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hard campaigning : it was his duty to go; and why should he not adorn his father's triumph? Asia is Asia, I grant; but whether is the better, to avoid temptation, or to withstand it? the whole affair is a credit to him. As for his being a mountebank, you ought to know better, Cato, than to talk in that vein. The charge is unsubstantiated and quite out of character. You can bring nothing against my client under this head; out of the mouths of the prosecution I shew that he is without reproach.
(2) contentio dignitatis, $ $ 15–53.
Your claims to the consulship are very strong, Sulpicius ; but so are those of Murena: you are just a match. Your depreciation of his family and puffing-up of your own is partial and not based on fact. Your family is better known to book-worms than to the people. I count you as a self-raised man, and all credit to you for it. I did hope that my exertions had gone some way towards stopping the mouths of the proud old families. I got the consulship against two patricians. Why not? You were above Murena on the roll of quaestors, you say. A mere piece of luck; and as quaestors neither of you distinguished himself much. Here you widely diverge from one another. While you went through all the labour and annoyance of a jurist's life at Rome, Murena was in the east, displaying all the most soldierly qualities as lieutenant of Lucullus. Now I for my part had rather not have brought out this contrast so strongly; but you have driven me to it. The fact is, Sulpicius, men were tired of you. I have felt the same thing myself. And clearly the soldier has far higher claims to office than the jurist. Rome and all in or under it are protected by soldiers. They are our guardians. You must not think too highly of your learning as a jurist: your other merits give you far more claim to distinction than jurisprudence ever will. The three great avenues to honour must rank thus, i military skill, 2 the eloquence of the statesman and pleader, 3 jurisprudence. The last cannot compare with the other two; it is paltry, and your hidden lore has long since been made public property. You now take your stand upon words and forms which are easier to ridicule than to explain. the proceedings before the praetor in cases of disputed title to property are foolish and absurd: the dependence of women, and the maintenance of sacred rites, ordinances of our ancestors, have alike been tampered with by these men of wordy wisdom. Yet they often cannot tell which of two words is the right one, and so use both. As I said before, this study has not the making of a consul
in it: it is too paltry, it does not confer obligations; it is tied down to a certain time of the year, and is worthless beyond the walls of Rome. It is a small, easy matter; give me two clear days, and I will come out as a jurist. Again, oratory too is a pursuit far better adapted for a public career than jurisprudence. Many a jurist has begun life as a public speaker and failed; jurisprudence was but his second string. Think of the exertions the orator must make, and the power he wields when he has made them. A man, I say, can rise to the top of the political tree in two ways,-either as a soldier or as a public speaker. I set aside your undoubted personal merits, Servius; we are talking of rising to office. In times of war and civil strife, when confusion reigns and all peaceful pursuits are at a standstill, who form the bulwark of the state? The army, to be sure. Then yield the palm to the soldier, for such as he have made Rome what she is. As for Cato's depreciation of Murena's military services and his contempt for Orientals, I can only say that it is not justified by history. If, Cato, you consider the great resources and ability of Mithridates, the resistance he offered to our arms, his vast schemes, the investment of Kyzikus and the sea-fight off Tenedos, the anxiety of the Senate and people, the glory won by Lucullus and Pompeius, you will change your tone in reference to Eastern warfare. And I maintain that in it Murena displayed the greatest firmness generalship and energy, and that this gave him as good a claim to the consulship as all our civil business-duties, Oh, but when you both were elected praetors, you were returned before him on the roll. Well, but you have no agreement to that effect with the people. And who does not know the uncertainty of the tide of popular favour, and the strange results of elections? Their whole working defies calculation. But we know of two things that went against Murena in the praetorian election, (1) his having never given any public shows, (2) the absence of those who had known his merits as a general or governor of a province. All this was reversed when he stood for the consulship. You do not appreciate the force of the army vote and the splendid games of Murena in gaining him the consulship. This is not all: look at the difference of your luck and his in the allotment of praetorial functions. He had all the openings for winning popularity, you of giving offence. Then he took a province, and earned the affections of many; you were doing your duty at Rome. Do not forget that a provincial governor can give his friends a lift now and then; yours were no doubt disappointed
in you. But to be plain with you, it was all your own fault that you lost the consular election. You gave yourself up to preparations for this trial; and, as I told you, the consequence was that your friends held back then, in order to support you in court, the people would not waste votes on a man who gave up all for lost, and your own time was taken up with matters which interrupted your canvass. You are fitter to conduct a trial than to canvass for office. Again your threats and denunciations in the Senate in the debate on the new bribery law, the extreme measures you advocated, and some of which you carried, all went against you with the people. Above all, you made us afraid that Catiline would be elected while you wasted your time on other things. Of course people voted for Murena, as the only way to save the state. Catiline was exultant, you were depressed : remember the troubles we had had with that ruffian already; think of my breastplate on the election-day, of all the qualifications of Murena for the office, and the tact he shewed in his canvass; and you will not wonder at the result.
