaking should be granted him, unless he should name the person at whose instigation he had fabricated so shameful a calumny."
There were some, at that time, who thought that this affair was contrived by Publius Autronius, in order that the interest of Crassus, if he were accused, might, from participation in the danger, more readily screen the rest. Others said that Tarquinius was suborned by Cicero, that Crassus might not disturb the state, by taking upon him, as was his custom, the defense of the criminals. That this attack on his character was made by Cicero, I afterwards heard Crassus himself assert.
[ L ] Yet, at the same time, neither by interest, nor by solicitation, nor by bribes, could Quintus Catulus, and Caius Piso, prevail upon Cicero to have Caius Caesar falsely accused, either by means of the Allobroges, or any other evidence. Both of these men were at bitter enmity with Caesar; Piso, as having been attacked by him, when he was on his trial for extortion, on a charge of having illegally put to death a Transpadane Gaul; Catulus, as having hated him ever since he stood for the pontificate, because, at an advanced age, and after filling the highest offices, he had been defeated by Caesar, who was then comparatively a youth. The opportunity, too, seemed favorable for such an accusation; for Caesar, by extraordinary generosity in private, and by magnificent exhibitions in public, had fallen greatly into debt. But when they failed to persuade the consul to such injustice, they themselves, by going from one person to another, and spreading fictions of their own, which they pretended to have heard from Volturcius or the Allobroges, excited such violent odium against him, that certain Roman knights, who were stationed as an armed guard round the Temple of Concord, being prompted, either by the greatness of the danger, or by the impulse of a high spirit, to testify more openly their zeal for the republic, threatened Caesar with their swords as he went out of the senate-house.
[ L ] While these occurrences were passing in the senate, and while rewards were being voted, on approbation of their evidence, to the Allobrogian deputies and to Titus Volturcius, the freedmen, and some of the other dependents of Lentulus, were urging the artisans and slaves, in various directions throughout the city, to attempt his rescue; some, too, applied to the ringleaders of the mob, who were always ready to disturb the state for pay. Cethegus, at the same time, was soliciting, through his agents, his slaves and freedmen, men trained to deeds of audacity, to collect themselves into an armed body, and force a way into his place of confinement. The consul, when he heard that these things were in agitation, having distributed armed bodies of men, as the circumstances and occasion demanded, called a meeting of the senate, and desired to know "what they wished to be done concerning those who had been committed to custody." A full senate, however, had but a short time before declared them traitors to their country. On this occasion, Decimus Junius Silanus, who, as consul-elect, was first asked his opinion, moved that capital punishment should be inflicted, not only on those who were in confinement, but also on Lucius Cassius, Publius Furius, Publius Umbrenus, and Quintus Annius, if they should be apprehended; but afterwards, being influenced by the speech of Caius Caesar, he said that he would go over to the opinion of Tiberius Nero, who had proposed that the guards should be increased, and that the senate should deliberate further on the matter. Caesar, when it came to his turn, being asked his opinion by the consul, spoke to the following effect:
[ L ] "It becomes all men, Conscript Fathers, who deliberate on dubious matters, to be influenced neither by hatred, affection, anger, nor pity. The mind, when such feelings obstruct its view, cannot easily see what is right; nor has any human being consulted, at the same moment, his passions and his interest. When the mind is freely exerted, its reasoning is sound; but passion, if it gain possession of it, becomes its tyrant, and reason is powerless. I could easily mention, Conscript Fathers, numerous examples of kings and nations, who, swayed by resentment or compassion, have adopted injudicious courses of conduct; but I had rather speak of those instances in which our ancestors, in opposition to the impulse of passion, acted with wisdom and sound policy. In the Macedonian war, which we carried on against king Perses, the great and powerful state of Rhodes, which had risen by the aid of the Roman people, was faithless and hostile to us; yet, when the war was ended, and the conduct of the Rhodians was taken into consideration, our forefathers left them unmolested, lest any should say that war was made upon them for the sake of seizing their wealth, rather than of punishing their faithlessness. Throughout the Punic Wars, too, though the Carthaginians, both during peace, and in suspensions of arms, were guilty of many acts of injustice, yet our ancestors never took occasion to retaliate, but considered rather what was worthy of themselves, than what might justly be inflicted on their enemies. Similar caution, Conscript Fathers, is to be observed by yourselves, that the guilt of Lentulus, and the other conspirators, may not have greater weight with you than you own dignity, and that you may not regard your indignation more than your character. If, indeed, a punishment adequate to their crimes be discovered, I consent to extraordinary measures; but if the enormity of their crime exceeds whatever can be devised, I think that we should inflict only such penalties as the laws have provided.
