The Orations of Marcus Tullius Cicero, Volume 4

Part 3 out of 11

courses, would have been likely, I suppose, to hesitate at waging war
against us, not only with his own army, but with all the savage troops
of barbarism, so that even the wall of the Alps would not have enabled
us to check his frenzy. These thanks then will be deservedly paid
to Decimus Brutus, who, before any authority of yours had been
interposed, acting on his own judgment and responsibility, refused to
receive him as consul, but repelled him from Gaul as an enemy, and
preferred to be besieged himself rather than to allow this city to be
so. Let him therefore have, by your decree, an everlasting testimony
to this most important and glorious action, and let Gaul,[35] which
always is and has been a protection to this empire and to the general
liberty, be deservedly and truly praised for not having surrendered
herself and her power to Antonius, but for having opposed him with

XIV. And, furthermore, I give my vote that the most ample honours be
decreed to Marcus Lepidus, as a reward for his eminent services to the
republic. He has at all times wished the Roman people to be free, and
he gave the greatest proof of his inclination and opinion on that day,
when, while Antonius was placing the diadem on Caesar's head, he turned
his face away, and by his groans and sorrow showed plainly what a
hatred of slavery he had, how desirous he was for the Roman people to
be free, and how he had endured those things which he had endured more
because of the necessity of the times, than because they harmonised
with his sentiments. And who of us can forget with what great
moderation he behaved during that crisis of the city which ensued
after the death of Caesar? These are great merits, but I hasten to
speak of greater still. For, (O ye immortal gods!) what could happen
more to be admired by foreign nations or more to be desired by the
Roman people, than, at a time when there was a most important civil
war, the result of which we were all dreading, that it should be
extinguished by prudence rather than that arms and violence should be
able to put everything to the hazard of a battle? And if Caesar had
been guided by the same principles in that odious and miserable war,
we should have--to say nothing of their father--the two sons of Cnaeus
Pompeius, that most illustrious and virtuous man, safe among us, men
whose piety and filial affection certainly ought not to have been
their ruin. Would that Marcus Lepidus had been able to save them all!
He showed that he would have done so, by his conduct in cases where he
had the power, when he restored Sextus Pompeius to the state, a great
ornament to the republic, and a most illustrious monument of his
clemency. Sad was that picture, melancholy was the destiny then of the
Roman people. For after Pompeius the father was dead, he who was
the light of the Roman people, the son too, who was wholly like his
father, was also slain. But all these calamities appear to me to have
been effaced by the kindness of the immortal gods, Sextus Pompeius
being preserved to the republic.

XV. For which cause, reasonable and important as it is and because
Marcus Lepidus, by his humanity and wisdom, has changed a most
dangerous and extensive civil war into peace and concord, I give my
vote, that a resolution of the senate be drawn up in these words:

"Since the affairs of the republic have repeatedly been well and
prosperously conducted by Marcus Lepidus, imperator, and Pontifex
Maximus, and since the Roman people is fully aware that kingly power
is very displeasing to him; and since by his exertions, and virtue,
and prudence, and singular clemency and humanity, a most bitter civil
war has been extinguished; and Sextus Pompeius Magnus, the son of
Cnaeus, having submitted to the authority of this order and laid down
his arms, and, in accordance with the perfect good-will of the senate
and people of Rome, has been restored to the state by Marcus Lepidus,
imperator, and Pontifex Maximus; the senate and people of Rome, in
return for the important and numerous services of Marcus Lepidus
to the republic, declares that it places great hopes of future
tranquillity and peace and concord, in his virtue, authority, and good
fortune; and the senate and people of Rome will ever remember his
services to the republic; and it is decreed by the vote of this order,
That a gilt equestrian statue be erected to him in the Rostra, or in
whatever other place in the forum he pleases."

And this honour, O conscript fathers, appears to me a very great one,
in the first place, because it is just;--for it is not merely given
on account of our hopes of the future, but it is paid, as it were,
in requital of his ample services already done. Nor are we able to
mention any instance of this honour having been conferred on any one
by the senate by their own free and voluntary judgment before.

XVI. I come now to Caius Caesar, O conscript fathers; if he had not
existed, which of us could have been alive now? That most intemperate
of men, Antonius, was flying from Brundusium to the city, burning with
hatred, with a disposition hostile to all good men, with an army. What
was there to oppose to his audacity and wickedness? We had not as yet
any generals, or any forces. There was no public council, no liberty;
our necks were at the mercy of his nefarious cruelty; we were all
preparing to have recourse to flight, though flight itself had no
escape for us. Who was it--what god was it, who at that time gave to
the Roman people this godlike young man, who, while every means
for completing our destruction seemed open to that most pernicious
citizen, rising up on a sudden, beyond every one's hope, completed
an army fit to oppose to the fury of Marcus Antonius before any one
suspected that he was thinking of any such step? Great honours were
paid to Cnaeus Pompeius when he was a young man, and deservedly; for he
came to the assistance of the republic; but he was of a more vigorous
age, and more calculated to meet the eager requirements of soldiers
seeking a general. He had also been already trained in other kinds
of war. For the cause of Sylla was not agreeable to all men. The
multitude of the proscribed, and the enormous calamities that fell on
so many municipal towns, show this plainly. But Caesar, though many
years younger, armed veterans who were now eager to rest; he has
embraced that cause which was most agreeable to the senate, to the
people, to all Italy,--in short, to gods and men. And Pompeius came as
a reinforcement to the extensive command and victorious army of Lucius
Sylla; Caesar had no one to join himself to. He, of his own accord, was
the author and executor of his plan of levying an army, and arraying
a defence for us. Pompeius found the whole Picene district hostile to
the party of his adversaries; but Caesar has levied an army against
Antonius from men who were Antonius's own friends, but still greater
friends to liberty. It was owing to the influence of Pompeius that
Sylla was enabled to act like a king. It is by the protection afforded
us by Caesar that the tyranny of Antonius has been put down.

Let us then confer on Caesar a regular military command, without which
the military affairs cannot be directed, the army cannot be held
together, war cannot be waged. Let him be made proprietor with all the
privileges which have ever been attached to that appointment. That
honour, although it is a great one for a man of his age, still is
not merely of influence as giving dignity, but it confers powers
calculated to meet the present emergency. Therefore, let us seek for
honours for him which we shall not easily find at the present day.

XVII. But I hope that we and the Roman people shall often have an
opportunity of complimenting and honouring this young man. But at the
present moment I give my vote that we should pass a decree in this

"As Caius Caesar, the son of Caius, Pontiff and Propraetor, has at a
most critical period of the republic exhorted the veteran soldiers to
defend the liberty of the Roman people, and has enlisted them in his
army, and as the Martial legion and the fourth legion, with great zeal
for the republic, and with admirable unanimity, under the guidance and
authority of Caius Caesar, have defended and are defending the republic
and the liberty of the Roman people, and as Caius Caesar, propraetor,
has gone with his army as a reinforcement to the province of Gaul, has
made cavalry, and archers, and elephants, obedient to himself and to
the Roman people, and has, at a most critical time for the republic,
come to the aid of the safety and dignity of the Roman people,--on
these accounts, it seems good to the senate that Caius Caesar, the son
of Caius, pontiff and propraetor, shall be a senator, and shall deliver
his opinions from the bench occupied by men of praetorian rank, and
that, on occasion of his offering himself for any magistracy, he shall
be considered of the same legal standing and qualification as if he
had been quaestor the preceding year."

For what reason can there be, O conscript fathers, why we should
not wish him to arrive at the highest honours at as early an age as
possible? For when, by the laws fixing the age at which men might be
appointed to the different magistracies our ancestors fixed a more
mature age for the consulship, they were influenced by fears of the
precipitation of youth, Caius Caesar, at his first entrance into life,
has shown us that, in the case of his eminent and unparalleled virtue,
we have no need to wait for the progress of age. Therefore our
ancestors, those old men, in the most ancient times, had no laws
regulating the age for the different offices, it was ambition which
caused them to be passed many years afterwards, in order that there
might be among men of the same age different steps for arriving at
honours. And it has often happened that a disposition of great natural
virtue has been lost before it had any opportunity of benefiting the

But among the ancients, the Rulii, the Decii, the Corvim, and many
others, and in more modern times the elder Africanus and Titus
Flaminius were made consuls very young, and performed such exploits as
greatly to extend the empire of the Roman people, and to embellish its
name. What more? Did not the Macedonian Alexander, having begun to
perform mighty deeds from his earliest youth, die when he was only in
his thirty-third year? And that age is ten years less than that fixed
by our laws for a man to be eligible for the consulship. From which it
may be plainly seen that the progress of virtue is often swifter than
that of age.

XVIII. For as to the fear which those men, who are enemies of Caesar,
pretend to entertain, there is not the slightest reason to apprehend
that he will be unable to restrain and govern himself, or that he will
be so elated by the honours which he receives from us as to use his
power with out moderation. It is only natural, O conscript fathers,
that the man who has learnt to appreciate real glory, and who feels
that he is considered by the senate and by the Roman knights and the
whole Roman people a citizen who is dear to, and a blessing to the
republic, should think nothing whatever deserving of being compared to
this glory. Would that it had happened to Caius Caesar--the father,
I mean--when he was a young man, to be beloved by the senate and by
every virtuous citizen, but, having neglected to aim at that, he
wasted all the power of genius which he had in a most brilliant
degree, in a capricious pursuit of popular favour. Therefore, as he
had not sufficient respect for the senate and the virtuous part of the
citizens, he opened for himself that path for the extension of his
power, which the virtue of a free people was unable to bear.

But the principles of his son are widely different; who is not only
beloved by every one, but in the greatest degree by the most virtuous
men. In him is placed all our hope of liberty, from him already has
our safety been received, for him the highest honours are sought out
and prepared. While therefore we are admiring his singular prudence,
can we at the same time fear his folly? For what can be more foolish
than to prefer useless power, such influence as brings envy in
its train, and a rash and slippery ambition of reigning, to real,
dignified, solid glory? Has he seen this truth as a boy, and when he
has advanced in age will he cease to see it? "But he is an enemy to
some most illustrious and excellent citizens." That circumstance ought
not to cause any fear Caesar has sacrificed all those enmities to the
republic; he had made the republic his judge; he has made her the
directress of all his counsels and actions. For he is come to the
service of the republic in order to strengthen her, not to overturn
her. I am well acquainted with all the feelings of the young man:
there is nothing dearer to him than the republic, nothing which he
considers of more weight than your authority; nothing which he desires
more than the approbation of virtuous men; nothing which he accounts
sweeter than genuine glory.

Wherefore you not only ought not to fear anything from him, but you
ought to expect greater and better things still. Nor ought you to
apprehend with respect to a man who has already gone forward to
release Decimus Brutus from a siege, that the recollection of his
domestic injury will dwell in his bosom, and have more weight with
him than the safety of the city. I will venture even to pledge my own
faith, O conscript fathers, to you, and to the Roman people, and to
the republic, which in truth, if no necessity compelled me to do so,
I would not venture to do, and in doing which on slight grounds, I
should be afraid of giving rise to a dangerous opinion of my rashness
in a most important business; but I do promise, and pledge myself, and
undertake, O conscript fathers, that Caius Caesar will always be such
a citizen as he is this day, and as we ought above all things to wish
and desire that he may turn out.

XIX. And as this is the case, I shall consider that I have said enough
at present about Caesar.

Nor do I think that we ought to pass over Lucius Egnatuleius, a most
gallant and wise and firm citizen, and one thoroughly attached to the
republic, in silence; but that we ought to give him our testimony to
his admirable virtue, because it was he who led the fourth legion to
Caesar, to be a protection to the consuls, and senate, and people of
Rome, and the republic. And for these acts I give my vote:

"That it be made lawful for Lucius Egnatuleius to stand for, and be
elected to, and discharge the duties of any magistracy, three years
before the legitimate time."

And by this motion, O conscript fathers, Lucius Egnatuleius does not
get so much actual advantage as honour. For in a case like this it is
quite sufficient to be honourably mentioned.

