Moreover, they themselves have obnoxiously put down both her appearance and her age. They've called it a vice that I wanted such a wife, saying that it was for greed and that the very first thing I did in the marriage was snatch a great and boutiful dowry. Formam mulieris et aetatem ipsi ultro improbauerunt idque mihi uitio dederunt, talem uxorem causa auaritiae concupisse atque adeo primo dotem in congressu grandem et uberem rapuisse.
It wouldn't do to wear you out with a long oration, Maximus, in responding to these things. There's no need for words when the records speak much more eloquently -- the records in which everything is different from what these rapacious jerks have made up about me, the facts of my present circumstances and my provisions for gaining things in the future. First you'll see that this wealthy woman's dowry was moderate and wasn't a gift, only a trust. Moreover, this marriage was contracted with the provision that if she were to die without our having children, the whole dowry would remain with her sons, Pontianus and Pudens. If, however, she were to die with one son or one daughter remaining, then the dowry would be divided, with part going to the most recently born son, and the remainder going to her other sons from the first marriage. ad haec, Maxime, longa oratione fatigare te non est consilium; nihil uerbis opus est, cum multo disertius ipsae tabulae loquantur, in quibus omnia contra, quam isti ex sua rapacitate de me quoque coniectauerunt, facta impraesentiarum et prouisa in posterum deprehendis: iam primum mulieris locupletissimae modicam dotem neque eam datam, sed tantum modo [creditam], praeter haec ea condicione factam coniunctionem, nullis ex me susceptis liberis [si] uita demigrasset, uti dos omnis apud filios eius Pontianum et Pudentem maneret, sin uero uno unaue superstite diem suum obisset, uti tum diuidua pars dotis posteriori filio, reliqua prioribus cederet.
[92] I'll demonstrate these things, as I've said, by the public records themselves. It may be that Aemelianus won't believe that only three hundred thousand coins have been recorded as the dowry and that this dowry, by the agreement of Pudentilla, would be given to her sons at the reading of her will. [92] Haec, ut dico, tabulis ipsis docebo. fors fuat an ne sic quidem credat Aemilianus sola trecenta milia nummum scripta eorumque repetitionem filiis Pudentillae pacto datam.
If you please, take the record with your own hands. Give it to your instigator, Rufinus. Let him read it. He should be ashamed of his swollen pride and his ambitious lying. In fact, though needy and deprived, he endowed his daughter with four hundred thousand coins which he received from a creditor. Pudentilla, a wealthy woman, was content with three hundred thousand for a dowry and has a husband -- who, after rejecting many great dowries, is content with the empty name of such a small one, counting the rest as nothing except his own wife. He figures that all the household goods and other riches are in their conjugal union and their mutual love. cape sis ipse tu manibus tuis tabulas istas, da impulsori tuo Rufino: legat, pudeat illum tumidi animi sui et ambitiosae mendicitatis; quippe ipse egens, nudus CCCC milibus nummum a creditore acceptis filiam dotauit, Pudentilla locuples femina trecentis milibus dotis fuit contenta et maritum habet, et multis saepe et ingentibus dotibus spretis, inani nomine tantulae dotis contentum, ceterum praeter uxorem suam nihil computantem, omnem supellectilem cunctasque diuitias in concordia coniugii et mutuo amore ponentem.
Though who would find fault if a woman, a widow and of average looks but not of moderate age, wanted to marry and used a large dowry and easy situation to rouse up a youth, who himself wasn't lacking in health, intelligence or fortune? An unmarried and beautiful woman, even if she's incredibly poor, still has a large dowry, since she carries to her new husband an natural quality of spirit, the grace of beauty and the beginnings of youth. quamquam quis omnium uel exigue rerum peritus culpare auderet, si mulier uidua et mediocri forma, at non aetate mediocri, nubere uolens longa dote et molli condicione inuitasset iuuenem neque corpore neque animo neque fortuna paenitendum? uirgo formosa etsi sit oppido pauper, tamen [h]abunde dotata est; affert quippe ad maritum nouum animi indolem, pulchritudinis gratiam, floris rudimentum.
The worth of her virginity is most pleasing to all husbands by right and by merit. After all, you can give back everything you took as dowry whenever you please -- you're not constrained by an obligation. You can pay back the money, return the slaves, move out of the house, and withdraw from the estates. Only virginity can't be returned, once it's been taken -- it's the only element of the the dowry to remain with the husband. ipsa uirginitatis commendatio iure meritoque omnibus maritis acceptissima est; nam quodcumque aliud in dotem acceperis, potes, cum libuit, ne sis beneficio obstrictus, omne ut acceperas retribuere, pecuniam renumerare, mancipia restituere, domo demigrare, praediis cedere: sola uirginitas cum semel accepta est, reddi nequitur, sola apud maritum ex rebus dotalibus remanet.