[ L ] "Most of those, who have given their opinions before me, have deplored, in studied and impressive language, the sad fate that threatens the republic; they have recounted the barbarities of war, and the afflictions that would fall on the vanquished; they have told us that maidens would be dishonored, and youths abused; that children would be torn from the embraces of their parents; that matrons would be subjected to the pleasure of the conquerors; that temples and dwelling-houses would be plundered; that massacres and fires would follow; and that every place would be filled with arms, corpses, blood, and lamentation. But to what end, in the name of the eternal gods! was such eloquence directed? Was it intended to render you indignant at the conspiracy? A speech, no doubt, will inflame him whom so frightful and monstrous a reality has not provoked! Far from it: for to no man does evil, directed against himself, appear a light matter; many, on the contrary, have felt it more seriously than was right. But to different persons, Conscript Fathers, different degrees of license are allowed. If those who pass a life sunk in obscurity, commit any error, through excessive anger, few become aware of it, for their fame is as limited as their fortune; but of those who live invested with extensive power, and in an exalted station, the whole world knows the proceedings. Thus in the highest position there is the least liberty of action; and it becomes us to indulge neither partiality nor aversion, but least of all animosity; for what in others is called resentment, is in the powerful termed violence and cruelty. I am indeed of opinion, Conscript Fathers, that the utmost degree of torture is inadequate to punish their crime; but the generality of mankind dwell on that which happens last, and, in the case of malefactors, forget their guilt, and talk only of their punishment, should that punishment have been inordinately severe.
[ L ] "I feel assured, too, that Decimus Silanus, a man of spirit and resolution, made the suggestions which he offered, from zeal for the state, and that he had no view, in so important a matter, to favor or to enmity; such I know to be his character, and such his discretion. Yet his proposal appears to me, I will not say cruel (for what can be cruel that is directed against such characters?), but foreign to our policy. For assuredly, Silanus, either your fears, or their treason, must have induced you, a consul-elect, to propose this new kind of punishment. Of fear it is unnecessary to speak, when, by the prompt activity of that distinguished man our consul, such numerous forces are under arms, and as to the punishment, we may say, what is indeed the truth, that in trouble and distress, death is a relief from suffering, and not a torment; that it puts an end to all human woes; and that, beyond it, there is no place either for sorrow or joy. But why, in the name of the immortal gods, did you not add to your proposal, Silanus, that, before they were put to death, they should be punished with the scourge? Was it because the Porcian law forbids it? But other laws forbid condemned citizens to be deprived of life, and allow them to go into exile. Or was it because scourging is a severer penalty than death? Yet what can be too severe, or too harsh, towards men convicted of such an offence? But if scourging be a milder punishment than death, how is it consistent to observe the law as to the smaller point, when you disregard it as to the greater?
