late republic lit - From the 2nd Philippic, Cicero....

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From the 2nd Philippic , Cicero. Translated by C. D. Yonge Accuse the senate; accuse the equestrian body, which at that time was united with the senate; accuse every order of society, and all the citizens, as long as you confess that this assembly at this very moment is besieged by Ityrean 1 soldiers. It is not so much a proof of audacity to advance these statements so impudently, as of utter want of sense to be unable to see their contradictory nature. For what is more insane than, after you yourself have taken up arms to do mischief to the republic, to reproach another with having taken them up to secure its safety? On one occasion you attempted even to be witty. O ye good gods, how little did that attempt suit you! And yet you are a little to be blamed for your failure in that instance, too. For you might have got some wit from your wife, who was an actress. “Arms to the gown must yield.” Well, have they not yielded? But afterwards the gown yielded to your arms. Let us inquire then whether it was better for the arms of wicked men to yield to the freedom of the Roman people, or that our liberty should yield to your arms. Nor will I make any further reply to you about the verses. I will only say briefly that you do not understand them, nor any other literature whatever. That I have never at any time been wanting to the claims that either the republic or my friends had upon me; but nevertheless that in all the different sorts of composition on which I have employed myself, during my leisure hours, I have always endeavoured to make my labours and my writings such as to be some advantage to our youth, and some credit to the Roman name. But, however, all this has nothing to do with the present occasion. Let us consider more important matters. You have said that Publius Clodius was slain by my contrivance. What would men have thought if he had been slain at the time when you pursued him in the forum with a drawn sword, in the sight of all the Roman people; and when you would have settled his business if he had not thrown himself up the stairs of a bookseller’s shop, and, shutting them against you, checked your attack by that means? And I confess that at that time I favoured you, but even you yourself do not say that I had advised your attempt. But as for Milo, it was not possible even for me to favour his action. For he had finished the business before any one could suspect that he was going to do it. Oh, but I advised it. I suppose Milo was a man of such a disposition that he was not able to do a service to the republic if he had not some one to advise him to do it. But I rejoiced at it. Well, suppose I
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This note was uploaded on 04/18/2008 for the course CLA 160 taught by Professor Burgess during the Spring '08 term at University of Toronto.

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late republic lit - From the 2nd Philippic, Cicero....

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