A widow, however, leaves in a divorce in the same condition in which she came to marriage. She offers nothing which she can't demand back again, but she comes already having lost her virginity to someone else. She's certainly not at all submissive to you with regards to what you want. And she's suspicious of her new house just as much as she herself should be suspect on account of having already had one separation: whether she lost her husband by death (which would make her not at all desirable, being a woman who brings unfavorable omens and unfortunate marriages), or she departed in divorce. uidua autem qualis nuptiis uenit, talis diuortio digreditur; nihil affert inreposcibile, sed uenit iam ab alio praeflorata, certe tibi ad quae uelis minime docilis, non minus suspectans nouam domum quam ipsa iam ob unum diuortium suspectanda, siue illa morte amisit maritum, ut scaeui ominis mulier et infausti coniugii minime appetenda, seu repudio digressa est,
In either case, it's the woman's fault. She either was so intolerable that she was rejected, or so insolent that she did the rejecting. utramuis habe[n]s culpam mulier, quae aut tam intolerabilis fuit, ut repudiaretur, aut tam insolens, ut repudiaret.
On account of these and other factors, widows tempt suitors with an inflated dowry, which Pudentilla would have done for another husband if she hadn't found a philosopher who scorned of money. ob haec et alia uiduae dote aucta procos sollicitant. quod Pudentilla quoque in alio marito fecisset, si philosophum spernentem dotis non rep[p]erisset.
[93] And really, now, if I'd desired the woman for the sake of greed, what would have been more useful to me in taking over her house than to breed dislike between mother and sons, to extract any affection for her children from her heart, so that all by myself I might conquer the abandoned woman more easily and more firmly? Age uero, si auaritiae causa mulierem concupissem, quid mihi utilius ad possidendam domum eius fuit quam simultatem inter matrem et filios serere, alienare ab eius animo liberorum caritatem, quo liberius et artius desolatam mulierem solus possiderem?
Isn't this invented event the action of a robber? When in fact, I was a supporter, a mediator, a promoter of peace, harmony, devotion. Not only did I not plant new feuds, but I entirely uprooted the old ones. I encouraged my wife, whose whole fortune, according to these men, I'd already eaten up through and through -- as I say, I encouraged her, and finally persuaded her to immediately pay back her money (which I mentioned before) to her sons who were demanding it back, in estates appraised cheaply and for the amount they wanted. fuitne hoc praedonis? quod uos fingitis. ego uero quietis et concordiae et pietatis auctor, conciliator, fauisor non modo noua odia non serui, sed uetera quoque funditus extirpaui. suasi uxori meae, cuius, ut isti aiunt, iam uniuersas opes transuoraram, suasi, inquam, ac denique persuasi, ut filiis pecuniam suam reposcentibus, de qua supra dixeram, ut eam pecuniam sine mora redderet in praedis uili aestimatis et quanto ipsi uolebant,
Moreover, I persuaded her to give them from her household property the most fertile fields, the lofty, luxuriously decorated house, and a great quantity of wheat, barley, wine, olive oil, and other crops. Also, no less than four hundred slaves, and herds besides, neither small nor of mean price. In this way she might keep them cheerful with the part she'd given them and encourage them with good hope for the rest of the inheritance. praeterea ex re familiari sua fructuosissimos agros et grandem domum opulente ornatam magnamque uim tritici et ordei et uini et oliui ceterorumque fructuum, seruos quoque haud minus CCCC, pecora amplius neque pauca neque abiecti pretii donaret, ut eos et ex ea parte quam tribuisset securos haberet et ad cetera hereditatis bona spe[i] inuitaret.
These things, therefore, I extorted with difficulty from the unwilling Pudentilla -- for she'll let me tell it as it was -- I wrested them, pleading mightily, from the unwilling and angry woman. I reconciled the mother to her sons, and I furnished my stepsons with much money, in this first kindness of a stepfather. haec ergo ab inuita Pudentilla -- patietur enim me, uti res fuit, ita dicere -- aegre extudi, ingentibus precibus inuitae et iratae extorsi, matrem filiis reconciliaui, priuignos meos primo hoc uitrici beneficio grandi pecunia auxi.
[94] This was known by the whole city. Everyone cursed Rufinus and exalted me with praises. Pontianus came to us, with his brother so unlike him, before Pudentilla had finished her gift-giving. Falling at our feet, he asked us to forgive and forget all the events of the past. He kissed our hands, weeping, and said that he regretted listening to Rufinus and men like him. After that, he also humbly begged me to clear himself before the most honorable Lollianus Avitus, whom I'd recently recommended to him for beginning his study of rhetoric. Obviously, he'd found out that a few days before I had written to Avitus everything in detail, just as it happened. This, too, he got from me. Cognitum hoc est tota ciuitate. Rufinum omnes execrati me laudibus tulere. uenerat ad nos, priusquam istam donationem perficeret, cum dissimili isto fratre suo Pontianus, pedes nostros aduolutus ueniam et obliuionem praeteritorum omnium postularat, flens et manus nostras osculabundus ac dicens paenitere quod Rufino et similibus auscultarit. petit postea suppliciter, uti se Lolliano quoque Auito C. V. purgem, cui haud pridem tirocinio orationis suae fuerat a me commendatus; quippe compererat ante paucos dies omnia me, ut acta erant, ad eum perscripsisse. id quoque a me impetrat.
