II. De Provinciis Consularibus
In Senatu Oratio
1I. Si quis vestrum, patres conscripti, exspectat, quas sim provincias decreturus, consideret ipse secum, qui mihi homines ex provinciis potissimum detrahendi sint; non dubitabit, quid sentire me conveniat, cum, quid mihi sentire necesse sit, cogitarit. Ac si princeps eam sententiam dicerem, laudaretis profecto, si solus, certe ignosceretis; etiamsi paulo minus utilis vobis sententia videretur, veniam tamen aliquam dolori meo tribueretis. Nunc vero, patres conscripti, non parva adficior voluptate, vel quod hoc maxime rei publicae conducit, Syriam Macedoniamque decerni, ut dolor meus nihil a communi utilitate dissentiat, vel quod habeo auctorem P. Servilium, qui ante me sententiam dixit, virum clarissimum et cum in universam rem publicam, tum etiam erga meam salutem fide ac 2benevolentia singulari. Quodsi ille et paulo ante, et
II. A Speech Concerningthe Consular Provinces
Delivered in the Senate
I. If any one of you, Conscript Fathers, is waiting1 to hear what I propose to do in regard to the assignation of provinces,a let him ask himself what persons in particular I think should be withdrawn from their governments; he will have no doubt what it is fitting my opinion should be, when he has reflected what it must be. And if I were the first to put forward this opinion,b you would assuredly praise me; if I were the only one to do so, you would no doubt excuse me; even if my proposal should appear to you to be of little value, you would yet make some allowance for my resentment.c But as it is, Conscript Fathers, I find no small satisfaction, either because it is specially advantageous to the State that Syria and Macedonia should be assigned, so that my resentment in no way conflicts with the public good, or because I am following the lead of Publius Servilius,d who gave his opinion before me, a man of the highest distinction, and one of singular loyalty and goodwill both to the State generally and to my own welfare in particular. But2 if he, both just now and as often as he has had an
- aSee p. 534.
- bWhen asked by the presiding magistrate “quid censes?” (“What is your opinion?”), the senator, whose opinion was asked first, was said princeps sententiam dicere.
- cAgainst Piso and Gabinius, who had treated Cicero very badly during their consulship (58 b.c.), when Clodius forced him to withdraw from Rome.
- dP. Servilius Vatia Isauricus (consul 79 b.c.), a senior ex- consul (p. 534), but probably not princeps senatus, for in the late Republic it is unlikely that there was any such title.