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gladly avoided, lad I not been particularly pointed at for the part I have taken in this bill. It has been said by a noble Lord on my left hand, that I likewife am running the race of popularity. If the noble Lord means by popularity, that applause bestowed by after-ages on good and virtuous actions; I have long been 1truggling in that race; to what purpose, all-trying Time can alone determine : but if the noble Lord means that mushroom popularity that is raised without merit and loft with out a crime, he is much mistaken in bis opinion. I defy the noble Lord' to point out a single action of my life, where the popularity of the times ever had the smallett influence on my determinations. I thank God I have a more permanent and fteady rule for my conduct,--the di&tates of my own breaft. Those that have foregone that pleasing adviser, and given up their mind to be the Nave of every popular impulfe, I sincerely pity : I pity them
till more, if their vanity leads them to' miftake the fbouts of a mob for the trumpet of fame. Experience! mighe inform them, that many who have been saluted with the huzzas of a crowd one day, lave received their execrations the next ; and many, who, by the popula. rity of their times, have been held up as fpotless pa. triuts, have, nevertheless, appeared upon the historian's page, when truth has triumphed over delusion, the affas. fins of liberty. Why then the noble Lord can think I am ambitious of present popularity, that echo of folly, and hadow of renown, I am at a loss to determine. Be. fides, I do not know that the bill now before your Lord. fhips will be popular : it depends much upon the ca. price of the day. It may not be popular to compel peo. ple to pay their debts; and, in that case, the present mult be a very unpopular bill. It may not be popular nei. ther to take away any of the privileges of parliament; for I very well remember, and many of your Lordships may remember, that not long ago the popular cry was for the extension of privilege ; and so far did they carry it at-tliat time, that it was said that the privilege protected members even in criminal actions ; nay, such was the power of popular prejudices over weak minds, that the
very decisions of tome of the courts were tinc. tured with that doctrine. It was undoubtedly an abo
minable doctrine ; I thought so then, and think fo ftill: but, nevertheless, it was a popular doctrine, and came inlinediately from those who are called the friends of li. berty; how defervedly, time will show. True liberty, in my opinion, can only exist when justice is equally administered to all ; 'to the king, and to the beggar. Where is the justice then, or where the is.law, that protects a member of parliament more than any other man, from the punishment due to his crimes? The laws of this country allow of no place, nor any employment, to be a sanctuary for crimes; and where I have the honour to fit as judge, neither royal favour nor popular applause hall ever protect the guilty.
I have now only to beg pardon for having employed so much of your Lordships time; and I am lorry a bill,. fraught with so many good consequences, has not met with an abler advocate : but I doubt not your Lordships determination will convince the world, that a bill calculated to contribute so much to the equal distribution of justice as the present, requires with your Lordfhips but very little support.
I. Cicero against Verres! ΤΗ! *HE time is come, Fathers, when that which has
long been wished for, towards allaying the envy your order has been subject to, and removing the ina putations again't trials, is effectually put in our power. An opinion has long prevailed, not only here at home, but likewise in foreign countries, both dangerous to you and pernicious to the state,-that, in profecutions, men of wealth are always safe, however. clearly convicted. There is now to be brought upon his trial before you, to the confusion, I hope, of the propagators of this slang derous imputation, one whose life and actions condemn him in the opinion of all impartial persons ; but who, according to his own reckoning and declared dependence upon his riches, is already acquitted ; I mean Caius Ver
I demand justice of you, Fathers, upon the robber, of the public treasury, the oppressor of Asia Minor and Ramphylia, the invader of the rights and privileges of Romans, the scourge and curse of Sicily. If that fentence is passed upon him which his criines deserve, your avthorityFathers, will be venerable and sacred in the eyes of the public; but if his great riches should bias you in his favour, I shall still gain one point, to make it apo parent to all the world, that what was waning in this case, was not a criminal nor a prosecutor, but justice and adequate punishmentos
To pass over the shameful irregularities of his youth, what does his quæstorship, the first gublic employment he held, what does it exbibit, but one continued scene of villanies ? Cneius Carbo plundered of the public mo: ney by his own treasurer, a cousul Atripped and betray. ed, an arıny deserted and reduced to want, a province robbed, the civil and religious rights of a people violated. The employment he held in Asia Minor and Pamphylia, what did it produce but the ruin of those countries? in
which houses, cities, and temples were robbed by him. What was his conduct in his prætorship here at home? Let the plundered temples, and public works neglected that he inight embezzle the money intended for carrying thein on, bear witness. How did he discharge the office of a judge? Let those who suffered by his injustice antiver. But his prætos fhip in Sicily crowns all his works of wickedness, and finishes a lasting monument to bis infamy. The mischiefs done by him in that unhapP'y country, during the three years of his iniquitons admi. nistratiou are such, thiat many years, tnder the wiseft and best of prætors, will not be lutficient to restore things to the condition in which he found them : for it is notoriouis, that, during the time of his tyranny, the Sicilians neither enjoyed the prote&tion of their own original Jaws, of the regulations made for their bene fit by the Roman fenate upon their conuing under the protection of the commonwealth, nor of the natural and unalienable rights of men. His nod bas decided-all causes in Sicily for these three years. And his decisions have broke all law, all precedent, all right. The fums he has, by arbitrary taxes and wheard of impofitions, ex. torted from the industrious poor, are not to be computed. The most faithful allies of the commonwealth have been treated as enemies. Roman citizens have, like flaves, been put to death with tortures. The most attrocious criminals, for money, have been exemptent from the deserved purishments; and men of the most unexceptionable characters condemned and banished onheard. The harbours, though sufficiently fortified, and the gates of Atrong towns, opened to pirates and rava. gers. The foldiery and failors, belonging to a province under the protection of the commonwealth, starved to death. Whole fleets, to the great detriment of the province, fuffered to perilh. The ancient monuments of ei. ther Sicilian or Roman greatness, the statues of heroes and princes, carried off, and the temples ftripped of the innages.--Having, by his iniquitous fentences, filled the prisons with the most induttrious and deserving of the people, he then proceeded to order numbers of Roman. citizens to be strangled in the gauls; fo that the exclamarior,,“ I am a citizen of Rome!" which has often,
in the most distant regions, and among the most barbarous people, been a protection, was of no service to them; but, on the contrary, brought a speedier and more severe punishment upon them.
I ask now, Verres, what you have to advance against this charge? Will you pretend to deny it? Will you pretend, that any thing false, that even any thing aggravated, is alleged against you ? Had any prince, or any state, committed the same ontrage against the privilege of Roman citizens, should we not think we had sufficient ground for declaring iminediate war against them? What punishment ought, then, to be inflicted upon a tyranni. cal and wicked prætor, who dared, af no greater distance than Sicily, within fight of the Italian coast, to put to the infamous death of crucifixion that unfortunate and innocent citizen Publius Gavius Cofanus, only for his having aflerted his privilege of citizenship, and declared his intention of appealing to the justice of his country against a cruel oppreflor, who had unjustly confined him in prison at Syracuse, whence he had just made his escape? The unhappy man, arrested as he was going to embark for his native country, is brought before the wicked prætor. With eyes darting fury, and a coun: tenance distorted with 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 evidencey or even of suspicion, of having come to Sicily as a spy. Ii 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 imocence.” 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 Romani 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 !
Oliberty O sound once delightful to every Roman? ear!--O facred privilege of Roman citizenship!-once