And so, when he took my letter, he went on to Carthage, where Lollianus Avitus awaited you, Maximus, since by then his term as consul was nearly over. When Avitus read my letters, he congratulated Pontianus with his own particular grace, because Pontianus had quickly corrected his own error. itaque acceptis litteris Carthaginem pergit, ubi iam prope exacto consulatus sui munere Lollianus Auitus te, Maxime, opperiebatur. [h]is epistulis meis lectis pro sua eximia humanitate gratulatus Pontiano, quod cito [h]errorem suum correxisset,
Through Pontianus, Avitus wrote back to me such letters -- good gods! with what learning, what pleasantness, what charm and at the same time pleasure in words -- quite like "a good man skillful in speaking." I know that you, Maximus, will gladly hear his letters; and if I read them aloud, I will proclaim them in my own voice. Bring Avitus's letters here, so that my pride might become my protection. But it's all right, let the water flow. I want to read the letters of this great man repeatedly, three or four times, no matter how much time it takes. rescripsit mihi per eum quas litteras, di boni, qua doctrina, quo lepore, qua uerborum amoenitate simul et iucunditate, prorsus ut 'uir bonus dicendi peritus'. scio te, Maxime, libenter eius litteras auditurum; et quide[m] si praelegam, mea uoce pronuntiabo. cedo tu Auiti epistulas, ut quae semper ornamento mihi fuerunt sint nunc etiam saluti. at tu licebit aquam sinas fluere; namque optimi uiri litteras ter et quater aueo quantouis temporis dispendio lectitare. --
[95] I'm not unaware that I should have concluded after these letters of Avitus. For could I bring out a more reliable character witness, a more august observer of my life, a more eloquent counsel? In the course of my life, I've diligently become acquainted with many articulate men with Roman names, but I've never admired another as much. There's no one today -- for what it's worth -- who is known for or aspires to eloquence, who wouldn't prefer to be Avitus, if he wanted to compare himself to him without envy. Almost all the different virtues of oratory come together in that man. Whatever speech Avitus arranges will be so perfectly complete in every respect that Cato wouldn't find it lacking in dignity, Laelius in smoothness, Gracchus in force, Caesar in passion, Hortensius in arrangement, Calvus in subtlety, Sallust in economy, Cicero in wealth. [95] Non sum nescius debuisse me post istas Auiti litteras perorare. quem enim laudatorem locupletiorem, quem testem uitae meae sanctiorem producam, quem denique aduocatum facundiorem? multos in uita mea Romani nominis disertos uiros sedulo cognoui, sed sum [m]aeque neminem ammiratus. nemo est hodie, quantum mea opinio fert, alicuius in eloquentia laudis et spei, quin Auitus esse longe malit, si cu[m] eo se remota inuidia uelit conferre; quippe omnes fandi uirtutes paene diuersae in illo uiro congruunt. quamcumque ora[tio]nem struxerit Auitus, ita illa erit undique sui perfecte absoluta, ut in illa neque Cato grauitatem requirat neque Laelius lenitatem nec Gracchus impetum nec Caesar calorem nec [H]ortensius distributionem nec Caluus argutias nec parsimoniam Salustius nec opulentiam Cicero: prorsus, inquam, ne omnis persequar,
If you heard Avitus, you'd want nothing added, removed, or otherwise changed at all. I see, Maximus, how favorably you listen to these features which you recognize in your friend Avitus. Your kindness encouraged me to say just a few things about him. But I won't yield to your good will so much that I permit myself to begin now at the end about his outstanding virtues -- I'm almost worn out now, and this case is winding down. Instead, I will keep them for when my strength is fresh and my time is free. si Auitum audias, neque additum quicquam uelis neque detractum neque autem aliquid commutatum. Video, Maxime, quam benigne audias, quae in amico tuo Auito recognosces. tua me comitas, ut uel pauca dicerem de eo, inuitauit. at non usque adeo tuae beniuolentiae indulgebo, ut mihi permittam iam propemodum fesso in causa prorsus ad finem inclinata de egregiis uirtutibus eius nunc demum incipere, quin potius eas integris uiribus et tempori libero seruem.
[96] Now, though it annoys me, I have to turn my speech from the remembrance of so great a man back to these troublemakers. [96] nunc enim mihi, quod aegre fero, a commemoratione tanti uiri ad pestes istas oratio reuoluenda est.
Do you dare, Aemilianus, to compare yourself with Avitus? Audesne te ergo, Aemiliane, cum Auito conferre?
Will you attack for the crime of malicious magic the man whom Avitus calls "good," whose disposition of character he completely praises so highly in his letters? quemme ille bonum uirum ait, cuius animi disputationem tam plene suis litteris collaudat, eum tu magiae maleficii criminis insectabere?