But concerning the army of Caius Caesar, I give my vote for the passing
of a decree in this form:

"The senate decrees that the veteran soldiers who have defended and
are defending [lacuna] of Caesar, pontiff [lacuna] and the authority of
this order, should, and their children after them, have an exemption
from military service. And that Caius Pansa and Aulus Hirtius the
consuls, one or both of them, as they think fit, shall inquire what
land there is in those colonies in which the veteran soldiers have
been settled, which is occupied in defiance of the provisions of the
Julian law, in order that that may be divided among these veterans.
That they shall institute a separate inquiry about the Campanian
district, and devise a plan for increasing the advantages enjoyed by
these veteran soldiers; and with respect to the Martial legion, and
to the fourth legion, and to those soldiers of the second and
thirty-fifth legions who have come over to Caius Pansa and Aulus
Hirtius the consuls, and have given in their names, because the
authority of the senate and the liberty of the Roman people is and
always has been most dear to them, the senate decrees that they and
their children shall have exemption from military service, except in
the case of any Gallic and Italian sedition; and decrees further, that
those legions shall have their discharge when this war is terminated;
and that whatever sum of money Caius Caesar, pontiff and propraetor, has
promised to the soldiers of those legions individually, shall be paid
to them. And that Caius Pansa and Aulus Hirtius the consuls, one or
both of them, as it seems good to them, shall make an estimate of the
land which can be distributed without injury to private individuals;
and that land shall be given and assigned to the soldiers of the
Martial legion and of the fourth legion, in the largest shares in
which land has ever been given and assigned to soldiers."

I have now spoken, O consuls, on every point concerning which you have
submitted a motion to us; and if the resolutions which I have proposed
be decreed without delay, and seasonably, you will the more easily
prepare those measures which the present time and emergency demand.
But instant action is necessary. And if we had adopted that earlier,
we should, as I have often said, now have no war at all.



In respect of the honours proposed by Cicero in the last speech the
senate agreed with him, voting to Octavius honours beyond any that
Cicero had proposed. But they were much divided about the question
of sending an embassy to Antonius, and the consuls, seeing that a
majority agreed with Cicero, adjourned the debate till the next day.
The discussion lasted three days, and the senate would at last have
adopted all Cicero's measures if one of the tribunes, Salvius, had not
put his veto on them. So that at last the embassy was ordered to
be sent, and Servius Sulpicius, Lucius Piso, and Lucius Philippus,
appointed as the ambassadors, but they were charged merely to
order Antonius to abandon the siege of Mutina, and to desist from
hostilities against the province of Gaul, and further, to proceed to
Decimus Brutus in Mutina, and to give him and his army the thanks of
the senate and people.

The length of the debates roused the curiosity of the people, who,
being assembled in the forum to learn the result, called on Cicero to
come forth and give them an account of what had been done--on which he
went to the rostra, accompanied by Publius Appuleius the tribune, and
related to them all that had passed in the following speech:

I. I imagine that you have heard, O Romans, what has been done in the
senate, and what has been the opinion delivered by each individual.
For the matter which has been in discussion ever since the first of
January, has been just brought to a conclusion, with less severity
indeed than it ought to have been, but still in a manner not
altogether unbecoming. The war has been subjected to a delay, but
the cause has not been removed. Wherefore, as to the question which
Publius Appuleius--a man united to me by many kind offices and by the
closest intimacy, and firmly attached to your interests--has asked me,
I will answer in such a manner that you may be acquainted with the
transactions at which you were not present.

The cause which prompted our most fearless and excellent consuls to
submit a motion on the first of January, concerning the general state
of the republic, arose from the decree which the senate passed by my
advice on the nineteenth of December. On that day, O Romans, were
the foundations of the republic first laid. For then, after a long
interval, the senate was free in such a manner that you too might
become free. On which day, indeed,--even if it had been to bring to me
the end of my life,--I received a sufficient reward for my exertions,
when you all with one heart and one voice cried out together, that
the republic had been a second time saved by me. Stimulated by so
important and so splendid a decision of yours in my favour, I came
into the senate on the first of January, with the feeling that I was
bound to show my recollection of the character which you had imposed
upon me, and which I had to sustain.

Therefore, when I saw that a nefarious war was waged against the
republic, I thought that no delay ought to be interposed to our
pursuit of Marcus Antonius; and I gave my vote that we ought to pursue
with war that most audacious man, who, having committed many atrocious
crimes before, was at this moment attacking a general of the Roman
people, and besieging your most faithful and gallant colony; and that
a state of civil war ought to be proclaimed; and I said further, that
my opinion was that a suspension of the ordinary forms of justice
should be declared, and that the garb of war should be assumed by
the citizens, in order that all men might apply themselves with more
activity and energy to avenging the injuries of the republic, if they
saw that all the emblems of a regular war had been adopted by the
senate. Therefore, this opinion of mine, O Romans, prevailed so much
for three days, that although no division was come to, still all,
except a very few, appeared inclined to agree with me. But to-day--I
know not owing to what circumstance--the senate was more indulgent.
For the majority decided on our making experiment, by means of
ambassadors, how much influence the authority of the senate and your
unanimity will have upon Antonius.

II. I am well aware, O Romans, that this decision is disapproved of by
you; and reasonably too. For to whom are we sending ambassadors? Is
it not to him who, after having dissipated and squandered the public
money, and imposed laws on the Roman people by violence and in
violation of the auspices,--after having put the assembly of the
people to flight and besieged the senate, sent for the legions from
Brundusium to oppress the republic? who, when deserted by them, has
invaded Gaul with a troop of banditti? who is attacking Brutus? who is
besieging Mutina? How can you offer conditions to, or expect equity
from, or send an embassy to, or, in short, have anything in common
with, this gladiator? although, O Romans, it is not an embassy, but a
denunciation of war if he does not obey. For the decree has been drawn
up as if ambassadors were being sent to Hannibal. For men are sent to
order him not to attack the consul elect, not to besiege Mutina, not
to lay waste the province, not to enlist troops, but to submit himself
to the power of the senate and people of Rome. No doubt he is a
likely man to obey this injunction, and to submit to the power of the
conscript fathers and to yours, who has never even had any mastery
over himself. For what has he ever done that showed any discretion,
being always led away wherever his lust, or his levity, or his frenzy,
or his drunkenness has hurried him? He has always been under the
dominion of two very dissimilar classes of men, pimps and robbers; he
is so fond of domestic adulteries and forensic murders, that he would
rather obey a most covetous woman than the senate and people of Rome.

III. Therefore, I will do now before you what I have just done in the
senate. I call you to witness, I give notice, I predict beforehand,
that Marcus Antonius will do nothing whatever of those things which
the ambassadors are commissioned to command him to do; but that he
will lay waste the lands, and besiege Mutina and enlist soldiers,
wherever he can. For he is a man who has at all times despised the
judgment and authority of the senate, and your inclinations and power.
Will he do what it has been just now decreed that he shall do,--lead
his army back across the Rubicon, which is the frontier of Gaul, and
yet at the same time not come nearer Rome than two hundred miles? will
he obey this notice? will he allow himself to be confined by the river
Rubicon and by the limit of two hundred miles? Antonius is not that
sort of man. For if he had been, he would never have allowed matters
to come to such a pass, as for the senate to give him notice, as
it did to Hannibal at the beginning of the Punic war not to attack
Saguntum. But what ignominy it is to be called away from Mutina, and
at the same time to be forbidden to approach the city as if he were
some fatal conflagration! what an opinion is this for the senate
to have of a man! What? As to the commission which is given to the
ambassadors to visit Decimus Brutus and his soldiers, and to inform
them that their excellent zeal in behalf of, and services done to the
republic, are acceptable to the senate and people of Rome, and that
that conduct shall tend to their great glory and to their great
honour; do you think that Antonius will permit the ambassadors to
enter Mutina? and to depart from thence in safety? He never will allow
it, believe me. I know the violence of the man, I know his impudence,
I know his audacity.

Nor, indeed, ought we to think of him as of a human being, but as of a
most ill-omened beast. And as this is the case, the decree which
the senate has passed is not wholly improper. The embassy has some
severity in it; I only wish it had no delay. For as in the conduct of
almost every affair slowness and procrastination are hateful, so above
all things does this war require promptness of action. We must assist
Decimus Brutus; we must collect all our forces from all quarters;
we cannot lose a single hour in effecting the deliverance of such
a citizen without wickedness. Was it not in his power, if he had
considered Antonius a consul, and Gaul the province of Antonius, to
have given over the legions and the province to Antonius? and to
return home himself? and to celebrate a triumph? and to be the first
man in this body to deliver his opinion, until he entered on his
magistracy? What was the difficulty of doing that? But as he
remembered that he was Brutus, and that he was born for your freedom,
not for his own tranquillity, what else did he do but--as I may almost
say--put his own body in the way to prevent Antonius from entering
Gaul? Ought we then to send ambassadors to this man, or legions?
However, we will say nothing of what is past. Let the ambassadors
hasten, as I see that they are about to do. Do you prepare your
robes of war. For it has been decreed, that, if he does not obey
the authority of the senate, we are all to betake our selves to our
military dress. And we shall have to do so. He will never obey. And we
shall lament that we have lost so many days, when we might have been
doing something.

IV I have no fear, O Romans, that when Antonius hears that I have
asserted, both in the senate and in the assembly of the people, that
he never will submit himself to the power of the senate, he will, for
the sake of disproving my words, and making me to appeal to have had
no foresight, alter his behaviour and obey the senate. He will never
do so. He will not grudge me this part of my reputation, he will
prefer letting me be thought wise by you to being thought modest
himself. Need I say more? Even if he were willing to do so himself,
do you think that his brother Lucius would permit him? It has been
reported that lately at Tibur, when Marcus Antonius appeared to him to
be wavering, he, Lucius, threatened his brother with death. And do
we suppose that the orders of the senate, and the words of the
ambassadors, will be listened to by this Asiatic gladiator? It will be
impossible for him to be separated from a brother, especially from one
of so much authority. For he is another Africanus among them. He is
considered of more influence than Lucius Trebellius, of more than
Titus Plancus [lacuna] a noble young man. As for Plancus, who, having
been condemned by the unanimous vote of every one, amid the
overpowering applause of you yourselves, somehow or other got mixed up
in this crowd, and returned with a countenance so sorrowful, that he
appeared to have been dragged back rather than to have returned, he
despises him to such degree, as if he were interdicted from fire and
water. At times he says that that man who set the senate house on fire
has no right to a place in the senate house. For at this moment he is
exceedingly in love with Trebellius. He hated him some time ago, when
he was opposing an abolition of debts, but now he delights in him,
ever since he has seen that Trebellius himself cannot continue in
safety without an abolition of debts. For I think that you have heard,
O Romans, what indeed you may possibly have seen, that the sureties
and creditors of Lucius Trebellius meet every day. Oh confidence! for
I imagine that Trebellius has taken this surname, what can be greater
confidence than defrauding one's creditors? than flying from one's
house? than, because of one's debts, being forced to go to war? What
has become of the applauses which he received on the occasion of
Caesar's triumph, and often at the games? Where is the aedileship that
was conferred on him by the zealous efforts of all good men? who is
there who does not now think that he acted virtuously by accident?

* * * * *

V However, I return to your love and especial delight, Lucius
Antonius, who has admitted you all to swear allegiance to him. Do
you deny it? is there any one of you who does not belong to a tribe?
Certainly not. But thirty five tribes have adopted him for their
patron. Do you again cry out against my statement? Look at that gilt
statue of him on the left what is the inscription upon it? "The thirty
five tribes to their patron." Is then Lucius Antonius the patron of
the Roman people? Plague take him! For I fully assent to your outcry.
I won't speak of this bandit whom no one would choose to have for
a client, but was there ever a man possessed of such influence, or
illustrious for mighty deeds, as to dare to call himself the patron of
the whole Roman people, the conqueror and master of all nations? We
see in the forum a statue of Lucius Antonius, just as we see one of
Quintus Tremulus, who conquered the Hernici, before the temple of
Castor. Oh the incredible impudence of the man! Has he assumed all
this credit to himself, because as a mumillo at Mylasa he slew the
Thracian, his friend? How should we be able to endure him, if he had
fought in this forum before the eyes of you all? But, however, this
is but one statue. He has another erected by the Roman knights who
received horses from the state,[36] and they too inscribe on that,
"To their patron". Who was ever before adopted by that order as its
patron? If it ever adopted any one as such, it ought to have adopted
me. What censor was ever so honoured? what imperator? "But he
distributed land among them". Shame on their sordid natures for
accepting it! shame on his dishonesty for giving it!