[ L ] "But who, it may be asked, will blame any severity that shall be decreed against these parricides of their country? I answer that time, the course of events, and fortune, whose caprice governs nations, may blame it. Whatever shall fall on the traitors, will fall on them justly; but it is for you, Conscript Fathers, to consider well what you resolve to inflict on others. All precedents productive of evil effects, have had their origin from what was good; but when a government passes into the hands of the ignorant or unprincipled, any new example of severity, inflicted on deserving and suitable objects, is extended to those that are improper and undeserving of it. The Lacedaemonians, when they had conquered the Athenians, appointed thirty men to govern their state. These thirty began their administration by putting to death, even without a trial, all who were notoriously wicked, or publicly detestable; acts at which the people rejoiced, and extolled their justice. But afterwards, when their lawless power gradually increased, they proceeded, at their pleasure, to kill the good and bad indiscriminately, and to strike terror into all; and thus the state, overpowered and enslaved, paid a heavy penalty for its imprudent exultation. Within our own memory, too, when the victorious Sylla ordered Damasippus, and others of similar character, who had risen by distressing their country, to be put to death, who did not commend the proceeding? All exclaimed that wicked and factious men, who had troubled the state with their seditious practices, had justly forfeited their lives. Yet this proceeding was the commencement of great bloodshed. For whenever any one coveted the mansion or villa, or even the plate or apparel of another, he exerted his influence to have him numbered among the proscribed. Thus they, to whom the death of Damasippus had been a subject of joy, were soon after dragged to death themselves; nor was there any cessation of slaughter, until Sylla had glutted all his partisans with riches. Such excesses, indeed, I do not fear from Marcus Tullius, or in these times. But in a large state there arise many men of various dispositions. At some other period, and under another consul, who, like the present, may have an army at his command, some false accusation may be credited as true; and when, with our example for a precedent, the consul shall have drawn the sword on the authority of the senate, who shall stay its progress, or moderate its fury?
[ L ] "Our ancestors, Conscript Fathers, were never deficient in conduct or courage; nor did pride prevent them from imitating the customs of other nations, if they appeared deserving of regard. Their armor, and weapons of war, they borrowed from the Samnites; their ensigns of authority, for the most part, from the Etrurians; and, in short, whatever appeared eligible to them, whether among allies or among enemies, they adopted at home with the greatest readiness, being more inclined to emulate merit than to be jealous of it. But at the same time, adopting a practice from Greece, they punished their citizens with the scourge, and inflicted capital punishment on such as were condemned. When the republic, however, became powerful, and faction grew strong from the vast number of citizens, men began to involve the innocent in condemnation, and other like abuses were practiced; and it was then that the Porcian and other laws were provided, by which condemned citizens were allowed to go into exile. This lenity of our ancestors, Conscript Fathers, I regard as a very strong reason why we should not adopt any new measures of severity. For assuredly there was greater merit and wisdom in those, who raised so mighty an empire from humble means, than in us, who can scarcely preserve what they so honorably acquired.
[ L ] "Am I of opinion, then, you will ask, that the conspirators should be set free, and that the army of Catiline should thus be increased? Far from it; my recommendation is, that their property be confiscated, and that they themselves be kept in custody in such of the municipal towns as are best able to bear the expense; that no one hereafter bring their case before the senate, or speak on it to the people; and that the senate now give their opinion, that he who shall act contrary to this, will act against the republic and the general safety."
[ L ] When Caesar had ended his speech, the rest briefly expressed their assent, some to one speaker, and some to another, in support of their different proposals; but Marcus Porcius Cato, being asked his opinion, made a speech to the following purport:
[ L ] "My feelings, Conscript Fathers, are extremely different, when I contemplate our circumstances and dangers, and when I revolve in my mind the sentiments of some who have spoken before me. Those speakers, as it seems to me, have considered only how to punish the traitors who have raised war against their country, their parents, their altars, and their homes; but the state of affairs warns us rather to secure ourselves against them, than to take counsel as to what sentence we should pass upon them. Other crimes you may punish after they have been committed; but as to this, unless you prevent its commission, you will, when it has once taken effect, in vain appeal to justice. When the city is taken, no power is left to the vanquished. But, in the name of the immortal gods, I call upon you who have always valued your mansions and villas, your statues and pictures, at a higher price than the welfare of your country; if you wish to preserve those possessions, of whatever kind they are, to which you are attached; if you wish to secure quiet for the enjoyment of your pleasures, arouse yourselves, and act in defense of your country. We are not now debating on the revenues, or on injuries done to our allies, but our liberty and our life is at stake.