Or should you grieve more than Pontianus would have grieved that I invaded Pudentilla's house and carried off her good things? Pontianus, who apologized to me for a few days' feud (which you instigated, of course), and also apologized in the presence of Avitus while I was absent -- who thanked me in the presence of such a great man? Imagine that I read the events that occurred at Avitus's house, not his letters. What charges could you or anyone else bring against me in this business? an inuasisse me domum Pudentillae et concipilare bona eius tu magis dolere debes quam doluisset Pontianus, qui mihi ob paucorum dierum uestro scilicet instinctu ortas simultates etiam absenti apud Auitum satisfecit, qui mihi apud tantum uirum gratias egit? puta me acta apud Auitum, non litteras ipsius legisse. quid posses uel quas quis in isto negotio accusare?
Pontianus himself considered the things he'd accepted, given by his mother, to be my gift -- he was glad that I, his stepfather, reached out to him with such deep affection. But I wish that he had returned alive from Carthage. Or, since this had been decreed for him by fate, I wish that you, Rufinus, hadn't hindered his final judgment. How he'd have thanked me, either in person or in his will! Still, he sent me letters in advance from Carthage, even in his arrival there. Some were written when he was still healthy, some when already ill -- letters full of honor, full of affection. Please, Maximus, allow them to be read aloud for a short space, so that his brother, my accuser, might know how he is inferior in all ways to his brother -- that runs the race of life with a man remembered as excellent. Pontianus ipse quod a matre donatum acceperat meo muneri acceptum ferebat, Pontianus me uitricum sibi contigisse intimis affectionibus laetabatur. quod utinam incolumis Carthagine reuertisset. uel, quoniam sic ei fuerat fato decretum, utinam tu, Rufine, supremum eius iudicium non impedisses. quas mihi aut coram aut denique in testamento gratias egisset. litteras tamen, quas ad me Carthagine[m] uel iam adueniens ex itinere praemisit, quas adhuc ualidus, quas iam aeger, plenas honoris, plenas amoris, quaeso, Maxime, paulisper recitari sinas, ut sciat frater eius, accusator meus, quam in omnibus minor u[it]ae curriculum cum fratre optumae memoriae uiro[c] currat. --
[97] Did you hear the names which your brother Pontianus gave me? He called me his father, his master, his teacher, at other times and at the end of his life? [97] Audistine uocabula, quae mihi Pontianus frater tuus tribuerat me parentem suum, me dominum, me magistrum cum saepe alias, tum in extremo te[m]pore uitae uocans, postquam * * * ;
I'd bring out similar letters from you, if I actually thought that a little delay was worth so much. tuas quoque paris epistolas promerem, si uel exiguam moram tanti putarem.
I would particularly like for the recent will of your brother, although unfinished, be brought forward anyway. In it, he remembers me most dutifully and respectfully. And yet, Rufinus didn't allow this will to be prepared or executed because of the disgrace of the lost inheritance, which he figured was the high price of a few months of being father-in- law to Pontianus. potius testamentum illud recens tui fratris quamquam inperfectum tamen proferri cuperem, in quo mei officiosissime et honestissime meminit. quod tamen testamentum Rufinus neque comparari neque perfici passus est pudore perditae hereditatis, quam [praemium] paucorum mensium, quibus socer Pontiani fuit, magno quidem pretio noctium computarat.
Plus, he'd consulted with some Chaldeans about how he might marry his daughter off for money. As I hear it, they gave an answer that I wish hadn't been true: that her first husband would die in a few months. No doubt they made up the rest about the inheritance in response to their client's wish, as they usually do. And in fact, as the gods wished, he opened his gaping maw in vain, like a blind wild beast. For Pontianus not only did not designate Rufinus's daughter as an heir, since he found out that she was evil, but he didn't even assign a decent bequest. It seems that he had linen worth about two hundred pennies left to her to disgrace her. In this way, it would be understood that he set a value on her in anger, not that he forgot and passed over her. In this will, as in the earlier one (which was read), he appointed as his heirs his mother and brother. As you can see, Rufinus brings the same trick (his daughter) to the boy and hurls this woman -- much older and a recent widow of his brother besides -- at the poor kid and knocks him flat. praeterea nescio quos Chaldaeos consuluerat, quo lucro filiam collocaret, qui, ut audio, utinam illud non uere respondissent, primum eius maritum in paucis mensibus moriturum; cetera enim de hereditate, ut adsolent, ad consulentis uotum confinxerunt. uerum, ut dii uoluere, quasi caeca bestia in cassum hiauit. Pontianus enim filiam Rufini male compertam non modo heredem non reliquit, sed ne honesto quidem legato impertiuit, quippe qui ei ad ignominiam lintea adscribi ducentorum fere denariorum iusserit, ut intellegeretur iratus potius aestimasse eam quam oblitus praeterisse. scribsit autem heredes tam hoc testamento quam priore, quod lectum est, matrem cum fratre, cui, ut uides, admodum puero eandem illam filiae suae machinam Rufinus admouet ac mulierem aliquam multo natu maiorem, nuperrime uxorem fratris, misero puero obicit et obsternit.
