The military officer is walking near the camp. He sees Strythio, now returning to camp.
Optio: Hey Strythio! Come here! I want to tell you something.
bother me! I'm busy. I'm looking for Modestus because the girl is
expecting him. By god! I never saw a more beautiful girl. Her voice is
melodious; her eyes....
Optio: My Strythio,
although your very occupied, you ought to hear me with great
diligence. I have been sent by our Centurion. The Centurion ordered you to hurry
immediately to the prison.
Strythio: The Centurion is nuts. I’m innocent.
Optio: Be quiet! The Centurion also ordered Modestus to hurry to prison.
Strythio: I make the gods my witness. We are innocent. We committed not crime.
Optio: Idiot! Be
quiet!. It’s hard to explain things to you. V alerius, our centurion,
orders you both to guard the prison.
Strythio: : Don’t
curse me! I now understand things. Valerius wants us to be guards of
the prison. It’s right for valerius to choose us because we are brave. I and
Modestus, when we fought in Africa, we alone guarded the entire province.
Optio: (whispering) that’s hard to believe.
Strythio: What did you say?
Othio: Although you’re very brave, you ought to show great industry also. For
Vercobrix is among the prisoners, a man of great dignity, whose father is leader of
the Deceanglis. You really have to guard Vercobrix.
worry, my soldier. It’s not hard for us because we’re brave,
as I said
before. Return to Valerius. Tell hem all these things. Don’t omit anything.
Strythio, a soldier of the second legion, sends his best to Valerius, centurion of
the second legion. The soldier, sent by you, brought us your orders. We,
obeying your commands, proceed to the station.
The soldier looks for the centurion, Strythio for his friend.
The Guard Modestus
Modestus and Strythio, having entered the prison, looked at the cells in which were the captives. Strythio was having a tablet on which the names of the captives were written. Modestus asked him in which cell Vercobrix was imprisoned. Strythio, inspecting the tablet, knew where Vercobrix rested and led Modestum to the cell. Modestus, when he arrived at the gate of the cell, hesitating stopped.
Strythio said, "Do you fear entering the cell?" The son of the leader of Deceanli has been overcome. He is not able to harm you.
When Strythio had said these things, Angry Modestus yelled, " Idiot, I do not fear the son of the leader! I stopped because I was expecting you. I want you to open the door for me."
When Strythio opened the door, Again Modestus hestitated.
"The cell is dark", nervous Modestus said. Bring me a light.
Strythio, a man of great prudance, brought a light and handed it to the friend. He, having entered the cell, vanished from sight.
Vercobrix layed in the corner of the cell. Modestus, when he saw him, unsheathed his sword. Then, proceeding to the middle of the cell, begain to curse Vercobrix. Nevertheless, Vercobrix had not been able to hear his insults, because he sleeped deeply.
\Suddenly, a spider having fallen from the roof of the cell, fell on the nose of Modestus and ran across his mouth. Modestus, frightened by the spider, fled the cell, yelling wildly. Strythio, who was standing outside the cell, was astonished. He didn't know why Modestus was yelling.
Strythio! Strythio! he said. Close the door of the cell. It's necessary for you to guard Vercobrix with great diligence. Even the spiders help him.
Modestus, he said, you are so pale! Do you fear the prisoner?
No! I am pale because I haven't eaten, he said.
Do you want me to go to the kitchen to bring you food, Strythio asked?
That's a good idea, the other said. But you stay here. It's better for me to go myself to the kitchen because the cook owes me 10 denarius.
Having said this, he immediately ran to the kitchen.
The Deserter, Modestus
Modestus, having left from the kitchen where he ate a great meal, slowly returned to the prison. After he walked, he so thought, I never tasted a better meal; I never drank a sweeter wine. But I am worried. The cook prepard that meal for both me and Strythio, but I alone consumed it. Now I have to expain things to Strythio. But fortune favors me because Strythio is a very patient man and favors less food.
When he neared the prison, he saw the open door.
Immortal Gods, He alarmed said. Strythio, did you leave the door of the prison open. I know no one more negligent than you.
Having entered the prison, he found the open doors of all the cells.