[ L ] "Often, Conscript Fathers, have I spoken at great length in this assembly; often have I complained of the luxury and avarice of our citizens, and, by that very means, have incurred the displeasure of many. I, who never excused to myself, or to my own conscience, the commission of any fault, could not easily pardon the misconduct, or indulge the licentiousness, of others. But though you little regarded my remonstrances, yet the republic remained secure; its own strength was proof against your remissness. The question, however, at present under discussion, is not whether we live in a good or bad state of morals; nor how great, or how splendid, the empire of the Roman people is; but whether these things around us, of whatever value they are, are to continue our own, or to fall, with ourselves, into the hands of the enemy. In such a case, does any one talk to me of gentleness and compassion? For some time past, it is true, we have lost the real names of things; for to lavish the property of others is called generosity, and audacity in wickedness is called heroism; and hence the state is reduced to the brink of ruin. But let those, who thus misname things, be liberal, since such is the practice, out of the property of our allies; let them be merciful to the robbers of the treasury; but let them not lavish our blood, and, while they spare a few criminals, bring destruction on all the guiltless.
[ L ] "Caius Caesar, a short time ago, spoke in fair and elegant language, before this assembly, on the subject of life and death; considering as false, I suppose, what is told of the dead; that the bad, going a different way from the good, inhabit places gloomy, desolate, dreary, and full of horror. He accordingly proposed that the property of the conspirators should be confiscated, and themselves kept in custody in the municipal towns; fearing, it seems, that, if they remain at Rome, they may be rescued either by their accomplices in the conspiracy, or by a hired mob; as if, forsooth, the mischievous and profligate were to be found only in the city, and not through the whole of Italy, or as if desperate attempts would not be more likely to succeed where there is less power to resist them. His proposal therefore, if he fears any danger from them, is absurd; but if, amidst such universal terror, he alone is free from alarm, it the more concerns me to fear for you and myself. Be assured, then, that when you decide on the fate of Lentulus and the other prisoners, you at the same time determine that of the army of Catiline, and of all the conspirators. The more spirit you display in your decision, the more will their confidence be diminished; but if they shall perceive you in the smallest degree irresolute, they will advance upon you with fury.
[ L ] "Do not suppose that our ancestors, from so small a commencement, raised the republic to greatness merely by force of arms. If such had been the case, we should enjoy it in a most excellent condition; for of allies and citizens, as well as arms and horses, we have a much greater abundance than they had. But there were other things which made them great, but which among us have no existence; such as industry at home, equitable government abroad, and minds impartial in council, uninfluenced by any immoral or improper feeling. Instead of such virtues, we have luxury and avarice, public distress, and private superfluity; we extol wealth, and yield to indolence; no distinction is made between good men and bad; and ambition usurps the honors due to virtue. Nor is this wonderful; since you study each his individual interest, and since at home you are slaves to pleasure, and here to money or favor; and hence it happens that an attack is made on the defenseless state.
[ L ] "But on these subjects I shall say no more. Certain citizens, of the highest rank, have conspired to ruin their country; they are engaging the Gauls, the bitterest foes of the Roman name, to join in a war against us; the leader of the enemy is ready to make a descent upon us; and do you hesitate, even in such circumstances how to treat armed incendiaries arrested within your walls? I advise you to have mercy upon them; they are young men who have been led astray by ambition; send them away, even with arms in their hands. But such mercy, and such clemency, if they turn those arms against you, will end in misery to yourselves. The case is, assuredly, dangerous, but you do not fear it; yes, you fear it greatly, but you hesitate how to act, through weakness and want of spirit, waiting one for another, and trusting to the immortal gods, who have so often preserved your country in the greatest dangers. But the protection of the gods is not obtained by vows and effeminate supplications; it is by vigilance, activity, and prudent measures, that general welfare is secured. When you are once resigned to sloth and indolence, it is in vain that you implore the gods; for they are then indignant and threaten vengeance.