[98] But Pudens was captivated and possessed by the slut's charms and by the tempting lures of her pimp father. After his brother died, he moved to his uncle's, abandoning his mother, so that with us out of the way they could complete the things they had started more easily. For Aemilianus sides with Rufinus and wants to win. Oh, you give good advice: the good uncle weaves his own hope into this plan and looks after it. He knows that he would be a more legitimate heir of a boy without a will than he would be as an heir-to-be. [98] A[i]t ille puellae meretricis blandimentis et lenonis patris illectamentis captus et possessus, exinde ut frater eius animam edidit, relicta matre ad patruum commigrauit, quo facilius remotis nobis coepta perficerentur; fauet enim Rufino Aemilianus et prouentum cupit. -- ehem, recte uos ammonetis: etiam suam spem bonus patruus temperat in isto ac fouet, qui sciat intestati pueri legitimum magis quam iustum heredem futurum.
By Hercules, I would've preferred that this didn't come from me. It wasn't fitting for a person as moderate as I am to burst out openly with everyone's silent suspicions. You who suggested it did a bad thing. nollem hercule hoc a me profectum; non fuit meae moderationis tacitas omnium suspiciones palam abrumpere; male uos, qui sugge[s]sistis.
If you want the truth, Aemilianus, many people are wondering openly about your oh-so-sudden devotion to that boy. Before his brother Pontianus died, you were so unknown to him that often, you wouldn't recognize your brother's son by sight when you ran across him. But now, you indulge him, and you corrupt him so greatly that you resist him in nothing. Through these actions, you confirm people's suspicions. plane quidem, si [p]uerum uelis, multi mirantur, Aemiliane, tam repentinam circa puerum istum pietatem tuam, postquam frater eius Pontianus est mortuus, cum antea tam ignotus illi fueris, ut saepe ne in occursu quidem filium fratris tui de facie agnosceres. at nunc adeo patientem te ei praebes itaque eum indulgentia corrumpis, adeo ei nulla re aduersare, ut per haec suspicacioribus fidem facias.
You took him from us as a boy; instantly, you made him a man. When he was guided by us, he went to school: now, with a flurried farewell he dashes into a dive and scorns serious friends. Though still a boy, he throws banquets with the most awful kids, with whores and goblets all around him. Pudens is the ruler of your house, he is the master of your household, he is the chief at the banquet. Also, as a frequent visitor to the gladiatorial school (as a res-pec-table boy, of course), he learns the names of the gladiators, of the fights, and of the wounds from the trainer himself. He never speaks except in Punic or something in Greek which he imitates from his mother -- he doesn't want and isn't able to speak Latin. You heard a little earlier, Maximus (the shame of it!) my stepson Pudens, brother of that articulate young man Pontianus, butchering single syllables with difficulty when you asked him whether his mother had given him the gifts which I said she'd given with my consent. inuestem a nobis accepisti: uesticipem ilico reddidisti; cum a nobis regeretur, ad magistros itabat: ab iis nunc magna fugela in ganeum fugit, amicos serios aspernatur, cum adulescentulis postremissumis inter scorta et pocula puer hoc aeui conuiuium agitat. ipse domi tuae rector, ipse familiae dominus, ipse magister conuiuio; in ludo quoque gladiatorio frequens uisi[ta]tor nomina gladiatorum et pugnas et uulnera plane quidem ut puer honestus ab ipso lanista docetur; loquitur nunquam nisi Punice et si quid adhuc a matre graecissat; enim Latine loqui neque uult neque potest. audisti, Maxime, paulo ante, pro nefas, priuignum meum, fratrem Pontiani, diserti iuuenis, uix singulas syllabas fringultientem, cum ab eo quaereres, dona[s]setne illis mater quae ego dicebam me adnitente donata.
[99] I call you to witness, Claudius Maximus, and you, who are in the council, and also you, who stand with me at the tribunal, that these injuries and disgraces to his morals must be charged to his uncle and to the candidate hoping to be his father-in-law. I'd consider it a good thing that such a stepson threw the burden of my attention off his back, and from now on I won't entreat his mother on his behalf. estor igitur te, Claudi Maxime, uosque, qui in consilio estis, uosque etiam, qui tribunal mecum adsistitis, haec damna et dedecora morum eius patruo huic et candidato illo socero adsignanda meque posthac boni consulturum, quod talis priuignus curae meae iugum ceruice excusserit, neque postea pro eo matri eius supplicaturum.
Oh, I almost forgot. Very recently, when Pudentilla was in poor health after the death of her son Pontianus, she wrote a will. I struggled against her for a long time, so that she wouldn't disinherit Pudens because of so many conspicuous insults, so many injuries. By heaven, I begged her with earnest pleas to get rid of the most serious clause, already all written out. Finally, I threatened that if I didn't obtain the following things from her, I would leave her: nam, quod paenissime oblitus sum, nuperrime cum testamentum Pudentilla post mortem Pontiani filii sui in mala ualetudine scrib[s]eret, diu sum aduersus illam renisus, ne hunc ob tot insignis contumelias, ob tot iniurias exheredaret; elogium grauissimum iam totum medius fidius perscriptum ut aboleret, impensis precibus oraui[t]; postremo, ni impetrarem, diuersurum me ab ea comminatus sum:
that she grant this favor to me, that she conquer her bad son with kindness, that she free me from being the object of envy. mihi hanc ueniam tribueret, malum filium beneficio uinceret, me inuidia omni liberaret.