Moreover, the military tribunes who were in the army of Caesar have
erected him a statue. What order is that? There have been plenty of
tribunes in our numerous legions in so many years. Among them he has
distributed the lands of Semurium. The Campus Martius was all that was
left, if he had not first fled with his brother. But this allotment
of lands was put an end to a little while ago, O Romans, by the
declaration of his opinion by Lucius Caesar a most illustrious man and
a most admirable senator. For we all agreed with him and annulled the
acts of the septemvirs. So all the kindness of Nucula[37] goes for
nothing, and the patron Antonius is at a discount. For those who had
taken possession will depart with more equanimity. They had not been
at any expense, they had not yet furnished or stocked their domains,
partly because they did not feel sure of their title, and partly
because they had no money.

But as for that splendid statue, concerning which, if the times were
better, I could not speak without laughing, "To Lucius Antonius,
patron of the middle of Janus"[38] Is it so? Is the middle of Janus a
client of Lucius Antonius? Who ever was found in that Janus who would
have lent Lucius Antonius a thousand sesterces?

VI. However, we have been spending too much time in trifles. Let us
return to our subject and to the war. Although it was not wholly
foreign to the subject for some characters to be thoroughly
appreciated by you, in order that you might in silence think over who
they were against whom you were to wage war.

But I exhort you, O Romans, though perhaps other measures might have
been wiser, still now to wait with calmness for the return of the
ambassadors. Promptness of action has been taken from our side, but
still some good has accrued to it. For when the ambassadors have
reported what they certainly will report, that Antonius will not
submit to you nor to the senate, who then will be so worthless a
citizen as to think him deserving of being accounted a citizen? For at
present there are men, few indeed, but still more than there ought to
be, or than the republic deserves that there should be, who speak in
this way,--"Shall we not even wait for the return of the ambassadors?"
Certainly the republic itself will force them to abandon that
expression and that pretence of clemency. On which account, to confess
the truth to you, O Romans, I have less striven to day, and laboured
all the less to day, to induce the senate to agree with me in
decreeing the existence of a seditious war, and ordering the apparel
of war to be assumed. I preferred having my sentiments applauded by
every one in twenty days' time, to having it blamed to day by a few.
Wherefore, O Romans, wait now for the return of the ambassadors, and
devour your annoyance for a few days. And when they do return, if
they bring back peace, believe me that I have been desirous that they
should, if they bring back war, then allow me the praise of foresight.
Ought I not to be provident for the welfare of my fellow-citizens?
Ought I not day and night to think of your freedom and of the safety
of the republic? For what do I not owe to you, O Romans, since you
have preferred for all the honours of the state a man who is his own
father to the most nobly born men in the republic? Am I ungrateful?
Who is less so? I, who, after I had obtained those honours, have
constantly laboured in the forum with the same exertions as I used
while striving for them. Am I inexperienced in state affairs? Who has
had more practice than I, who have now for twenty years been waging
war against impious citizens?

VII Wherefore, O Romans, with all the prudence of which I am master,
and with almost more exertion than I am capable of, will I put forth
my vigilance and watchfulness in your behalf In truth, what citizen
is there, especially in this rank in which you have placed me, so
forgetful of your kindness, so unmindful of his country, so hostile to
his own dignity, as not to be roused and stimulated by your wonderful
unanimity? I, as consul, have held many assemblies of the people,
I have been present at many others, I have never once seen one so
numerous as this one of yours now is. You have all one feeling, you
have all one desire, that of averting the attempts of Marcus Antonius
from the republic, of extinguishing his frenzy and crushing his
audacity. All orders have the same wish. The municipal towns, the
colonies, and all Italy are labouring for the same end. Therefore you
have made the senate, which was already pretty firm of its own accord,
firmer still by your authority. The time has come, O Romans, later
altogether than for the honour of the Roman people it should have
been, but still so that the things are now so ripe that they do not
admit of a moment's delay. There has been a sort of fatality, if I
may say so, which we have borne as it was necessary to bear it. But
hereafter if any disaster happens to us it will be of our own seeking.
It is impossible for the Roman people to be slaves, that people whom
the immortal gods have ordained should rule over all nations. Matters
are now come to a crisis. We are fighting for our freedom. Either you
must conquer, O Romans, which indeed you will do if you continue to
act with such piety and such unanimity, or you must do anything rather
than become slaves. Other nations can endure slavery. Liberty is the
inalienable possession of the Roman people.



After the senate had decided on sending them, the ambassadors
immediately set out, though Servius Sulpicius was in a very bad state
of health. In the meantime the partisans of Antonius in the city, with
Calenus at their head were endeavouring to gain over the rest of the
citizens, by representing him as eager for an accommodation and they
kept up a correspondence with him, and published such of his letters
as they thought favourable for their views. Matters being in this
state, Cicero, at an ordinary meeting of the senate, made the
following speech to counteract the machinations of this party, and to
warn the citizens generally of the danger of being deluded by them.

I. We are consulted to-day about matters of small importance, but
still perhaps necessary, O conscript fathers. The consul submits a
motion to us about the Appian road, and about the coinage, the tribune
of the people one about the Luperci. And although it seems easy to
settle such matters as those, still my mind cannot fix itself on such
subjects, being anxious about more important matters. For our affairs,
O conscript fathers, are come to a crisis, and are in a state of
almost extreme danger. It is not without reason that I have always
feared and never approved of that sending of ambassadors. And what
their return is to bring us I know not, but who is there who does not
see with how much languor the expectation of it infects our minds? For
those men put no restraint on themselves who grieve that the senate
has revived so as to entertain hopes of its former authority, and
that the Roman people is united to this our order, that all Italy is
animated by one common feeling, that armies are prepared, and generals
ready for the armies, even already they are inventing replies for
Antonius, and defending them. Some pretend that his demand is that all
the armies be disbanded. I suppose then we sent ambassadors to him,
not that he should submit and obey this our body, but that he should
offer us conditions, impose laws upon us, order us to open Italy to
foreign nations, especially while we were to leave him in safety from
whom there is more danger to be feared than from any nation whatever.
Others say that he is willing to give up the nearer Gaul to us, and
that he will be satisfied with the further Gaul. Very kind of him! in
order that from thence he may endeavour to bring not merely legions,
but even nations against this city. Others say that he makes no
demands now but such as are quite moderate. Macedonia he calls
absolutely his own, since it was from thence that his brother Caius
was recalled. But what province is there in which that firebrand may
not kindle a conflagration? Therefore those same men, like provident
citizens and diligent senators, say that I have sounded the charge,
and they undertake the advocacy of peace. Is not this the way in
which they argue? "Antonius ought not to have been irritated, he is
a reckless and a bold man, there are many bad men besides him." (No
doubt, and they may begin and count themselves first). And they warn
us to be on our guard against them. Which conduct then is it which
shows the more prudent caution chastising wicked citizens when one is
able to do so, or fearing them?

II. And these men speak in this way, who on account of their trifling
disposition used to be considered friends of the people. From which
it may be understood that they in their hearts have at all times been
disinclined to a good constitution of the state, and they were not
friends of the people from inclination. For how comes it to pass that
those men who were anxious to gratify the people in evil things, now,
on an occasion which above all others concerns the people's interests,
because the same thing would be also salutary for the republic, now
prefer being wicked to being friends of the people? This noble cause
of which I am the advocate has made me popular, a man who (as you
know) have always opposed the rashness of the people. And those men
are called, or rather they call themselves, consulars; though no man
is worthy of that name except those who can support so high an honour.
Will you favour an enemy? Will you let him send you letters about his
hopes of success? Will you be glad to produce them? to read them? Will
you even give them to wicked citizens to take copies of? Will you thus
raise their courage? Will you thus damp the hopes and valour of the
good? And then will you think yourself a consular, or a senator, or
even a citizen? Caius Pansa, a most fearless and virtuous consul, will
take what I say in good part. For I will speak with a disposition
most friendly to him; but I should not consider him himself a consul,
though a man with whom I am most intimate, unless he was such a consul
as to devote all his vigilance, and cares, and thoughts to the safety
of the republic.

Although long acquaintance, and habit, and a fellowship and
resemblance in the most honourable pursuits, has bound us together
from his first entrance into life; and his incredible diligence,
proved at the time of the most formidable dangers of the civil war,
showed that he was a favourer not only of my safety, but also of my
dignity; still, as I said before, if he were not such a consul as I
have described, I should venture to deny that he was a consul at all.
But now I call him not only a consul, but the most excellent and
virtuous consul within my recollection; not but that there have been
others of equal virtue and equal inclination, but still they have not
had an equal opportunity of displaying that virtue and inclination.
But the opportunity of a time of most formidable change has been
afforded to his magnanimity, and dignity, and wisdom. And that is the
time when the consulship is displayed to the greatest advantage, when
it governs the republic during a time which, if not desirable, is at
all events critical and momentous. And a more critical time than the
present, O conscript fathers, never was.

III. Therefore I, who have been at all times an adviser of peace,
and who, though all good men always considered peace, and especially
internal peace, desirable, have desired it more than all of them;--for
the whole of the career of my industry has been passed in the forum
and in the senate-house, and in warding off dangers from my friends;
it is by this course that I have arrived at the highest honours, at
moderate wealth, and at any dignity which we may be thought to have: I
therefore, a nursling of peace, as I may call myself, I who, whatever
I am, (for I arrogate nothing to myself,) should undoubtedly not have
been such without internal peace: I am speaking in peril: I shudder to
think how you will receive it, O conscript fathers: but still, out of
regard for my unceasing desire to support and increase your dignity, I
beg and entreat you, O conscript fathers, although it may be a bitter
thing to hear, or an incredible thing that it should be said by Marcus
Cicero, still to receive at first, without offence, what I am going
to say, and not to reject it before I have fully explained what it
is;--I, who, I will say so over and over again, have always been a
panegyrist, have always been an adviser of peace, do not wish to have
peace with Marcus Antonius. I approach the rest of my speech with
great hope, O conscript fathers, since I have now passed by that
perilous point amid your silence.

Why then do I not wish for peace? Because it would be shameful;
because it would be dangerous; because it cannot possibly be real. And
while I explain these three points to you, I beg of you, O conscript
fathers, to listen to my words with the same kindness which you
usually show to me.

What is more shameful than inconsistency, fickleness, and levity, both
to individuals, and also to the entire senate? Moreover, what can be
more inconsistent than on a sudden to be willing to be united in peace
with a man whom you have lately adjudged to be an enemy, not by words,
but by actions and by many formal decrees? Unless, indeed, when you
were decreeing honours to Caius Caesar, well-deserved indeed by and
fairly due to him, but still unprecedented and never to be forgotten,
for one single reason,--because he had levied an army against Marcus
Antonius,--you were not judging Marcus Antonius to be an enemy; and
unless Antonius was not pronounced an enemy by you, when the veteran
soldiers were praised by your authority, for having followed Caesar;
and unless you did not declare Antonius an enemy when you promised
exemptions and money and lands to those brave legions, because they
had deserted him who was consul while he was an enemy.