[ L ] "In the days of our forefathers, Titus Manlius Torquatus, during a war with the Gauls, ordered his own son to be put to death, because he had fought with an enemy contrary to orders. That noble youth suffered for excess of bravery; and do you hesitate what sentence to pass on the most inhuman of traitors? Perhaps their former life is at variance with their present crime. Spare, then, the dignity of Lentulus, if he has ever spared his own honor or character, or had any regard for gods or for men. Pardon the youth of Cethegus, unless this be the second time that he has made war upon his country. As to Gabinius, Statilius, Coeparius, why should I make any remark upon them? Had they ever possessed the smallest share of discretion, they would never have engaged in such a plot against their country.
[ L ] "In conclusion, Conscript Fathers, if there were time to amend an error, I might easily suffer you, since you disregard words, to be corrected by experience of consequences. But we are beset by dangers on all sides; Catiline, with his army, is ready to devour us; while there are other enemies within the walls, and in the heart of the city; nor can any measures be taken, or any plans arranged, without their knowledge. The more necessary is it, therefore, to act with promptitude.
[ L ] "What I advise, then, is this: that since the state, by a treasonable combination of abandoned citizens, has been brought into the greatest peril; and since the conspirators have been convicted on the evidence of Titus Volturcius, and the envoys of the Allobroges, and on their own confession, of having concerted massacres, conflagrations, and other horrible and cruel outrages, against their fellow-citizens and their country, punishment be inflicted, according to the usage of our ancestors, on the prisoners who have confessed their guilt, as on men convicted of capital crimes."
[ L ] When Cato had resumed his seat, all the senators of consular dignity, and a great part of the rest, applauded his opinion, and extolled his firmness of mind to the skies. With mutual reproaches, they accused one another of timidity, while Cato was regarded as the greatest and noblest of men; and a decree of the senate was made as he had advised.
After reading and hearing of the many glorious achievements which the Roman people had performed at home and in the field, by sea as well as by land, I happened to be led to consider what had been the great foundation of such illustrious deeds. I knew that the Romans had frequently, with small bodies of men, encountered vast armies of the enemy; I was aware that they had carried on wars with limited forces against powerful sovereigns; that they had often sustained, too, the violence of adverse fortune; yet that, while the Greeks excelled them in eloquence, the Gauls surpassed them in military glory. After much reflection, I felt convinced that the eminent virtue of a few citizens had been the cause of all these successes; and hence it had happened that poverty had triumphed over riches, and a few over a multitude. And even in later time, when the state had become corrupted by luxury and indolence, the republic still supported itself, by its own strength, under the misconduct of its generals and magistrates; when, as if the parent stock were exhausted, there was certainly not produced at Rome, for many years, a single citizen of eminent ability. Within my recollection, however, there arose two men of remarkable powers, though of very different character, Marcus Cato and Caius Caesar, whom, since the subject has brought them before me, it is not my intention to pass in silence, but to describe, to the best of my ability, the disposition and manners of each.
[ L ] Their birth, age, and eloquence, were nearly on an equality; their greatness of mind similar, as was also their reputation, though attained by different means. Caesar grew eminent by generosity and munificence; Cato by the integrity of his life. Caesar was esteemed for his humanity and benevolence; austereness had given dignity to Cato. Caesar acquired renown by giving, relieving, and pardoning; Cato by bestowing nothing. In Caesar, there was a refuge for the unfortunate; in Cato, destruction for the bad. In Caesar, his easiness of temper was admired; in Cato, his firmness. Caesar, in fine, had applied himself to a life of energy and activity; intent upon the interests of his friends, he was neglectful of his own; he refused nothing to others that was worthy of acceptance, while for himself he desired great power, the command of an army, and a new war in which his talents might be displayed. But Cato's ambition was that of temperance, discretion, and, above all, of austerity; he did not contend in splendor with the rich, or in faction with the seditious, but with the brave in fortitude, with the modest in simplicity, with the temperate in abstinence, he was more desirous to be, than to appear, virtuous; and thus, the less he courted popularity, the more it pursued him.