I didn't stop until she did it. nec prius destiti quam ita fecit.
I grieve that I took this uneasy feeling away from Aemilianus, that I proclaimed the matter to him so unexpectedly. Please note, Maximus, that when he heard these things, he was suddenly struck dumb, his face fell. He had supposed (and not without cause) that it would be much worse. He knew that the woman was poisoned by the insults of her son and was strongly attached to my love. doleo me huncce scrupulum Aemiliano dempsisse, tam inopinatam rem ei indicasse. specta quaeso, Maxime, ut hisce auditis subito obstipuerit, ut oculos ad terram demiserit; enim longe sequius ratus fuerat, nec inmerito: mulierem filii contumeliis infectam, meis officiis deuinctam sciebat.
Regarding me, too, there was what to fear: even if they cared as little as I do for a bequest, most people still wouldn't have turned up their noses at revenge on such an irresponsible stepson. de me quoque fuit quod timeret: quiuis uel aeque ut ego spernens hereditatis tamen uindicari de tam inofficioso priuigno non recusasset.
And here's what they were most afraid of, and what made them accuse me: because of their own greed, they wrongly figured that the entire inheritance had been left to me. Let me relieve your concern for the past. In fact, I was swayed neither by the prospect of obtaining the inheritance nor by the thought of revenge. I fought with an angry mother -- a stepfather fighting for an evil stepson, just as a father would fight with a stepmother for a good son. And even that wasn't enough for me. I also curbed my good wife's liberal generosity towards me, well beyond the point of fairness. haec praecipue sollicitudo eos ad accusationem mei stimulauit: hereditatem omnem mihi relictam falso ex sua auaritia coniectauere. soluo uos in praeteritum isto metu. namque animum meum neque hereditatis neque ultionis occasio potuit loco demouere. pugnaui cum irata matre pro priuigno malo uitricus, ueluti pater pro optimo filio aduersus nouercam, nec satis fuit, ni bonae uxoris prolixam liberalitatem circa me nimio plus aequo coercerem.
[100] Bring out the will! The boy's mother when she was already at odds with her son. My opponents call me a pirate; yet, it was I who pleadingly dictated every single word. Order those documents opened, Maximus: you'll find that the son is her heir. A trifling amount was bequeathed to me as a token of esteem, so that if her son were to suffer a fatal accident, I would have my name on my wife's papers as her husband. Accept this as the will of your mother, a will that's truly irresponsible. Why? Because in this will she disinherited her very devoted husband, designated a most inimical son as her heir -- no, not even a son but Aemilianus's hopes and the marriage arranged by Rufinus, your drunken gang of parasites. [100] Cedo tu testamentum iam inimico filio a matre factum me, quem isti praedonem dicunt, uerba singula cum precibus praeeunte[m]. rumpi tabulas istas iube, Maxime: inuenies filium heredem, mihi uero tenue nescio quid honoris gratia legatum, ne, si quid ei humanitus attigisset, nomen maritus in uxoris tabulis non haberem. cape ist[a]ut matris tuae testamentum, uere hoc quidem inofficiosum; qui[d]ni? in quo obsequentissimum maritum exheredauit, inimicissimum filium scribsit heredem, immo enimuero non filium, sed Aemiliani spes et Rufini nuptias, set temulentum illud collegium, parasitos tuos.
Take the will, I say, you son of sons; lay aside your mother's love letters for a little while and read this, instead. If she wrote anything while not in her right mind, you'll find it here starting right from the beginning: accipe, inquam, filiorum optime, et positis paulisper epistulis amatoriis matris lege potius testamentum: si quid quasi insana scripsit, hic reperies et quidem mox a principio:
"My son Sicinius Pudens is to be my heir." 'Sicinius Pudens filius meus mihi heres esto'.
I've got to admit, anyone who reads this will think it's insane. fateor, qui ho[c] legerit insanum putabit.
--This son, the heir, =>who invited a gang of depraved youths to his brothers funeral, but planned to shut you out of the home which you yourself gave him, =>who was bitter and resentful that you were designated by his brother as coinheritor with himself, =>who immediately abandoned you with your grief and mourning and ran off from your arms to Rufinus and Aemilianus, =>who afterwards repeatedly insulted you to your face and did so with the help of his paternal uncle, =>who bandied about your name before the courts, =>who with your own letters tried to disgrace you publicly, =>who accused your husband -- the man whom you had chosen and whom you loved passionately, as he himself objected -- of a capital crime? hicine filius heres, qui te in ipso fratris sui funere aduocata perditissimorum iuuenum manu uoluit excludere e domo quam ipsa donaueras, qui te sibi a fratre coheredem relictam grauiter et acerbe tulit, qui confestim te cum tuo luctu et maerore deseruit et ad Rufinum et Aemilianum de sinu tuo aufugit, qui [t]ibi plurimas postea contumelias dixit coram et adiuuante patruo fecit, qui nomen tuum pro tribunalibus uentilauit, qui pudorem tuum tuismet litteris conatus est publice dedecorare, qui maritu[m] tuum, quem elegeras, quem, ut ipse obiciebat, efflictim amabas, capitis accusauit?