IV. What? when you distinguished with the highest praises Brutus, a
man born under some omen, as it were, of his race and name, for the
deliverance of the republic, and his army, which was waging war
against Antonius on behalf of the liberty of the Roman people, and the
most loyal and admirable province of Gaul, did you not then pronounce
Antonius an enemy? What? when you decreed that the consuls, one or
both of them, should go to the war, what war was there if Antonius was
not an enemy? Why then was it that most gallant man, my own colleague
and intimate friend, Aulus Hirtius the consul, has set out? And in
what delicate health he is; how wasted away! But the weak state of his
body could not repress the vigour of his mind. He thought it fair, I
suppose, to expose to danger in defence of the Roman people that life
which had been preserved to him by their prayers. What? when you
ordered levies of troops to be made throughout all Italy, when you
suspended all exemptions from service, was he not by those steps
declared to be an enemy? You see manufactories of arms in the city;
soldiers, sword in hand, are following the consul; they are in
appearance a guard to the consul, but in fact and reality to us; all
men are giving in their names, not only without any shirking, but
with the greatest eagerness; they are acting in obedience to your
authority. Has not Antonius been declared an enemy by such acts?

"Oh, but we have sent ambassadors to him." Alas, wretched that I am!
why am I compelled to find fault with the senate whom I have always
praised? Why? Do you think, O conscript fathers, that you have induced
the Roman people to approve of the sending ambassadors? Do you not
perceive, do you not hear, that the adoption of my opinion is demanded
by them? that opinion which you, in a full house, agreed to the day
before, though the day after you allowed yourselves to be brought down
to a groundless hope of peace. Moreover, how shameful it is for the
legions to send out ambassadors to the senate, and the senate to
Antonius! Although that is not an embassy; it is a denunciation that
destruction is prepared for him if he do not submit to this order.
What is the difference? At all events, men's opinions are unfavourable
to the measure; for all men see that ambassadors have been sent, but
it is not all who are acquainted with the terms of your decree.

V. You must, therefore, preserve your consistency, your wisdom, your
firmness, your perseverance. You must go back to the old-fashioned
severity, if at least the authority of the senate is anxious to
establish its credit, its honour, its renown, and its dignity, things
which this order has been too long deprived of. But there was some
time ago some excuse for it, as being oppressed; a miserable excuse
indeed, but still a fair one; now there is none. We appeared to have
been delivered from kingly tyranny; and afterwards we were oppressed
much more severely by domestic enemies. We did indeed turn their arms
aside; we must now wrest them from their hands. And if we cannot do
so, (I will say what it becomes one who is both a senator and a Roman
to say,) let us die. For how just will be the shame, how great will be
the disgrace, how great the infamy to the republic, if Marcus Antonius
can deliver his opinion in this assembly from the consular bench. For,
to say nothing of the countless acts of wickedness committed by him
while consul in the city, during which time he has squandered a vast
amount of public money, restored exiles without any law, sold our
revenues to all sorts of people, removed provinces from the empire of
the Roman people, given men kingdoms for bribes, imposed laws on the
city by violence, besieged the senate, and, at other times, excluded
it from the senate-house by force of arms;--to say nothing, I say, of
all this, do you not consider this, that he who has attacked Mutina, a
most powerful colony of the Roman people--who has besieged a general
of the Roman people, who is consul elect--who has laid waste the
lands,--do you not consider, I say, how shameful and iniquitous a
thing it would be for that man to be received into this order, by
which he has been so repeatedly pronounced an enemy for these very

I have said enough of the shamefulness of such a proceeding; I will
now speak next, as I proposed, of the danger of it; which, although it
is not so important to avoid as shame, still offends the minds of the
greater part of mankind even more.

VI. Will it then be possible for you to rely on the certainty of any
peace, when you see Antonius, or rather the Antonii, in the city?
Unless, indeed, you despise Lucius: I do not despise even Caius. But,
as I think, Lucius will be the dominant spirit,--for he is the patron
of the five-and-thirty tribes, whose votes he took away by his law, by
which he divided the magistracies in conjunction with Caius Caesar.
He is the patron of the centuries of the Roman knights, which also he
thought fit to deprive of the suffrages: he is the patron of the men
who have been military tribunes; he is the patron of the middle of
Janus. O ye gods! who will be able to support this man's power?
especially when he has brought all his dependants into the lands. Who
ever was the patron of all the tribes? and of the Roman knights? and
of the military tribunes? Do you think that the power of even the
Gracchi was greater than that of this gladiator will be? whom I have
called gladiator, not in the sense in which sometimes Marcus Antonius
too is called gladiator, but as men call him who are speaking plain
Latin. He has fought in Asia as a mirmillo. After having equipped his
own companion and intimate friend in the armour of a Thracian, he slew
the miserable man as he was flying; but he himself received a palpable
wound, as the scar proves.

What will the man who murdered his friend in this way, when he has an
opportunity, do to an enemy? and if he did such a thing as this for
the fun of the thing, what do you think he will do when tempted by the
hope of plunder? Will he not again meet wicked men in the decuries?
will he not again tamper with those men who have received lands? will
he not again seek those who have been banished? will he not, in short,
be Marcus Antonius; to whom, on the occasion of every commotion, there
will be a rush of all profligate citizens? Even if there be no one
else except those who are with him now, and these who in this body
now openly speak in his favour, will they be too small in number?
especially when all the protection which we might have had from good
men is lost, and when those men are prepared to obey his nod? But I
am afraid, if at this time we fail to adopt wise counsels, that that
party will in a short time appear too numerous for us. Nor have I any
dislike to peace; only I do dread war disguised under the name of
peace. Wherefore, if we wish to enjoy peace we must first wage war. If
we shrink from war, peace we shall never have.

VII. But it becomes your prudence, O conscript fathers, to provide as
far forward as possible for posterity. That is the object for which we
were placed in this garrison, and as it were on this watch-tower; that
by our vigilance and foresight we might keep the Roman people free
from fear. It would be a shameful thing, especially in so clear a case
as this, for it to be notorious that wisdom was wanting to the chief
council of the whole world. We have such consuls, there is such
eagerness on the part of the Roman people, we have such an unanimous
feeling of all Italy in our favour, such generals, and such armies,
that the republic cannot possibly suffer any disaster without the
senate being in fault. I, for my part, will not be wanting. I will
warn you, I will forewarn you, I will give you notice, I will call
gods and men to witness what I do really believe. Nor will I display
my good faith alone, which perhaps may seem to be enough, but which in
a chief citizen is not enough; I will exert all my care, and prudence,
and vigilance.

I have spoken about the danger. I will now proceed to prove to you
that it is not possible for peace to be firmly cemented; for of the
propositions which I promised to establish this is the last.

VIII. What peace can there be between Marcus Antonius and (in the
first place) the senate? with what face will he be able to look upon
you, and with what eyes will you, in turn, look upon him? Which of you
does not hate him? which of you does not he hate? Come, are you the
only people who hate him; and whom he hates? What? what do you think
of those men who are besieging Mutina, who are levying troops in Gaul,
who are threatening your fortunes? will they ever be friends to you,
or you to them? Will he embrace the Roman knights? For, suppose their
inclinations respecting, and their opinions of Antonius were very much
concealed, when they stood in crowds on the steps of the temple
of Concord, when they stimulated you to endeavour to recover your
liberty, when they demanded arms, the robe of war, and war, and who,
with the Roman people, invited me to meet in the assembly of the
people, will these men ever become friends to Antonius? will Antonius
ever maintain peace with them? For why should I speak of the whole
Roman people? which, in a full and crowded forum, twice, with one
heart and one voice, summoned me into the assembly, and plainly showed
their excessive eagerness for the recovery of their liberty. So,
desirable as it was before to have the Roman people for our comrade,
we now have it for our leader.

What hope then is there that there ever can be peace between the Roman
people and the men who are besieging Mutina and attacking a general
and army of the Roman people? Will there be peace with the municipal
towns, whose great zeal is shown by the decrees which they pass, by
the soldiers whom they furnish, by the sums which they promise, so
that in each town there is such a spirit as leaves no one room to wish
for a senate of the Roman people? The men of Firmium deserve to be
praised by a resolution of our order, who set the first example of
promising money; we ought to return a complimentary answer to the
Marrucini, who have passed a vote that all who evade military service
are to be branded with infamy. These measures are adopted all over
Italy. There is great peace between Antonius and these men, and
between them and him! What greater discord can there possibly be? And
in discord civil peace cannot by any possibility exist. To say nothing
of the mob, look at Lucius Nasidius, a Roman knight, a man of the very
highest accomplishments and honour, a citizen always eminent, whose
watchfulness and exertions for the protection of my life I felt in my
consulship; who not only exhorted his neighbours to become soldiers,
but also assisted them from his own resources; will it be possible
ever to reconcile Antonius to such a man as this, a man whom we ought
to praise by a formal resolution of the senate? What? will it be
possible to reconcile him to Caius Caesar, who prevented him from
entering the city, or to Decimus Brutus, who has refused him entrance
into Gaul? Moreover, will he reconcile himself to, or look mercifully
on the province of Gaul, by which he has been excluded and rejected?
You will see everything, O conscript fathers, if you do not take care,
full of hatred and full of discord, from which civil wars arise. Do
not then desire that which is impossible: and beware, I entreat you by
the immortal gods, O conscript fathers, that out of hope of present
peace you do not lose perpetual peace.

What now is the object of this oration? For we do not yet know what
the ambassadors have done. But still we ought to be awake, erect,
prepared, armed in our minds, so as not to be deceived by any civil
or supplicatory language, or by any pretence of justice. He must have
complied with all the prohibitions and all the commands which we have
sent him, before he can demand anything. He must have desisted from
attacking Brutus and his army, and from plundering the cities and
lands of the province of Gaul; he must have permitted the ambassadors
to go to Brutus, and led his army back on this side of the Rubicon,
and yet not come within two hundred miles of this city. He must have
submitted himself to the power of the senate and of the Roman people.
If he does this, then we shall have an opportunity of deliberating
without any decision being forced upon us either way. If he does not
obey the senate, then it will not be the senate that declares war
against him, but he who will have declared it against the senate.

But I warn you, O conscript fathers, the liberty of the Roman people,
which is entrusted to you, is at stake. The life and fortune of
every virtuous man is at stake, against which Antonius has long been
directing his insatiable covetousness, united to his savage cruelty.
Your authority is at stake, which you will wholly lose if you do not
maintain it now. Beware how you let that foul and deadly beast escape
now that you have got him confined and chained. You too, Pansa, I
warn, (although you do not need counsel, for you have plenty of wisdom
yourself: but still, even the most skilful pilots receive often
warnings from the passengers in terrible storms,) not to allow this
vast and noble preparation which you have made to fall away to
nothing. You have such an opportunity as no one ever had. It is in
your power so to avail yourself of this wise firmness of the senate,
of this zeal of the equestrian order, of this ardour of the Roman
people, as to release the Roman people from fear and danger for ever.
As to the matters to which your motion before the senate refers, I
agree with Publius Servilius.

* * * * *


* * * * *


After the embassy to Antonius had left Rome the consuls zealously
exerted themselves in preparing for war, in case he should reject the
demands of the ambassador. Hirtius, though in bad health, left Rome
first, at the head of an army containing, among others, the Martial
and the fourth legions, intending to join Octavius and hoping with his
assistance to prevent his gaining any advantage over Brutus till Pansa
could join them. And he gained some advantages over Antonius at once.

About the beginning of February the two remaining ambassadors (for
Servius Sulpicius had died just as they arrived at Antonius's camp)
returned, bringing word that Antonius would comply with none of the
commands of the senate, nor allow them to proceed to Decimus Brutus,
and bringing also (contrary to their duty) demands from him, of which
the principal were, that his troops were to be rewarded, all the acts
of himself and Dolabella to be ratified as also all that he had done
respecting Caesar's papers, that no account was to be required of him
of the money; in the temple of Ops and that he should have the further
Gaul with an army of six legions.

Pansa summoned the senate to receive the report of the ambassador,
when Cicero made a severe speech, proposing very vigorous measures
against Antonius, which, however, Galenus and his party were still
numerous enough to mitigate very greatly; and even Pansa voted against
him and in favour of the milder measures though they could not prevail
against Cicero to have a second embassy sent to Antonius, and though
Cicero carried his point of ordering the citizens to assume the
_sagum_, or robe of war which he also (waving his privilege as a
man of consular rank) wore himself. The next day the senate met again,
to draw upon form the decrees on which they had resolved the
day before, when Cicero addressed the following speech to them,
expostulating with them for their wavering the day before.