[ L ] When the senate, as I have stated, had gone over to the opinion of Cato, the consul, thinking it best not to wait till night, which was coming on, lest any new attempts should be made during the interval, ordered the triumvirs to make such preparations as the execution of the conspirators required. He himself, having posted the necessary guards conducted Lentulus to the prison; and the same office was performed for the rest by the praetors. There is a place in the prison, which is called the Tullian dungeon, and which, after a slight ascent to the left, is sunk about twelve feet under ground. Walls secure it on every side, and over it is a vaulted roof connected with stone arches; but its appearance is disgusting and horrible, by reason of the filth, darkness, and stench. When Lentulus had been let down into this place, certain men, to whom orders had been given, strangled him with a cord. Thus this patrician, who was of the illustrious family of the Cornelii, and who had filled the office of consul at Rome, met with an end suited to his character and conduct. On Cethegus, Statilius, Gabinius, and Coeparius, punishment was inflicted in a similar manner.
[ L ] During these proceedings at Rome, Catiline, out of the entire force which he himself had brought with him, and that which Manlius had previously collected, formed two legions, filling up the cohorts as far as his numbers would allow; and afterwards, as any volunteers, or recruits from his confederates, arrived in his camp, he distributed them equally throughout the cohorts, and thus filled up his legions, in a short time, with their regular number of men, though at first he had not had more than two thousand. But, of his whole army, only about a fourth part had the proper weapons of soldiers; the rest, as chance had equipped them, carried darts, spears, or sharpened stakes. As Antonius approached with his army, Catiline directed his march over the hills, encamping, at one time, in the direction of Rome, at another in that of Gaul. He gave the enemy no opportunity of fighting, yet hoped himself shortly to find one, if his accomplices at Rome should succeed in their objects. Slaves, meanwhile, of whom vast numbers had at first flocked to him, he continued to reject, not only as depending on the strength of the conspiracy, but as thinking impolitic to appear to share the cause of citizens with runagates.
[ L ] When it was reported in his camp, however, that the conspiracy had been discovered at Rome, and that Lentulus, Cethegus, and the rest whom I have named, had been put to death, most of those whom the hope of plunder, or the love of change, had led to join in the war, fell away. The remainder Catiline conducted, over rugged mountains, and by forced marches, into the neighborhood of Pistoria, with a view to escape covertly, by cross roads, into Gaul. But Quintus Metellus Celer, with a force of three legions, had, at that time, his station in Picenum, who suspected that Catiline, from the difficulties of his position, would adopt precisely the course which we have just described. When, therefore, he had learned his route from some deserters, he immediately broke up his camp, and took his post at the very foot of the hills, at the point where Catiline's descent would be, in his hurried march into Gaul. Nor was Antonius far distant, as he was pursuing, though with a large army, yet through plainer ground, and with fewer hindrances, the enemy in retreat. Catiline, when he saw that he was surrounded by mountains and by hostile forces, that his schemes in the city had been unsuccessful, and that there was no hope either of escape or of succor, thinking it best, in such circumstances, to try the fortune of a battle, resolved upon engaging, as speedily as possible, with Antonius. Having, therefore, assembled his troops, he addressed them in the following manner:
[ L ] "I am well aware, soldiers, that words cannot inspire courage; and that a spiritless army cannot be rendered active, or a timid army valiant, by the speech of its commander. Whatever courage is in the heart of a man, whether from nature or from habit, so much will be shown by him in the field; and on him whom neither glory nor danger can move, exhortation is bestowed in vain; for the terror in his breast stops his ears. I have called you together, however, to give you a few instructions, and to explain to you, at the same time, my reasons for the course which I have adopted.