Please, dear boy, open the will. By doing so you will easily prove your mother's insanity. aperi quaeso, bone puer, aperi testamentum: facilius insaniam matris sic probabis.
[101] Why do you shake your head, why do you refuse, now that you're no longer worry over your mother's legacy? But now, Maximus, I hurl these papers at your feet -- and I declare that, from now on, I'll be indifferent to whatever Pundentilla writes in her will. Let him prevail on his mother by himself from now on -- after all, he's left me no opportunity to intercede for him. He had the nerve to dictate offensive letters to his mother on his own, so let him mollify her anger on his own. If he can plead, he'll succeed. Quid abnuis, quid recusas, postquam sollicitudinem de hereditate materna reppulisti? at ego hasce tabulas, Maxime, hic ibidem pro pedibus tuis abicio testorque me deinceps incuriosius habiturum, quid Pudentilla testamento suo scribat. ipse iam, ut libet, matrem suam de cetero exoret: mihi, ut ultra pro eo deprecer, locum non reliquit. ipse iam, ut [qui] sui potens ac uir acerbissimas litteras matri dictet, iram eius deleniat; qui potuit perorare, poterit exorare. mihi iam dudum satis est, si non modo crimina obiecta plenissime dilui, uerum etiam radicem iudicii huius, id est hereditatis quaesitae inuidiam, funditus sustuli.
And after all this, I'm not satisfied unless I've not only completely rebutted the charges against me, but have also uprooted the seeds of these proceedings -- namely, jealous inheritance-grubbing.
Now, I'm going to rebut your false charge, so that I don't appear to be neglecting anything before I finish. You've said that I bought a fabulous estate in my own name using my wife's money. Illud etiam, [c] ne quid omnium praeteream, priusquam peroro, falso obiectum reuincam. dixistis me magna pecunia mulieris pulcherrimum praedium meo nomine emisse.
And yet, I maintain that it wasn't me, but Pudentilla, who bought a small estate in her own name for sixty thousand sesterces -- that it's Pudentilla's name on the deed -- and that the tax on this little plot is paid in Pudentilla's name. Corvinius Celer is present; he's the distinguished public quaestor to whom it was paid. The woman's guardian is also present, a most respected and faultless man, whom I name with all due respect: Cassius Longinus. Maximus, ask whose purchase he approved, and how much the wealthy woman paid for her small plot of land. dico exiguum herediolum LX milibus nummum, id quoque non me, sed Pudentillam suo nomine emisse, Pudentillae nomen in tabulis esse, Pudentillae nomine pro eo agello tributum dependi. praesens est quaestor publicus, cui depensum est, Coruinius Celer, uir ornatus; adest etiam tutor auctor mulieris, uir grauissimus et sanctissimus, omni cum honore mihi nominandus, Cassius Longinus. quaere, Maxime, cuius emptionis auctor fuerit, quantulo pretio mulier locuples agellum suum praestinarit. -
[Testimony is given by the guardian Cassius Longinus and the quaestor Corvinius Clemens.] [testimonium Cassi Longini tutoris et Coruini Clementis quaestor(is)]
Isn't it just as I've said? Is my name written anywhere in this transaction? Is the price of the small estate something to begrudge -- and was it reported to me, anyhow? Estne ita ut dixi? uspiam in hac emptione nomen meum ascriptum est? num ipsum heredioli pretium inuidiosum est, num uel hoc saltem in me collatum?
[102] What's left, Aemilianus, that I still haven't refuted, by your judgment? [102] Quid etiam est, Aemiliane, quod non te iudice refutauerim?
Did you discover the value of my magic? So why would I be trying to seduce Pudentilla with sorcery? What would I have hoped to gain from her -- a modest dowry rather than a large one? What brilliant magic spells! Or maybe I was hoping she would demand the return of this dowry to her sons instead of leaving it with me? What could be added to this magic? Maybe that she'd give her sons the greater part of her estate, on my advice, but not give a share to me -- even though she'd bequeathed none of it to them before our marriage? What breathtaking conjuring -- or should I say, what an unwelcome kindness! Or was it my hope that in her will, which she wrote in anger toward her son, she would designate as her heir a son she was angry with, instead of me, to whom she was much closer? quod pretium magiae meae repperisti? cur ergo Pudentillae animum ueneficiis flecterem? quod ut ex ea commodum caperem? uti dotem mihi modicam potius quam a[m]mpla[m] diceret? o praeclara carmina. an ut eam dotem filiis suis magis restipularetur quam penes me sineret? quid addi ad hanc magiam potest? an uti rem familiarem suam meo adhortatu pleramque filiis condonasset, quae nihil illis ante me maritum fuerat largita, mihi [nihil] quicquam impertiret? o graue ueneficium dicam an ingratum beneficium. an ut testamento, quod irata filio scribebat, filium potius, cui offensa erat, quam me, cui deuincta, heredem relinqueret?