I. Matters were carried on yesterday, O Caius Pansa, in a more
irregular manner than the beginning of your consulship required. You
did not appear to me to make sufficient resistance to those men, to
whom you are not in the habit of yielding. For while the virtue of the
senate was such as it usually is, and while all men saw that there was
war in reality, and some thought that the name ought to be kept back,
on the division, your inclination inclined to lenity. The course which
we proposed therefore was defeated, at your instigation, on account
of the harshness of the word war. That urged by Lucius Caesar, a
most honourable man, prevailed, which, taking away that one harsh
expression, was gentler in its language than in its real intention.
Although he, indeed, before he delivered his opinion at all, pleaded
his relationship to Antonius in excuse for it. He had done the same in
my consulship, in respect of his sister's husband, as he did now in
respect of his sister's son, so that he was moved by the grief of his
sister, and at the same time he wished to provide for the safety of
the republic.

And yet Caesar himself in some degree recommended you, O conscript
fathers, not to agree with him, when he said that he should have
expressed quite different sentiments, worthy both of himself and of
the republic, if he had not been hampered by his relationship to
Antonius. He, then, is his uncle, are you his uncles too, you who
voted with him?

But on what did the dispute turn? Some men, in delivering their
opinion, did not choose to insert the word "war". They preferred
calling it "tumult," being ignorant not only of the state of affairs,
but also of the meaning of words. For there can be a "war" without a
"tumult," but there cannot be a "tumult" without a "war." For what is
a "tumult," but such a violent disturbance that an unusual alarm is
engendered by it? from which indeed the name "tumult"[39] is derived.
Therefore, our ancestors spoke of the Italian "tumult," which was a
domestic one, of the Gallic "tumult," which was on the frontier of
Italy, but they never spoke of any other. And that a "tumult" is a
more serious thing than a "war" may be seen from this, that during a
war exemptions from military service are valid, but in a tumult they
are not. So that it is the fact, as I have said, that war can exist
without a tumult, but a tumult cannot exist without a war. In truth,
as there is no medium between war and peace, it is quite plain that a
tumult, if it be not a sort of war, must be a sort of peace; and what
more absurd can be said or imagined? However, we have said too much
about a word; let us rather look to the facts, O conscript fathers,
the appreciation of which, I know, is at times injured by too much
attention being paid to words.

II. We are unwilling that this should appear to be a war. What is
the object, then, of our giving authority to the municipal towns
and colonies to exclude Antonius? of our authorizing soldiers to be
enlisted without any force, without the terror of any fine, of their
own inclination and eagerness? of permitting them to promise money for
the assistance of the republic? For if the name of war be taken away,
the zeal of the municipal towns will be taken away too. And the
unanimous feeling of the Roman people which at present pours itself
into our cause, if we cool upon it, must inevitably be damped.

But why need I say more? Decimus Brutus is attacked. Is not that war?
Mutina is besieged. Is not even that war? Gaul is laid waste. What
peace can be more assured than this? Who can think of calling that
war? We have sent forth a consul, a most gallant man, with an army,
who, though he was in a weak state from a long and serious illness,
still thought he ought not to make any excuse when he was summoned to
the protection of the republic. Caius Caesar, indeed, did not wait for
our decrees; especially as that conduct of his was not unsuited to his
age. He undertook war against Antonius of his own accord; for there
was not yet time to pass a decree; and he saw that, if he let slip the
opportunity of waging war, when the republic was crushed it would be
impossible to pass any decrees at all. They and their arms, then, are
now at peace. He is not an enemy whose garrison Hirtius has driven
from Claterna; he is not an enemy who is in arms resisting a consul,
and attacking a consul elect; and those are not the words of an enemy,
nor is that warlike language, which Pansa read just now out of his
colleague's letters: "I drove out the garrison." "I got possession of
Claterna." "The cavalry were routed." "A battle was fought." "A good
many men were slain." What peace can be greater than this? Levies of
troops are ordered throughout all Italy; all exemptions from service
are suspended; the robe of war is to be assumed to-morrow, the consul
has said that he shall come down to the senate house with an armed

Is not this war? Ay, it is such a war as has never been. For in all
other wars, and most especially in civil wars, it was a difference as
to the political state of the republic which gave rise to the contest.
Sylla contended against Sulpicius about the force of laws which Sylla
said had been passed by violence. Cinna warred against Octavius
because of the votes of the new citizens. Again, Sylla was at variance
with Cinna and Marius, in order to prevent unworthy men from attaining
power, and to avenge the cruel death of most illustrious men. The
causes of all these wars arose from the zeal of different parties, for
what they considered the interest of the republic. Of the last civil
war I cannot bear to speak. I do not understand the cause of it, I
detest the result.

III. This is the fifth civil war, (and all of them have fallen upon
our times,) the first which has not only not brought dissensions
and discord among the citizens, but which has been signalised by
extraordinary unanimity and incredible concord. All of them have the
same wish, all defend the same objects, all are inspired with the same
sentiments. When I say all, I except those whom no one thinks worthy
of being citizens at all. What, then, is the cause of war, and what
is the object aimed at? We are defending the temples of the immortal
gods, we are defending the walls of the city, we are defending the
homes and habitations of the Roman people, the household gods, the
altars, the hearths and the sepulchres of our forefathers, we are
defending our laws, our courts of justice, our freedom, our wives, our
children, and our country. On the other hand, Marcus Antonius labours
and fights in order to throw into confusion and overturn all these
things, and hopes to have reason to think the plunder of the republic
sufficient cause for the war, while he squanders part of our fortunes,
and distributes the rest among his parricidal followers.

While, then, the motives for war are so different, a most miserable
circumstance is what that fellow promises to his band of robbers. In
the first place our houses, for he declares that he will divide the
city among them, and after that he will lead them out at whatever gate
and settle them on whatever lands they please. All the Caphons,[40]
all the Saxas, and the other plagues which attend Antonius, are
marking out for themselves in their own minds most beautiful houses,
and gardens, and villas, at Tusculum and Alba; and those clownish
men--if indeed they are men, and not rather brute beasts--are borne on
in their empty hopes as far as the waters and Puteoli. So Antonius
has something to promise to his followers. What can we do? Have we
anything of the sort? May the gods grant us a better fate! for our
express object is to prevent any one at all from hereafter making
similar promises. I say this against my will, still I must say
it;--the auction sanctioned by Caesar, O conscript fathers, gives
many wicked men both hope and audacity. For they saw some men become
suddenly rich from having been beggars. Therefore, those men who are
hanging over our property, and to whom Antonius promises everything,
are always longing to see an auction. What can we do? What do we
promise our soldiers? Things much better and more honourable. For
promises to be earned by wicked actions are pernicious both to those
who expect them, and to those who promise them. We promise to our
soldiers freedom, rights, laws, justice, the empire of the world,
dignity, peace, tranquillity. The promises then of Antonius are
bloody, polluted, wicked, odious to gods and men, neither lasting nor
salutary; ours, on the other hand, are honourable, upright, glorious,
full of happiness, and full of piety.

IV. Here also Quintus Fufius, a brave and energetic man, and a friend
of mine, reminds me of the advantages of peace. As if, if it were
necessary to praise peace, I could not do it myself quite as well as
he. For is it once only that I have defended peace? Have I not at all
times laboured for tranquillity? which is desirable for all good
men, but especially for me. For what course could my industry pursue
without forensic causes, without laws, without courts of justice? and
these things can have no existence when civil peace is taken away. But
I want to know what you mean, O Calenus? Do you call slavery peace?
Our ancestors used to take up arms not merely to secure their freedom,
but also to acquire empire; you think that we ought to throw away our
arms, in order to become slaves. What juster cause is there for waging
war than the wish to repel slavery? in which, even if one's master be
not tyrannical, yet it is a most miserable thing that he should be
able to be so if he chooses. In truth, other causes are just, this is
a necessary one. Unless, perhaps, you think that this does not apply
to you, because you expect that you will be a partner in the dominion
of Antonius. And there you make a two-fold mistake: first of all, in
preferring your own to the general interest; and in the next place, in
thinking that there is anything either stable or pleasant in kingly
power. Even if it has before now been advantageous to you, it will not
always be so. Moreover, you used to complain of that former master,
who was a man; what do you think you will do when your master is a
beast? And you say that you are a man who have always been desirous
of peace, and have always wished for the preservation of all the
citizens. Very honest language; that is, if you mean all citizens who
are virtuous, and useful, and serviceable to the republic; but if you
wish those who are by nature citizens, but by inclination enemies, to
be saved, what difference is there between you and them? Your father,
indeed, with whom I as a youth was acquainted, when he was an old man,
--a man of rigid virtue and wisdom,--used to give the greatest praise
of all citizens who had ever lived to Publius Nasica, who slew
Tiberius Gracchus. By his valour, and wisdom, and magnanimity he
thought that the republic had been saved. What am I to say? Have
we received any other doctrine from our fathers? Therefore, that
citizen--if you had lived in those times--would not have been approved
of by you, because he did not wish all the citizens to be safe.
"Because Lucius Opimius the consul has made a speech concerning the
republic, the senators have thus decided on that matter, that Opimius
the consul shall defend the republic." The senate adopted these
measures in words, Opimius followed them up by his arms. Should you
then, if you had lived in those times, have thought him a hasty or a
cruel citizen? or should you have thought Quintus Metellus one, whose
four sons were all men of consular rank? or Publius Lentulus the chief
of the senate, and many other admirable men, who, with Lucius Opimius
the consul, took arms, and pursued Gracchus to the Aventine? and in
the battle which ensued, Lentulus received a severe wound, Gracchus
was plain, and so was Marcus Fulvius, a man of consular rank, and his
two youthful sons. Those men, therefore, are to be blamed; for they
did not wish all the citizens to be safe.

V. Let us come to instances nearer our own time. The senate entrusted
the defence of the republic to Caius Marius and Lucius Valerius, the
consuls; Lucius Saturninus, a tribune of the people, and Caius Glaucia
the praetor, were slain. On that day, all the Scauri, and Metelli, and
Claudii, and Catuli, and Scaevolae, and Crassi took arms. Do you think
either those consuls or those other most illustrious men deserving of
blame? I myself wished Catiline to perish. Did you who wish every one
to be safe, wish Catiline to be safe? There is this difference, O
Calenus, between my opinion and yours. I wish no citizen to commit
such crimes as deserve to be punished with death. You think that, even
if he has committed them, still he ought to be saved. If there is
anything in our own body which is injurious to the rest of the body,
we allow that to be burnt and cut out, in order that a limb may be
lost in preference to the whole body. And so in the body of the
republic, whatever is rotten must be cut off in order that the whole
may be saved. Harsh language! This is much more harsh, "Let the
worthless, and wicked and impious be saved, let the innocent, the
honourable, the virtuous, the whole republic be destroyed." In the
case of one individual, O Quintus Fufius, I confess that you saw more
than I did. I thought Publius Clodius a mischievous, wicked, lustful,
impious, audacious, criminal citizen. You, on the other hand, called
him religious, temperate, innocent, modest; a citizen to be preserved
and desired. In this one particular I admit that you had great
discernment, and that I made a great mistake. For as for your saying
that I am in the habit of arguing against you with ill-temper, that
is not the case. I confess that I argue with vehemence, but not with
ill-temper. I am not in the habit of getting angry with my friends
every now and then, not even if they deserve it. Therefore, I can
differ from you without using any insulting language, though not
without feeling the greatest grief of mind. For is the dissension
between you and me a trifling one, or on a trifling subject? Is it
merely a case of my favouring this man, and you that man? Yes; I
indeed favour Decimus Brutus, you favour Marcus Antonius; I wish a
colony of the Roman people to be preserved, you are anxious that it
should be stormed and destroyed.

