« EdellinenJatka »
cruelty, he orders the helpless victim of his rage to be stripped, and rods to be brought; accusing him, but without the least shadow of evidence, or even of suspicion, of having come to Sicily as a spy. It was in vain that the unhappy man cried out, "I am a Roman citizen: I have served under Lucius Pretius, who is now at Panormus, and will attest my innocence." The blood-thirsty prætor, deaf to all he could urge in his own defence, ordered the infamous punishment to be inflicted. Thus, Fathers, was an innocent Roman citizen publicly mangled with scourging: whilst the only words he uttered, amidst his cruel sufferings, were, "I am a Roman citizen!" With these he hoped to defend himself from violence and infamy. But of so little service was this privilege to him, that, while he was thus asserting his citizenship, the order was given for his execution, for his execution upon the cross!
O liberty!-O sound once delightful to every Ro man ear!-O sacred privilege of Roman citizenship! once sacred!-now trampled upon !—But what then! Is it come to this? Shall an inferior magistrate, a governor, who holds his whole power of the Roman people, in a Roman province, within sight of Italy, bind, scourge, torture with fire and red-hot plates of iron, and at last put to the infamous death of the cross, a Roman citizen? Shall neither the cries of innocence expiring in agony, nor the tears of pitying spectators, nor the majesty of the Roman commonwealth, nor the fear of the justice of his country, restrain the licentious and wanton cruelty of a monster, who, in confidence of his riches, strikes at the root of liberty, and sets mankind at defiance?
I conclude with expressing my hopes, that your wisdom and justice, fathers, will not, by suffering the atrocious and unexampled insolence of Caius Verres to escape due punishment, leave room to apprehend
the danger of a total subversion of authority, and the introduction of general anarchy and confusion.
Speech of ADHERBAL to the Roman Senate, imploring their protection against JUGURTHA.
It is known to you, that king Micipsa, my father, on his death-bed, left in charge to Jugurtha, his adopted son, conjunctly with my unfortunate brother Hiempsal and myself, the children of his own body, the administration of the kingdom of Numidia, directing us to consider the senate and people of Rome as proprietors of it. He charged us to use our best endeavours to be serviceable to the Roman commonwealth; assuring us, that your protection would prove a defence against all enemies; and would be instead of armies, fortifications, and treasures.
While my brother and I were thinking of nothing but how to regulate ourselves according to the directions of our deceased father-Jugurtha-the most infamous of mankind!--breaking through all ties of gratitude and of common humanity, and trampling on the authority of the Roman commonwealth, procured the murder of my unfortunate brother; and has driven me from my throne and native country, through he knows I inherit, from my grandfather Massinissa, and my father Micipsa, the friendship and alliance of the Ro
For a prince to be reduced, by villany, to my distressful circumstances, is calamity enough; but my misfortunes are heightened by the consideration-that I find myself obliged to solicit your assistance, fathers, for the services done you by my ancestors, not for any
I have been able to render you in my own person. Jugurtha has put it out of my power to deserve any thing at your hands; and has forced me to be burdensome, before I could be useful to you. And yet, if I had no plea, but my undeserved misery-a once powerful prince, the descendant of a race of illustrious monarchs, now, without any fault of my own, destitute of every support, and reduced to the necessity of begging foreign assistance, against an enemy who has seized my throne and my kingdom-if my unequalled distresses were all I had to plead—it would become the greatness of the Roman commonwealth, to protect the injured, and to check the triumph of daring wickedness over helpless innocence. But, to provoke your resentment to the utmost, Jugurtha has driven me from the very dominions, which the senate and people of Rome gave to my ancestors; and, from which, my grandfather, and my father, under your umbrage, expelled Syphax and the Carthaginians. Thus, fathers, your kindness to our family is defeated; and Jugurtl.a, in injuring me, throws contempt upon you.
O wretched prince! Oh cruel reverse of fortune! Oh father Micipsa! is this the consequence of thy generosity; that he, whom thy goodness raised to an equality with thy own children, should be the murderer of thy children? Must, then, the royal house of Numidia always be a scene of havoc and blood? While Carthage remained, we suffered, as was to be expected, all sorts of hardships from their hostile attacks enemy near; our only powerful ally, the Roman commonwealth, at a distance. When that scourge of Africa was no more, we congratulated ourselves on the prospect of established peace. But, instead of peace, behold the kingdom of Numidia drenched with royal blood! and the only surviving son of its late king, fly. ing from an adopted murderer, and seeking that safety in foreign parts, which he cannot command in his own kingdom.
Whither-Oh! whither shall I fly? If I return to the royal palace of my ancestors, my father's throne is seized by the murderer of my brother. What can I there expect, but that Jugurtha should hasten to imbrue, in my blood, those hands which are now reeking with my brother's? If I were to fly for refuge, or for assistance to any other court, from what prince can I hope for protection, if the Roman commonwealth give me up? From my own family or friends I have no expectations. My royal father is no more. He is beyond the reach of violence, and out of hearing of the complaints of his unhappy son. Were my brother alive, our mutual sympathy would be some alleviation. But he is hurried out of life, in his early youth, by the very hand which should have been the last to injure any of the royal family of Numidia. The bloody Jugurtha has butchered all whom he suspected to be in my interest. Some have been destroyed by the lingering torment of the cross. Others have been given a prey to wild beasts; and their anguish made the sport of men more cruel than wild beasts. If there be any yet alive, they are shut up in dungeons, there to drag out a life more intolerable than death itself.
Look down, illustrious senators of Rome! from that height of power to which you are raised, on the unexampled distresses of a prince, who is, by the cruelty of a wicked intruder, become an outcast from all mankind. Let not the crafty insinuations of him who returns murder for adoption, prejudice your judgment. Do not listen to the wretch who has butchered the son
and relations of a king, who gave him power to sit on
the same throne with his own sons.-I have been informed, that he labours by his emissaries to prevent your determining any thing against him in his absence; pretending that I magnify my distress, and might, for him, have staid in peace in my own kingdom. But, if ever the time comes, when the due vengeance from above shall overtake him, he will then dissemble as I
do. Then he, who now, hardened in wickedness, triumphs over those whom his violence has laid low, will, in his turn, feel distress, and suffer for his impious ingratitude to my father, and his blood-thirsty cruelty to my brother.
Oh murdered, butchered brother! Oh dearest to my heart-now gone for ever from my sight!-but why should I lament his death? He is, indeed, deprived of the blessed light of heaven, of life, and kingdom, at once, by the very person who ought to have been the first to hazard his own life, in defence of any one of Micipsa's family. But, as things are, my brother is not so much deprived of these comforts, as delivered from terror, from flight, from exile, and the endless train of miseries which render life to me a burden. He lies full low, gored with wounds, and festering in his own blood. But he lies in peace. He feels none of the miseries which rend my soul with agony and distraction, while I am set up a spectacle to all mankind, of the uncertainty of human affairs. So far from having it in my power to punish his murderer, I am not master of the means of securing my own life. So far from being in a condition to defend my kingdom from the violence of the usurper, I am obliged to apply for foreign protection for my own person.
Fathers! Senators of Rome! the arbiters of nations! to you I fly for refuge from the murderous fury of Jugurtha. By your affection for your children; by your love for your country; by your own virtues; by
the majesty of the Roman commonwealth; by all that is sacred, and all that is dear to you-deliver a wretched prince from undeserved, unprovoked injury; and save the kingdom of Numidia, which is your own property, from being the prey of violence, usurpation, and cruelty.