"You all know, soldiers, how severe a penalty the inactivity and cowardice of Lentulus has brought upon himself and us; and how, while waiting for reinforcements from the city, I was unable to march into Gaul. In what situation our affairs now are, you all understand as well as myself. Two armies of the enemy, one on the side of Rome, and the other on that of Gaul, oppose our progress; while the want of grain, and of other necessaries, prevents us from remaining, however strongly we may desire to remain, in our present position. Whithersoever we would go, we must open a passage with our swords. I conjure you, therefore, to maintain a brave and resolute spirit; and to remember, when you advance to battle, that on your own right hands depend riches, honor, and glory, with the enjoyment of your liberty and of your country. If we conquer, all will be safe, we shall have provisions in abundance; and the colonies and corporate towns will open their gates to us. But if we lose the victory through want of courage, those same places will turn against us; for neither place nor friend will protect him whom his arms have not protected. Besides, soldiers, the same exigency does not press upon our adversaries, as presses upon us; we fight for our country, for our liberty, for our life; they contend for what but little concerns them, the power of a small party. Attack them, therefore, with so much the greater confidence, and call to mind your achievements of old. We might, with the utmost ignominy, have passed the rest of our days in exile. Some of you, after losing your property, might have waited at Rome for assistance from others. But because such a life, to men of spirit, was disgusting and unendurable, you resolved upon your present course. If you wish to quit it, you must exert all your resolution for none but conquerors have exchanged war for peace. To hope for safety in flight, when you have turned away from the enemy the arms by which the body is defended, is indeed madness. In battle, those who are most afraid are always in most danger; but courage is equivalent to a rampart.
"When I contemplate you, soldiers, and when I consider your past exploits, a strong hope of victory animates me. Your spirit, your age, your valor, give me confidence; to say nothing of necessity, which makes even cowards brave. To prevent the numbers of the enemy from surrounding us, our confined situation is sufficient. But should Fortune be unjust to your valor, take care not to lose your lives unavenged; take care not to be taken and butchered like cattle, rather than, fighting like men, to leave to your enemies a bloody and mournful victory."
[ L ] When he had thus spoken, he ordered, after a short delay, the signal for battle to be sounded, and led down his troops, in regular order, to the level ground. Having then sent away the horses of all the cavalry, in order to increase the men's courage by making their danger equal, he himself on foot, drew up his troops suitably to their numbers and the nature of the ground. As a plain stretched between the mountains on the left, with a rugged rock on the right, he placed eight cohorts in front, and stationed the rest of his force, in close order, in the rear. From among these he removed all the ablest centurions, the veterans, and the stoutest of the common soldiers that were regularly armed, into the foremost ranks. He ordered Caius Manlius to take the command on the right, and a certain officer of Faesulae on the left; while he himself; with his freedmen and the colonists, took his station by the eagle, which Caius Marius was said to have had in his army in the Cimbrian war.
On the other side, Caius Antonius, who, being lame, was unable to be present in the engagement, gave the command of the army to Marcus Petreius, his lieutenant. Petreius ranged the cohorts of veterans, which he had raised to meet the present insurrection, in front, and behind them the rest of his force in lines. Then, riding round among his troops, and addressing his men by name, he encouraged them, and bade them remember that they were to fight against unarmed marauders, in defense of their country, their children, their temples, and their homes. Being a military man, and having served with great reputation, for more than thirty years, as tribune, praefect, lieutenant, or praetor, he knew most of the soldiers and their honorable actions, and, by calling these to their remembrance, roused the spirits of the men.