When he saw this, he said, Boy, All the doors are open. All the prisoners, having left the cells, fled.
Anxious Modestus knew things. For he did not know where the captives fled. He was not able to understand why Strythio was absent.
What should I do? To stay here where the centurion is able to find me is dangerous. There is one hope for safety. I should flee. O Strythio, Strythio. You forced me to desert my station. You made me a deserter. But I made the gods my witness. I Unwilling deserted the station, I unwillingly am fleeing the anger of the centurion.
Cicero oration against Verres
Nunc ego, iudices, iam vos consulo quid mihi faciendum putetis. Id enim consili mihi profecto taciti dabitis quod emomet mihi necessario capiendum intellego. Si utar ad dicendum meolegitimo tempore, mei laboris, industrae, diligentiaeque capiam fructum, et ex accusatione perficiam ut nemo umquam post hominum memoriam paratior, vigilantior, compositior ad iudicium venisse videatur. Set in hac laude industriae meae, reus ne elabatur summum periculum est. Quid est igitur quod fieri posit? Non obscurum opinor, neque absconditum. Fructum istum laudis, qui ex perpetua oratrione percipi potuit, in alia tempora reservemus; nunc hominem tabulis, testibus, privates publicisque literis auctoritatibusque accusemus.
Mihi certum est non committere ut in hac causa praetor nobis consiliumque mutetur. Non patiar rem in id tempus adduci ut hominess miseri, antea socii atque amici populi Romani, nunc servi ac supplices, non modo ius suum fortunasque omnis amittant, verum etiam deplorandi iuris sui potestatem non habeant.
Faciam hoc non novum, set ab eis q;ui nunc principes nostrae civitatis sunt ante factum, ut testibus utar statim; illud a me novum, iudices, cognoscetis quod ita testis constituam ut crimen totum explicem. Si quis erit qui perpetuam orationem accusationemque desideret, altera actione autiet.
Haec primae actionis erit accusation: dicimus C. Verrem, cum m;ulta libidinose, multa crudeliter in civis Romanos atque in socios, multa in deos hominesque nefarie fecerit, tum praeterea quadringentiens sestertium ex Sicilia contra leges abstulisse. Hoc testibus, hoc tabulis privates publicisque auctoritatibus ita vobhis planum faciemus ut hoc statuatis, etiam si spatium ad dicendum nostro commodo cacuosque dies habuissemus, tamen oratione longa nihil opus fuisse. Dixi.
Now, o judges, I consult you as to what you think I ought to do. For you will, in truth, without speaking, give me that advice which I understand that I must inevitable adopt. If I occupy the time which I legitimately might in speaking I shall reap the fruit of my labor, industry, and diligence; and by this prosecution I shall make it manifest that no one in the memory of man appears ever to have come before a court of justice better prepared, more vigilant, or with his cause better got up. But while I am getting this credit for my industry, there is great danger lest the criminal may escape. What, then, is there which can be done? I think it is neither obscure or hidden. I will reserve for another time that fruit of praise which may be derived from a long uninterrupted speech. Now I must support this accusation by documentary evidence, by witnesses, by letters of private individuals and of public bodies and by various other kinds of proof.
I am resolved not to permit the praetor or the judges to be changed in
this cause. I will not permit those miserable men, formerly the allies and
friends of the Roman people, now their slaves and suppliants, to lose not
only their rights and fortunes by their tyranny, but to be deprived of even
the power of bemoaning their condition.
I will adopt this course, not an unprecedented one, but one that has been adopted before, by those who are now the chief men of our state, the course, I meant of producing the witnesses. If there be anyone who prefers an uninterrupted speech and the old mode of conducting a prosecution without any break, he shall have it in some other trial.
This will be the first part of the prosecution. We say that C. Verres has
not only done many licentious acts, many cruel ones, towards Roman citizens,
and towards some of the allies, many wicked acts against both gods and men;
but especially that he has been away four hundred thousand sesterces out
of Sicily contrary to the laws. We will make this so plain to you by witnesses,
by private documents, and by public records, that you shall decide that,
even if we had abundant space and leisure days for making a long speech
without any inconvenience, still there was no need at all of a long speech
in this matter.