VI. Can you deny this, when you interpose every sort of delay
calculated to weaken Brutus, and to improve the position of Antonius?
For how long will you keep on saying that you are desirous of peace?
Matters are progressing rapidly; the works have been carried on;
severe battles are taking place. We sent three chief men of the city
to interpose. Antonius has despised, rejected, and repudiated them.
And still you continue a persevering defender of Antonius. And
Calenus, indeed, in order that he may appear a more conscientious
senator, says that he ought not to be a friend to him; since, though
Antonius was under great obligations to him, he still had acted
against him. See how great is his affection for his country. Though he
is angry with the individual, still he defends Antonius for the sake
of his country.

When you are so bitter, O Quintus Fufius, against the people of
Marseilles, I cannot listen to you with calmness. For how long are you
going to attack Marseilles? Does not even a triumph put an end to
the war? in which was carried an image of that city, without whose
assistance our forefathers never triumphed over the Transalpine
nations. Then, indeed, did the Roman people groan. Although they had
their own private griefs because of their own affairs, still there
was no citizen who thought the miseries of this most loyal city
unconnected with himself. Caesar himself, who had been the most
angry of all men with them, still, on account of the unusually high
character and loyalty of that city, was every day relaxing something
of his displeasure. And is there no extent of calamity by which so
faithful a city can satiate you? Again, perhaps, you will say that I
am losing my temper. But I am speaking without passion, as I always
do, though not without great indignation. I think that no man can be
an enemy to that city, who is a friend to this one. What your object
is, O Calenus, I cannot imagine. Formerly we were unable to deter you
from devoting yourself to the gratification of the people; now we are
unable to prevail on you to show any regard for their interests. I
have argued long enough with Fufius, saying everything without hatred,
but nothing without indignation. But I suppose that a man who can bear
the complaint of his son in law with indifference, will bear that of
his friend with great equanimity.

VII. I come now to the rest of the men of consular rank of whom there
is no one, (I say this on my own responsibility,) who is not connected
with me in some way or other by kindnesses conferred or received, some
in a great, some in a moderate degree, but everyone to some extent or
other. What a disgraceful day was yesterday to us! to us consulars, I
mean. Are we to send ambassadors again? What? would he make a truce?
Before the very face and eyes of the ambassadors he battered Mutina
with his engines. He displayed his works and his defences to the
ambassadors. The siege was not allowed one moment's breathing time,
not even while the ambassadors should be present. Send ambassadors to
this man! What for? in order to have great fears for their return?
In truth, though on the previous occasion I had voted against
the ambassadors being decreed, still I consoled myself with this
reflection, that, when they had returned from Antonius despised and
rejected, and had reported to the senate not merely that he had not
withdrawn from Gaul, as we had voted that he should, but that he had
not even retired from before Mutma, and that they had not been allowed
to proceed on to Decimus Brutus, all men would be inflamed with hatred
and stimulated by indignation, so that we should reinforce Decimus
Brutus with arms, and horses, and men. But we have become even more
languid since we have become acquainted with, not only the audacity
and wickedness of Antonius, but also with his indolence and pride.
Would that Lucius Caesar were in health, that Servius Sulpicius were
alive. This cause would be pleaded much better by these men, than it
is now by me single handed. What I am going to say I say with grief,
rather than by way of insult. We have been deserted--we have, I say,
been deserted, O conscript fathers, by our chiefs. But, as I have
often said before, all those who in a time of such danger have
proper and courageous sentiments shall be men of consular rank. The
ambassadors ought to have brought us back courage, they have brought
us back fear. Not, indeed, that they have caused me any fear--let them
have as high an opinion as they please of the man to whom they were
sent; from whom they have even brought back commands to us.

VIII. O ye immortal gods! where are the habits and virtues of our
forefathers? Caius Popillius, in the time of our ancestors, when he
had been sent as ambassador to Antiochus the king, and had given him
notice, in the words of the senate, to depart from Alexandria, which
he was besieging, on the kings seeking to delay giving his answer,
drew a line round him where he was standing with his rod, and stated
that he should report him to the senate if he did not answer him as
to what he intended to do before he moved out of that line which
surrounded him. He did well for he had brought with him the
countenance of the senate and the authority of the Roman people, and
if a man does not obey that, we are not to receive commands from him
in return, but he is to be utterly rejected. Am I to receive commands
from a man who despises the commands of the senate? Or am I to think
that he has anything in common with the senate, who besieges a general
of the Roman people in spite of the prohibition of the senate? But
what commands they are! With what arrogance, with what stupidity,
with what insolence are they conceived! But what made him charge our
ambassadors with them when he was sending Cotyla to us, the ornament
and bulwark of his friends, a man of aedilitian rank? if, indeed, he
really was an aedile at the time when the public slaves flogged him
with thongs at a banquet by command of Antonius.

But what modest commands they are! We must be non-hearted men,
O conscript fathers, to deny anything to this man! "I give up both
provinces," says he, "I disband my army, I am willing to become a
private individual." For these are his very words. He seems to
be coming to himself. "I am willing to forget everything, to be
reconciled to everybody." But what does he add? "If you give booty and
land to my six legions, to my cavalry, and to my praetorian cohort."
He even demands rewards for those men for whom, if he were to demand
pardon, he would be thought the most impudent of men. He adds further,
"Those men to whom the lands have been given which he himself and
Dolabella distributed, are to retain them." This is the Campanian
and Leontine district, both which our ancestors considered a certain
resource in times of scarcity.

IX. He is protecting the interests of his buffoons and gamesters and
pimps. He is protecting Capho's and Sasu's interests too, pugnacious
and muscular centurions, whom he placed among his troops of male and
female buffoons. Besides all this, he demands "that the decrees of
himself and his colleague concerning Caesar's writings and memoranda
are to stand." Why is he so anxious that every one should have what he
has bought, if he who sold it all has the price which he received for
it? "And that his accounts of the money in the temple of Ops are not
to be meddled with." That is to say, that those seven hundred millions
of sesterces are not to be recovered from him. "That the septemviri
are to be exempt from blame or from prosecution for what they have
done." It was Nucula, I imagine, who put him in mind of that, he was
afraid, perhaps, of losing so many clients. He also wishes to make
stipulations in favour of "those men who are with him who may have
done anything against the laws." He is here taking care of Mustela and
Tiro, he is not anxious about himself. For what has he done? has he
ever touched the public money, or murdered a man, or had armed men
about him? But what reason has he for taking so much trouble about
them? For he demands, "that his own judiciary law be not abrogated."
And if he obtains that, what is there that he can fear? can he be
afraid that any one of his friends may be convicted by Cydas, or
Lysiades, or Curius? However, he does not press us with many more
demands. "I give up," says he, "Gallia Togata; I demand Gallia
Comata"[41]--he evidently wishes to be quite at his ease--'with six
legions, and those made up to their full complement out of the army
of Decimus Brutus,--not only out of the troops whom he has enlisted
himself; "and he is to keep possession of it as long as Marcus Brutus
and Carus Cassius, as consuls, or as proconsuls, keep possession of
their provinces." In the comitia held by him, his brother Carus (for
it is his year) has already been repulsed. "And I myself," says he,
"am to retain possession of my province five years." But that is
expressly forbidden by the law of Caesar, and you defend the acts of

X. Were you, O Lucius Piso, and you, O Lucius Philippus, you chiefs
of the city, able, I will not say to endure in your minds but even to
listen with your ears to these commands of his? But, I suspect there
was some alarm at work, nor, while in his power, could you feel as
ambassadors, or as men of consular rank, nor could you maintain our
own dignity, or that of the republic. And nevertheless, somehow or
other, owing to some philosophy, I suppose, you did what I could not
have done,--you returned without any very angry feelings. Marcus
Antonius paid you no respect, though you were most illustrious men,
ambassadors of the Roman people. As for us, what concessions did not
we make to Cotyla the ambassador of Marcus Antonius? though it was
against the law for even the gates of the city to be opened to him,
yet even this temple was opened to him. He was allowed to enter the
senate, here yesterday he was taking down our opinions and every word
we said in his note books, and men who had been preferred to the
highest honours sold themselves to him in utter disregard of their own

O ye immortal gods! how great an enterprise is it to uphold the
character of a leader in the republic, for it requires one to be
influenced not merely by the thoughts but also by the eyes of the
citizens. To take to one's house the ambassador of an enemy, to admit
him to one's chamber, even to confer apart with him, is the act of a
man who thinks nothing of his dignity, and too much of his danger. But
what is danger? For if one is engaged in a contest where everything is
at stake, either liberty is assured to one if victorious, or death
if defeated, the former of which alternatives is desirable, and the
latter some time or other inevitable. But a base flight from death
is worse than any imaginable death. For I will never be induced to
believe that there are men who envy the consistency or diligence of
others, and who are indignant at the unceasing desire to assist the
republic being approved by the senate and people of Rome. That is what
we were all bound to do, and that was not only in the time of our
ancestors, but even lately, the highest praise of men of consular
rank, to be vigilant, to be anxious, to be always either thinking, or
doing, or saying something to promote the interests of the republic.

I, O conscript fathers, recollect that Quintus Scaevola the augur, in
the Marsic war, when he was a man of extreme old age, and quite broken
down in constitution, every day, as soon as it was daylight, used to
give every one an opportunity of consulting him, nor, throughout all
that war, did any one ever see him in bed, and, though old and weak,
he was the first man to come into the senate house. I wish, above all
things, that those who ought to do so would imitate his industry,
and, next to that, I wish that they would not envy the exertions of

XI. In truth, O conscript fathers, now we have begun to entertain
hopes of liberty again, after a period of six years, during which we
have been deprived of it, having endured slavery longer than prudent
and industrious prisoners usually do, what watchfulness, what anxiety,
what exertions ought we to shrink from, for the sake of delivering the
Roman people? In truth, O conscript fathers, though men who have had
the honours conferred on them that we have, usually wear their gowns,
while the rest of the city is in the robe of war, still I decided that
at such a momentous crisis, and when the whole republic was in so
disturbed a state, we would not differ in our dress from you and the
rest of the citizens. For we men of consular rank are not in this war
conducting ourselves in such a manner that the Roman people will be
likely to look with equanimity on the ensigns of our honour, when some
of us are so cowardly as to have cast away all recollection of the
kindnesses which they have received from the Roman people, some are so
disaffected to the republic that they openly allege that they favour
this enemy, and easily bear having our ambassadors despised and
insulted by Antonius, while they wish to support the ambassador sent
by Antonius. For they said that he ought not to be prevented
from returning to Antonius, and they proposed an amendment to my
proposition of not receiving him. Well, I will submit to them. Let
Varius return to his general, but on condition that he never returns
to Rome. And as to the others, if they abandon their errors and return
to their duty to the republic, I think they may be pardoned and left

Therefore, I give my vote, "That of those men who are with Marcus
Antonius, those who abandon his army, and come over either to Caius
Pansa or Aulus Hirtius the consuls; or to Decimus Brutus, imperator
and consul elect, or to Caius Caesar, propraetor, before the first of
March next, shall not be liable to prosecution for having been with
Antonius. That, if any one of those men who are now with Antonius
shall do anything which appears entitled to honour or to reward, Caius
Pansa and Aulus Hirtius the consuls, one or both of them, shall, if
they think fit, make a motion to the senate respecting that man's
honour or reward, at the earliest opportunity. That, if, after this
resolution of the senate, any one shall go to Antonius except Lucius
Varius, the senate will consider that that man has acted as an enemy
to the republic."