(3) de ambitus criminibus, sp 54—83. · I must now deal with the specific charges : but first I will remark that Murena is hardly used. The time and the accusers are such as one would scarcely have looked for.
Now for Cato, the prop and stay of the case for the prosecution. I fear the weight he may carry with the jury more than the charges he can bring. As for the weight of his character, I say that it ought rather to incline the jury favourably towards the accused, than to tell against him. Romans are not wont to be the slaves of a great name and reputation. The accuser cannot be jury as well. Besides, you push things too far, Cato: naturally upright and strict, you have been trained into a sort of perverseness and bitterness by the Stoic principles which you have imbibed. The stiff morality of the Porch is utterly unpractical ; their paradoxical dogmas break down when applied to real life. Had you been an Academic or a Peripatetic you had been, not perhaps a better, but a gentler man: you would never have shewn such animosity towards Murena. Yet I think that with age you will come round; you are now still a young man, and fresh from the study of Stoic ethics. Even your masters do not expect people to act fully up to their high-pitched theories. We have often seen that Stoicism is consistent with courtesy and good feeling. Think of your greatgrandfather. The name 'Cato,' then, must be set aside : let us to the charges. You say with truth that a decree of the Senate defines certain practices as bringing candidates under the Calpurnian law. But when you come to apply this to the case of Murena you fail in each separate charge to prove what is the real point. You take popularity to be a proof of bribery, and hospitality of treating. You are impugning, not the acts of Murena, but the usages of political life. Your criticisms on the morality of entertaining citizens at election-time are carried too far, and are diametrically opposed to Roman habits and ways of thinking. You confound public munificence with personal luxury. Remember how ridiculous Tubero made himself by crossgrained application of dogmas out of season. Besides, if you must be very nice as to the moral bearing of every little thing, how about your own canvass? Fie, fie, Cato, on your affectation, deceitfulness and time-serving. What would the Stoics say? You took up this prosecution, you say, for the public weal. No doubt you mean well, but you are mistaken. Mine is the side of true patriotism. Think, gentlemen of the jury, of Catiline's accomplices in the city. Do not play their game : we shall want our two consuls for the new year. This is a critical time : frightful plans are formed against Rome by her own degenerate children. My magistracy is drawing to its close ; leave me my successor. Think, Cato, on all this; remember that the plots of years are coming to a head now: see the danger in which I stand, and give heed to your own. It is your manifest duty to help in securing for this crisis the services of such a man as Murena in the consulship.
III peroratio, &$ 83 quamquam to end.
Gentlemen, all rests on you. Surely you will not play Catiline's game for him : the hour is come; take away our next year's consul, and the State is lost. In the name of our country, on behalf of Murena, I appeal alike to your patriotism and your mercy for an acquittal. Do this, and I can assure you that in so doing you will have done what is for the best.
ABBREVIATIONS USED IN THE NOTES.
M=Matthiae's edition, 1831.
Romanae, 4th ed. 1869.
1870. cf.=compare. sup.=above. inf.=below. • Festus, p. 207 M.' refers to the page of Müller's edition. auct. ad Herenn. =author of the treatise ad Herennium. auct. petit. cons. =author of the treatise de petitione consulatus. Lael. = Laelius seu de amicitia liber. Cat. mai. = Cato maior seu de senectute liber.