Let me tell you, I had a lot of trouble making this happen -- it took sooo many magic spells. hoc quidem multis cantaminibus difficile impetraui.
Imagine that you're not conducting this case before Claudius Maximus, a fair man who clings to justice. Instead, replace him with some other judge who's crooked and cruel, who champions accusations and is eager to condemn. Give him a course to follow -- even the least opportunity, disguised as truth, to deliver a verdict in your favor. Make something up, at least -- think up some answer to this. putate uos causam non apud Cl(audium) Maximum agere, uirum aequum et iustitiae pertinacem, sed alium aliquem prauum et saeuum iudicem substituite, accusationum fautorem, cupidum condem[p]nandi: date ei quod sequatur, ministrate uel tantulam uerisimilem occasionem secundum uos pronuntiandi; saltim fingite aliquid, eminiscimini quod respondeatis, qui uos ita rogarit.
And since there has to be a motive before any attempted action, riddle me this: if you're claiming that Apuleius seduced Pudentilla with magic charms, what did he wanted to get from her? et quoniam omnem conatum necesse est quaepiam causa praecedat, respondete qui Apuleium dicitis animum Pudentillae magicis illectamentis ad[h]ortum, quid ex ea petierit,
Why did he do it? cur fecerit.
Did he want her for her beauty? No, you say. Ok, then, did he at least want her money? formam eius uoluerat? negatis. diuitias saltim concupierat?
The property deed says no, the inheritance documents say no, the will says no, negant tabulae dotis, negant tabulae donationis, negant tabulae testamenti,
-- and in the will, it's clear that not only didn't he have greedy ambitions, but that he even firmly refused his wife's generosity. So what other motive is there? in quibus non modo non cupide appetisse, uerum etiam dure reppulisse liberalitatem suae uxoris [h]ostenditur. quae igitur alia causa est?
Why so speechless? Why are you silent? quid ommutuistis? quid tacetis?
Where is that indictment with its savage beginning, drawn up in the name of my stepson? "My lord Maximus, I have initiated before you the trial of this man." ubi illud libelli uestri atrox principium nomine priuigni mei form[orm]atum: 'hunc ego, domine Maxime, reum apud te facere institui'?
[103] So why not add: ". . . my master, my stepfather, my champion"? But what then? ". . . a perpetrator of many egregious crimes." So, show us one. Give us something doubtful or obscure from those "egregious crimes." quin igitur addis; 'reum magistrum, reum uitricum, reum deprecatorem'? sed quid deinde? 'plurimorum maleficiorum et manifestissimorum'.
And to these c-o-p-i-o-u-s complaints that you've made, I reply with, count 'em, two words. cedo unum de plurimis, cedo dubium uel saltem obscurum de manifestissimis. ceterum ad haec, quae obiecistis, numera an binis uerbis respondeam.
"Gleaming teeth!" 'dentes sp[l]endidas':
Elegant speech. ignosce munditiis.
"You look in mirrors!" 'specula inspicis':
Philosophers should. debet philosophus.
"You write poetry!" 'uersus facis':
It's permitted. licet fieri.
"You study fish!" 'pisces exploras':
Aristotle's teaching. Aristoteles docet.
"You consecrate wood!" 'lignum consecras':
Plato's advice. Plato suadet.
"You marry a woman --" 'uxorem ducis':
It's legal. leges iubent.
"-- younger than you!" 'prior natu is[ta] est':
It happens. solet fieri.
"You're a money-grubber!" 'lucrum sectatus es':
The dowry. The donation. The will. dotalis accipe, donationem recordare, testamentum lege.
If I have blunted all the complaints, quae si omnia affatim retudi,
If I have refuted all the false accusations, si calumnias omnes refutaui,
If I have completely exonerated myself of guilt in everything, not only in the charges but also in the insults, si me in omnibus non modo criminibus, uerum etiam maledictis procul a culpa [philosophiae] tutus sum,
If I have never detracted from the honor of philosophy, which is more important to me than my life, but kept it inviolate, si philosophiae honorem, qui mihi salute mea antiquior est, nusquam minui, immo contra ubique
If these facts are as I say, I can revere your judgment with peace of mind, and not fear your power, because I consider it less fearful and formidable to be condemned seriously by a proconsul than to be condemned wrongfully by so good and faultless a man. si cum septem pennis eum tenui: si haec, ut dico, ita sunt, possum securus existimationem tuam reuereri quam potestatem uereri, quod minus graue et uerendum mihi arbitror a[c] procons(ule) damnari quam si a tam bono tamque emendato uiro improber.
I rest my case. Dixi.