manorum magistri removissent, tantum possem in te dicere quantum in litteris invenissem: nunc, decreto isto facto litterisque remotis, tantum mihi licet dicere quantum possum, tantum iudici suspicari quantum velit. Dico te maximum pondus auri, argenti, eboris, purpurae, plurimam vestem Melitensem, plurimam stragulam, multam Deliacam supellectilem, plurima vasa Corinthia, magnum numerum frumenti, vim mellis maximam Syracusis exportasse: his pro rebus quod portorium non esset datum, litteras ad socios misisse L. Canuleium, qui in portu operas 177daret. Satisne magnum crimen hoc videtur? Nullum, opinor, maius. Qui id defendet Hortensius? Postulabit ut litteras Canuleii proferam? Crimen eius modi nisi litteris confirmetur inane esse dicet? Clamabo litteras remotas esse de medio, decreto sociorum erepta mihi esse istius indicia ac monumenta furtorum. Aut hoc contendat numquam esse factum, aut omnia tela excipiat necesse est. Negas esse factum? Placet mihi ista defensio; descendo; aequa enim contentio, aequum certamen proponitur. Producam testes, et producam plures eodem tempore; quoniam tum cum actum est una fuerunt, nunc quoque una sint; cum interrogabuntur, obligentur non solum iuris iurandi atque existimationis


Against Verres II ii

with those records as agreed by the tithe-contractors, I should be able to accuse you only of such misconduct as I had found actually recorded; as it is, that resolution having been carried and the records made away with, it is open to me to say the worst I can of you, and to each member of this court to suspect the worst he will of you. I assert that you exported from Syracuse a great weight of gold, silver, ivory, and purple fabrics, a great deal of Maltese cloth and tapestries, a quantity of Delian wares, a large number of Corinthian vessels, a large quantity of corn and an immense amount of honey; and that Lucius Canuleius, the agent for harbour business, wrote to his company complaining that no export tax had been paid on these goods. Does this177 seem a serious enough charge? I can conceive none more serious. What defence to it will Hortensius make? Will he demand that I should produce this letter from Canuleius? Will he maintain that a charge of that kind is harmless unless backed by documentary evidence? I reply indignantly that the documents have been done away with, that by the resolution of the company the tokens and records of that man’s pilferings have been snatched from my hands. Either he must contend that this never happened, or he must be ready to face every such assault. Do you say it did not happen? Good, that is the line to take; I am ready for you; here is a fair field for us, and no favour. I will now bring forward my witnesses; and I will bring forward a number of them together; they were with one another when the thing was done, let them be so now. When they are examined, they will be bound to speak truth, not only by the risk of perjury

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.marcus_tullius_cicero-second_speech_verres.1928