* * * * *



Servius Sulpicius, as has been already said, had died on his embassy
to Marcus Antonius, before Mutina; and the day after the delivery
of the preceding speech, Pansa again called the senate together
to deliberate on the honours to be paid to his memory. He himself
proposed a public funeral, a sepulchre, and a statue. Servilius
opposed the statue, as due only to those who had been slain by
violence while in discharge of their duties as ambassadors. Cicero
delivered the following oration in support of Pansa's proposition,
which was carried.[42]

I. I wish, O conscript fathers, that the immortal gods had granted to
us to return thanks to Servius Sulpicius while alive, rather than thus
to devise honours for him now that he is dead. Nor have I any doubt,
but that if that man had been able himself to give us his report of
the proceedings of his embassy, his return would have been acceptable
to you and salutary to the republic. Not that either Lucius Piso or
Lucius Philippus have been deficient in either zeal or care in the
performance of so important a duty and so grave a commission; but, as
Servius Sulpicius was superior in age to them, and in wisdom to every
one, he, being suddenly taken from the business, left the whole
embassy crippled and enfeebled.

But if deserved honours have been paid to any ambassador after death,
there is no one by whom they can be found to have been ever more fully
deserved than by Servius Sulpicius. The rest of those men who have
died while engaged on an embassy, have gone forth, subject indeed to
the usual uncertainties of life, but without any especial danger or
fear of death. Servius Sulpicius set out with some hope indeed of
reaching Antonius, but with none of returning. But though he was so
very ill that if any exertion were added to his bad state of health,
he would have no hope of himself, still he did not refuse to try,
even while at his last gasp, to be of some service to the republic.
Therefore neither the severity of the winter, nor the snow, nor the
length of the journey, nor the badness of the roads, nor his daily
increasing illness, delayed him. And when he had arrived where he
might meet and confer with the man to whom he had been sent, he
departed this life in the midst of his care and consideration as to
how he might best discharge the duty which he had undertaken.

As therefore, O Caius Pansa, you have done well in other respects, so
you have acted admirably in exhorting us this day to pay honour to
Servius Sulpicius, and in yourself making an eloquent oration in his
praise. And after the speech which we have heard from you, I should
have been content to say nothing beyond barely giving my vote, if I
did not think it necessary to reply to Publius Servilius, who has
declared his opinion that this honour of a statue ought to be
granted to no one who has not been actually slain with a sword while
performing the duties of his embassy. But I, O conscript fathers,
consider that this was the feeling of our ancestors, that they
considered that it was the cause of death, and not the manner of it,
which was a proper subject for inquiry. In fact, they thought fit that
a monument should be erected to any man whose death was caused by an
embassy, in order to tempt men in perilous wars to be the more bold
in undertaking the office of an ambassador. What we ought to do,
therefore, is, not to scrutinise the precedents afforded by our
ancestors, but to explain their intentions from which the precedents
themselves arose.

II. Lar Tolumnius, the king of Veii, slew four ambassadors of the
Roman people, at Fidenae, whose statues were standing in the rostra
till within my recollection. The honour was well deserved. For our
ancestors gave those men who had encountered death in the cause of the
republic an imperishable memory in exchange for this transitory life.
We see in the rostra the statue of Cnaeus Octavius, an illustrious and
great man, the first man who brought the consulship into that family,
which afterwards abounded in illustrious men. There was no one then
who envied him, because he was a new man; there was no one who did not
honour his virtue. But yet the embassy of Octavius was one in which
there was no suspicion of danger. For having been sent by the senate
to investigate the dispositions of kings and of free nations, and
especially to forbid the grandson of king Antiochus, the one who had
carried on war against our forefathers, to maintain fleets and to keep
elephants, he was slain at Laodicea, in the gymnasium, by a man of the
name of Leptines. On this a statue was given to him by our ancestors
as a recompense for his life, which might ennoble his progeny for many
years, and which is now the only memorial left of so illustrious a
family. But in his case, and in that of Tullus Cluvius,[43] and Lucius
Roseius, and Spurius Antius, and Caius Fulcinius, who were slain by
the king of Veii, it was not the blood that was shed at their death,
but the death itself which was encountered in the service of the
republic, which was the cause of their being thus honoured.

III. Therefore, O conscript fathers, if it had been chance which had
caused the death of Servius Sulpicius, I should sorrow indeed over
such a loss to the republic, but I should consider him deserving of
the honour, not of a monument, but of a public mourning. But, as it
is, who is there who doubts that it was the embassy itself which
caused his death? For he took death away with him; though, if he
had remained among us, his own care, and the attention of his most
excellent son and his most faithful wife, might have warded it off.
But he, as he saw that, if he did not obey your authority, he should
not be acting like himself; but that if he did obey, then that duty,
undertaken, for the welfare of the republic, would be the end of his
life; preferred dying at a most critical period of the republic, to
appearing to have done less service to the republic than he might have

He had an opportunity of recruiting his strength and taking care of
himself in many cities through which his journey lay. He was met by
the liberal invitation of many entertainers as his dignity deserved,
and the men too who were sent with him exhorted him to take rest, and
to think of his own health. But he, refusing all delay, hastening
on eager to perform your commands, persevered in this his constant
purpose, in spite of the hindrances of his illness And as Antonius was
above all things disturbed by his arrival, because the commands which
were laid upon him by your orders had been drawn up by the authority
and wisdom of Servius Sulpicius, he showed plainly how he hated the
senate by the evident joy which he displaced at the death of the
adviser of the senate.

Leptines then did not kill Octavius, nor did the king of Veii slay
those whom I have just named, more clearly than Antonius killed
Servius Sulpicius. Surely he brought the man death, who was the cause
of his death. Wherefore, I think it of consequence, in order that
posterity may recollect it, that there should be a record of what the
judgment of the senate was concerning this war. For the statue itself
will be a witness that the war was so serious an one, that the death
of an ambassador in it gained the honour of an imperishable memorial.

IV. But if, O conscript fathers, you would only recollect the excuses
alleged by Servius Sulpicius why he should not be appointed to this
embassy, then no doubt will be left on your minds that we ought to
repair by the honour paid to the dead the injury which we did to him
while living. For it is you, O conscript fathers (it is a grave charge
to make, but it must be uttered,) it is you, I say, who have deprived
Servius Sulpicius of life. For when you saw him pleading his illness
as an excuse more by the truth of the fact than by any laboured plea
of words, you were not indeed cruel, (for what can be more impossible
for this order to be guilty of than that,) but as you hoped that
there was nothing that could not be accomplished by his authority and
wisdom, you opposed his excuse with great earnestness, and compelled
the man, who had always thought your decisions of the greatest weight,
to abandon his own opinion. But when there was added the exhortation
of Pansa, the consul, delivered with more weight than the ears of
Servius Sulpicius had learnt to resist, then at last he led me and his
own son aside, and said that he was bound to prefer your authority to
his own life. And we, admiring his virtue, did not dare to oppose
his determination. His son was moved with extraordinary piety and
affection, and my own grief did not fall far short of his agitation,
but each of us was compelled to yield to his greatness of mind, and to
the dignity of his language, when he, indeed, amid the loud praises
and congratulations of you all, promised to do whatever you wished,
and not to avoid the danger which might be inclined by the adoption of
the opinion of which he himself had been the author. And we the next
day escorted him early in the morning as he hastened forth to execute
your commands. And he, in truth, when departing, spoke with me in such
a manner that his language seemed like an omen of his fate.

V. Restore then, O conscript fathers, life to him from whom you have
taken it. For the life of the dead consists in the recollection
cherished of them by the living. Take ye care that he, whom you
without intending it sent to his death, shall from you receive
immortality. And if you by your decree erect a statue to him in the
rostia, no forgetfulness of posterity will ever obscure the memory of
his embassy. For the remainder of the life of Servius Sulpicius will
be recommended to the eternal recollection of all men by many and
splendid memorials. The praise of all mortals will for ever celebrate
his wisdom, his firmness, his loyalty, his admirable vigilance and
prudence in upholding the interests of the public. Nor will that
admirable, and incredible, and almost godlike skill of his in
interpreting the laws and explaining the principles of equity be
buried in silence. If all the men of all ages, who have ever had any
acquaintance with the law in this city, were got together into one
place, they would not deserve to be compared to Servius Sulpicius.
Nor was he more skilful in explaining the law than in laying down the
principles of justice. Those maxims which were derived from laws and
from the common law, he constantly referred to the original principles
of kindness and equity. Nor was he more fond of arranging the conduct
of law-suits than of preventing disputes altogether. Therefore he is
not in want of this memorial which a statue will provide; he has
other and better ones. For this statue will be only a witness of his
honourable death; those actions will be the memorial of his glorious
life. So that this will be rather a monument of the gratitude of the
senate, than of the glory of the man.

The affection of the son, too, will appear to have great influence in
moving us to honour the father; for although, being overwhelmed with
grief, he is not present, still you ought to be animated with the same
feelings as if he were present. But he is in such distress, that no
father ever sorrowed more over the loss of an only son than he grieves
for the death of his father. Indeed, I think that it concerns also the
fame of Servius Sulpicius the son, that he should appear to have paid
all due respect to his father. Although Servius Sulpicius could leave
no nobler monument behind him than his son, the image of his own
manners, and virtues, and wisdom, and piety, and genius; whose grief
can either be alleviated by this honour paid to his father by you, or
by no consolation at all.

VI. But when I recollect the many conversations which in the days of
our intimacy on earth I have had with Servius Sulpicius, it appears
to me, that if there be any feeling in the dead, a brazen statue, and
that too a pedestrian one, will be more acceptable to him than a gilt
equestrian one, such as was first erected to Lucius Sylla. For Servius
was wonderfully attached to the moderation of our forefathers, and was
accustomed to reprove the insolence of this age. As if, therefore, I
were able to consult himself as to what he would wish, so I give my
vote for a pedestrian statue of brass, as if I were speaking by his
authority and inclination; which by the honour of the memorial
will diminish and mitigate the great grief and regret of his
fellow-citizens. And it is certain that this my opinion, O conscript
fathers, will be approved of by the opinion of Publius Servilius, who
has given his vote that a sepulchre be publicly decreed to Servius
Sulpicius, but has voted against the statue. For if the death of
an ambassador happening without bloodshed and violence requires no
honour, why does he vote for the honour of a public funeral, which is
the greatest honour that can be paid to a dead man! If he grants that
to Servius Sulpicius which was not given to Cnaeus Octavius, why does
he think that we ought not to give to the former what was given to the
latter? Our ancestors, indeed, decreed statues to many men; public
sepulchres to few. But statues perish by weather, by violence, by
lapse of time; but the sanctity of the sepulchres is in the soil
itself, which can neither be moved nor destroyed by any violence; and
while other things are extinguished, so sepulchres become holier by

Let, then, that man be distinguished by that honour also, a man to
whom no honour can be given which is not deserved. Let us be grateful
in paying respect in death to him to whom we can now show no other
gratitude. And by that same step let the audacity of Marcus Antonius,
waging a nefarious war, be branded with infamy. For when these honours
have been paid to Servius Sulpicius, the evidence of his embassy
having been insulted and rejected by Antonius will remain for

VII. On which account I give my vote for a decree in this form: 'As
Servius Sulpicius Rufus, the son of Quintus, of the Lemonian tribe,
at a most critical period of the republic, and being ill with a very
serious and dangerous disease, preferred the authority of the senate
and the safety of the republic to his own life, and struggled against
the violence and severity of his illness, in order to arrive at the
camp of Antonius, to which the senate had sent him; and as he when he
had almost arrived at the camp, being overwhelmed by the violence of
the disease, has lost his life in discharging a most important office
of the republic; and as his death has been in strict correspondence to
a life passed with the greatest integrity and honour, during which he,
Servius Sulpicius, has often been of great service to the republic,
both as a private individual and in the discharge of various
magistracies; and as he, being such a man, has encountered death on
behalf of the republic while employed on an embassy;--the senate
decrees that a brazen pedestrian statue of Servius Sulpicius be
erected in the rostra in compliance with the resolution of this order,
and that his children and posterity shall have a place round this
statue of five feet in every direction, from which to behold the
games and gladiatorial combats, because he died in the cause of the
republic; and that this reason be inscribed on the pedestal of the
statue; and that Carus Pansa and Aulus Hirtius the consuls, one or
both of them, if it seem good to them, shall command the quaestors
of the city to let out a contract for making that pedestal and that
statue, and erecting them in the rostra; and that whatever price they
contract for, they shall take care the amount is given and paid to the
contractor, and as in old times the senate has exerted its authority
with respect to the obsequies of, and honours paid to brave men, it
now decrees that he shall be carried to the tomb on the day of his
funeral with the greatest possible solemnity. And as Servius Sulpicius
Rufus, the son of Quintus of the Lemonian tribe, has deserved so well
of the republic as to be entitled to be complimented with all those
distinctions, the senate is of opinion, and thinks it for the
advantage of the republic, that the consule aedile should suspend the
edict which usually prevails with respect to funerals in the case of
the funeral of Servius Sulpicius Rufus, the son of Quintus of the
Lemonian tribe, and that Carus Pansa, the consul, shall assign him a
place for a tomb in the Esquiline plain, or in whatever place shall
seem good to him extending thirty feet in every direction, where
Servius Sulpicius may be buried, and that that shall be his tomb,
and that of his children and posterity, as having been a tomb most
deservedly given to them by the public authority.



