Nemo queritur Syrum nescio quem de grege noviciorum factum esse consulem; non enim nos color iste servilis, non pilosae genae, non dentes putridi deceperunt: oculi, supercilia, frons, voltus denique totus, qui sermo quidam tacitus mentis est, hic in fraudem homines impulit; hic eos, quibus eras ignotus, decepit, fefellit, induxit. pauci ista tua lutulenta vitia noramus; pauci tarditatem ingenii, stuporem debilitatemque linguae; numquam erat audita vox in foro; numquam periculum factum consilii; nullum non modo inlustre, sed ne notum quidem factum aut militiae aut domi. obrepsisti ad honores errore hominum, commendatione fumosarum imaginum, quarum simile habes nihil praeter colorem.
(Cicero, In Pisonem 1)

No one complains that some Syrian or other, some member of a crew of newly-made slaves, has become consul. We were not deceived by your slavish complexion, your hairy cheeks, and your discoloured teeth; it was your eyes, eyebrows, forehead, in a word your whole countenance, which is a kind of dumb interpreter of the mind, which pushed your fellow-men into delusion; this it was which tricked, betrayed, inveigled those who were unacquainted with you. There were but few of us who knew of your filthy vices, few the crassness of your intelligence and the sluggish ineptitude of your tongue. Your voice had never been heard in the forum; never had your wisdom in council been put to the test; not a single deed had you achieved either in peace or war that was, I will not say famous, but even known. You crept into office by mistake, by the recommendation of your dingy family busts,* with which you have no resemblance save colour.

* The imagines of the family, placed in the atrium, where the smoke of the fire would blacken them.

(tr. Neville Hunter Watts, with his note)

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