[ L ] When he had made a complete survey, he gave the signal with the trumpet, and ordered the cohorts to advance slowly. The army of the enemy followed his example; and when they approached so near that the action could be commenced by the light-armed troops, both sides, with a loud shout, rushed together in a furious charge. They threw aside their missiles, and fought only with their swords. The veterans, calling to mind their deeds of old, engaged fiercely in the closest combat. The enemy made an obstinate resistance; and both sides contended with the utmost fury. Catiline, during this time, was exerting himself with his light troops in the front, sustaining such as were pressed, substituting fresh men for the wounded, attending to every exigency, charging in person, wounding many an enemy and performing at once the duties of a valiant soldier and a skillful general. When Petreius, contrary to his expectation, found Catiline attacking him with such impetuosity, he led his praetorian cohort against the centre of the enemy, amongst whom, being thus thrown into confusion, and offering but partial resistance, he made great slaughter, and ordered, at the same time, an assault on both flanks. Manlius and the Faesulan, sword in hand, were among the first that fell; and Catiline, when he saw his army routed, and himself left with but few supporters, remembering his birth and former dignity, rushed into the thickest of the enemy, where he was slain, fighting to the last.
[ L ] When the battle was over, it was plainly seen what boldness, and what energy of spirit, had prevailed throughout the army of Catiline; for, almost everywhere, every soldier, after yielding up his breath, covered with his corpse the spot which he had occupied when alive. A few, indeed, whom the praetorian cohort had dispersed, had fallen somewhat differently, but all with wounds in front. Catiline himself was found, far in advance of his men, among the dead bodies of the enemy; he was not quite breathless, and still expressed in his countenance the fierceness of spirit which he had shown during his life. Of his whole army, neither in the battle, nor in flight, was any free-born citizen made prisoner, for they had spared their own lives no more than those of the enemy. Nor did the army of the Roman people obtain a joyful or bloodless victory; for all their bravest men were either killed in the battle, or left the field severely wounded. Of many who went from the camp to view the ground, or plunder the slain, some, in turning over the bodies of the enemy, discovered a friend, others an acquaintance, others a relative; some, too, recognized their enemies. Thus, gladness and sorrow, grief and joy, were variously felt throughout the whole army.
L. Catilina nobili genere natus fuit, magna vi et animi et corporis, sed ingenio malo pravoque. Huic ab adulescentia bella intestina caedes rapinae discordia civilis grata fuere ibique juventutem suam exercuit. Corpus patiens inediae algoris vigiliae supra quam cuiquam credibile est.
Cum tristibus severe, cum remissis jucunde, cum senibus graviter, cum juventute comiter, cum facinorosis audaciter, cum libidinosis luxuriose vivere.
Now that Catiline had been driven into open war, the conspiracy within the city was in the hands of utterly incompetent men. Lentulus Sura, who claimed the lead by virtue of his consular rank, was vain, pompous, and inefficient. The next in rank, Gaius Cornelius Cethegus, was energetic enough, but rash and bloodthirsty. The consul easily kept the run of events, and at last succeeded in getting the conspirators to commit themselves in writing, when he had no difficulty in arresting them and securing the documents. How this was accomplished is told in the third oration.
Scimus autem quoniam, quaecumque lex loquitur, his, qui in lege sunt, loquitur, ut omne os obstruatur, et obnoxius fiat omnis mundus Deo; [ASD]
Two days later the Senate was convened, to determine what was to be done with the prisoners. It was a fundamental principle of the Roman constitution that no citizen should be put to death without the right of appeal to the people. Against the view of Caesar, which favored perpetual confinement, Cicero urged that, by the fact of taking up arms against the Republic, the conspirators had forfeited their citizenship, and that therefore the law did not protect them. This view prevailed, and the conspirators—Lentulus, Cethegus, Statilius, Gabinius, and Caeparius—were strangled by the public executioners.
As this is the first deliberative oration, delivered in the Senate, contained in this collection, it will be well for the student to consult the account of a senatorial debate given in the Introduction, p. lvii.
In the present case—in which the question was what sentence should be passed upon the captured conspirators—the consul-elect, D. Junius Silanus, had advised that they be put to death; C. Julius Caesar (as praetor-elect), on the contrary, that they be merely kept in custody. At the end of the discussion, Cicero, as presiding consul, gave his views as expressed in the present oration. (For the speeches of Caesar and Cato, see Sallust, Catiline, chs. 51,52.)