Soon after the delivery of the last speech, despatches were received
from Brutus by the consuls, giving an account of his success against
Carus Antonius in Macedonia, stating that he had secured Macedonia,
Illyricum, and Greece with the armies in those countries, that Carus
Antonius had retired to Apollonia with seven cohorts, that a legion
under Lucius Piso had surrendered to young Cicero, who was commanding
his cavalry, that Dolabella's cavalry had deserted to him, and that
Vatinius had surrendered Dyrrachium and its garrison to him. He
likewise praised Quintus Hortensius, the proconsul of Macedonia, as
having assisted him in gaining over the Grecian provinces and the
armies in those districts.

As soon as Pansa received the despatches, he summoned the senate to
have them read, and in a set speech greatly extolled Brutus, and moved
a vote of thanks to him but Calenus, who followed him, declared his
opinion, that as Brutus had acted without any public commission or
authority he should be required to give up his army to the proper
governors of the provinces, or to whoever the senate should appoint
to receive it. After he had sat down, Cicero rose, and delivered the
following speech.

I. We all, O Pansa, ought both to feel and to show the greatest
gratitude to you, who--though we did not expect that you would hold
any senate to day,--the moment that you received the letters of Marcus
Brutus, that most excellent citizen, did not interpose even the
slightest delay to our enjoying the most excessive delight and mutual
congratulation at the earliest opportunity. And not only ought this
action of yours to be grateful to us all, but also the speech which
you addressed to us after the letters had been read. For you showed
plainly, that that was true which I have always felt to be so, that
no one envied the virtue of another who was confident of his own.
Therefore I, who have been connected with Brutus by many mutual good
offices and by the greatest intimacy, need not say so much concerning
him for the part that I had marked out for myself your speech has
anticipated me in. But, O conscript fathers, the opinion delivered by
the man who was asked for his vote before me, has imposed upon me the
necessity of saying rather more than I otherwise should have said, and
I differ from him so repeatedly at present, that I am afraid (what
certainly ought not to be the case) that our continual disagreement
may appear to diminish our friendship.

What can be the meaning of this argument of yours, O Calenus? what can
be your intention? How is it that you have never once since the first
of January been of the same opinion with him who asks you your opinion
first? How is it that the senate has never yet been so full as to
enable you to find one single person to agree with your sentiments?
Why are you always defending men who in no point resemble you? why,
when both your life and your fortune invite you to tranquillity and
dignity, do you approve of those measures, and defend those measures,
and declare those sentiments, which are adverse both to the general
tranquillity and to your own individual dignity?

II. For to say nothing of former speeches of yours, at all events
I cannot pass over in silence this which excites my most especial
wonder. What war is there between you and the Bruti? Why do you alone
attack those men whom we are all bound almost to worship? Why are you
not indignant at one of them being besieged, and why do you--as far
as your vote goes--strip the other of those troops which by his own
exertions and by his own danger he has got together by himself,
without any one to assist him, for the protection of the republic, not
for himself? What is your meaning in this? What are your intentions?
Is it possible that you should not approve of the Bruti, and should
approve of Antonius? that you should hate those men whom every one
else considers most dear? and that you should love with the greatest
constancy those whom every one else hates most bitterly? You have a
most ample fortune, you are in the highest rank of honour, your son,
as I both hear and hope is born to glory,--a youth whom I favour not
only for the sake of the republic, but for your sake also. I ask,
therefore, would you rather have him like Brutus or like Antonius? and
I will let you choose whichever of the three Antonii you please. God
forbid! you will say. Why, then, do you not favour those men and
praise those men whom you wish your own son to resemble? For by so
doing you will be both consulting the interests of the republic, and
proposing him an example for his imitation.

But in this instance, I hope, O Quintus Fufius, to be allowed to
expostulate with you, as a senator who greatly differs from you,
without any prejudice to our friendship. For you spoke in this matter,
and that too from a written paper, for I should think you had made
a slip from want of some appropriate expression, if I were not
acquainted with your ability in speaking. You said "that the letters
of Brutus appeared properly and regularly expressed." What else is
this than praising Brutus's secretary, not Brutus? You both ought to
have great experience in the affairs of the republic, and you have.
When did you ever see a decree framed in this manner? or in what
resolution of the senate passed on such occasions, (and they are
innumerable,) did you ever hear of its being decreed that the letters
had been well drawn up? And that expression did not--as is often the
case with other men--fall from you by chance, but you brought it with
you written down, deliberated on, and carefully meditated on.

III. If any one could take from you this habit of disparaging good men
on almost every occasion, then what qualities would not be left to
you which every one would desire for himself? Do, then, recollect
yourself, do at last soften and quiet that disposition of yours, do
take the advice of good men, with many of whom you are intimate, do
converse with that wisest of men, your own son in-law, oftener than
with yourself, and then you will obtain the name of a man of the very
highest character. Do you think it a matter of no consequence, (it
is a matter in which I, out of the friendship which I feel you,
constantly grieve in your stead,) that this should be commonly said
out of doors, and should be a common topic of conversation among the
Roman people, that the man who delivered his opinion first did not
find a single person to agree with him? And that I think will be the
case to day.

You propose to take the legions away from Brutus--which legions? Why,
those which he has gained over from the wickedness of Caius Antonius,
and has by his own authority gained over to the republic. Do you wish
then that he should again appear to be the only person stripped of his
authority, and as it were banished by the senate? And you, O conscript
fathers, if you abandon and betray Marcus Brutus, what citizen in the
world will you ever distinguish? Whom will you ever favour? Unless,
indeed, you think that those men who put a diadem on a man's head
deserve to be preserved, and those who have abolished the very name of
kingly power deserve to be abandoned. And of this divine and immortal
glory of Marcus Brutus I will say no more, it is already embalmed in
the grateful recollection of all the citizens, but it has not yet been
sanctioned by any formal act of public authority. Such patience! O ye
good gods! such moderation! such tranquillity and submission under
injury! A man who, while he was praetor of the city, was driven from
the city, was prevented from sitting as judge in legal proceedings,
when it was he who had restored all law to the republic, and, though
he might have been hedged round by the daily concourse of all virtuous
men, who were constantly flocking round him in marvellous numbers, he
preferred to be defended in his absence by the judgment of the good,
to being present and protected by their force,--who was not even
present to celebrate the games to Apollo, which had been prepared in
a manner suitable to his own dignity and to that of the Roman people,
lest he should open any road to the audacity of most wicked men.

IV. Although, what games or what days were ever more joyful than those
on which at every verse that the actor uttered, the Roman people did
honour to the memory of Brutus, with loud shouts of applause? The
person of their liberator was absent, the recollection of their
liberty was present, in which the appearance of Brutus himself seemed
to be visible. But the man himself I beheld on those very days of the
games, in the country-house of a most illustrious young man, Lucullus,
his relation, thinking of nothing but the peace and concord of the
citizens. I saw him again afterwards at Veha, departing from Italy, in
order that there might be no pretext for civil war on his account. Oh
what a sight was that! grievous, not only to men but to the very waves
and shores. That its saviour should be departing from his country,
that its destroyers should be remaining in their country! The fleet
of Cassius followed a few days afterwards, so that I was ashamed O
conscript fathers, to return into the city from which those men were
departing. But the design with which I returned you heard at the
beginning, and since that you have known by experience. Brutus,
therefore, bided his time. For, as long as he saw you endure
everything, he himself behaved with incredible patience, after that
he saw you roused to a desire of liberty, he prepared the means to
protect you in your liberty.

But what a pest, and how great a pest was it which he resisted? For
if Caius Antonius had been able to accomplish what he intended in his
mind, (and he would have been able to do so if the virtue of Marcus
Brutus had not opposed his wickedness,) we should have lost Macedonia,
Illyricum, and Greece. Greece would have been a refuge for Antonius if
defeated, or a support to him in attacking Italy, which at present,
being not only arrayed in arms, but embellished by the military
command and authority and troops of Marcus Brutus stretches out her
right hand to Italy, and promises it her protection. And the man who
proposes to deprive him of his army, is taking away a most illustrious
honour, and a most trustworthy guard from the republic. I wish,
indeed, that Antonius may hear this news as speedily as possible,
so that he may understand that it is not Decimus Brutus whom he is
surrounding with his ramparts, but he himself who is really hemmed in.

V. He possesses three towns only on the whole face of the earth. He
has Gaul most bitterly hostile to him, he has even those men the
people beyond the Po, in whom he placed the greatest reliance,
entirely alienated from him, all Italy is his enemy. Foreign nations,
from the nearest coast of Greece to Egypt, are occupied by the
military command and armies of most virtuous and intrepid citizens.
His only hope was in Caius Antonius; who being in age the middle one
between his two brothers, rivalled both of them in vices. He hastened
away as if he were being driven away by the senate into Macedonia, not
as if he were prohibited from proceeding thither. What a storm, O
ye immortal gods! what a conflagration! what a devastation! what a
pestilence to Greece would that man have been, if incredible and
godlike virtue had not checked the enterprise and audacity of that
frantic man. What promptness was there in Brutus's conduct! what
prudence! what valour! Although the rapidity of the movement of Caius
Antonius also is not despicable; for if some vacant inheritance had
not delayed him on his march, you might have said that he had flown
rather than travelled. When we desire other men to go forth to
undertake any public business, we are scarcely able to get them out
of the city; but we have driven this man out by the mere fact of our
desiring to retain him. But what business had he with Apollonia? what
business had he with Dyrrachium? or with Illyricum? What had he to
do with the army of Publius Vatinius, our general? He, as he said
himself, was the successor of Hortensius. The boundaries of Macedonia
are well defined; the condition of the proconsul is well known; the
amount of his army, if he has any at all, is fixed. But what had
Antonius to do at all with Illyricum and with the legions of Vatinius?

But Brutus had nothing to do with them either. For that, perhaps, is
what some worthless man may say. All the legions, all the forces which
exist anywhere, belong to the Roman people. Nor shall those legions
which have quitted Marcus Antonius be called the legions of Antonius
rather than of the republic; for he loses all power over his army, and
all the privileges of military command, who uses that military command
and that army to attack the republic.

VI. But if the republic itself could give a decision, or if all rights
were established by its decrees, would it adjudge the legions of
the Roman people to Antonius or to Brutus? The one had flown with
precipitation to the plunder and destruction of the allies, in order,
wherever he went, to lay waste, and pillage, and plunder everything,
and to employ the army of the Roman people against the Roman people
itself. The other had laid down this law for himself, that wherever he
came he should appear to come as a sort of light and hope of safety.
Lastly, the one was seeking aids to overturn the republic; the other
to preserve it. Nor, indeed, did we see this more clearly than the
soldiers themselves; from whom so much discernment in judging was not
to have been expected.

He writes, that Antonius is at Apollonia with seven cohorts, and he is
either by this time taken prisoner, (may the gods grant it!) or, at
all events, like a modest man, he does not come near Macedonia, lest
he should seem to act in opposition to the resolution of the senate.
A levy of troops has been held in Macedonia, by the great zeal and
diligence of Quintus Hortensius; whose admirable courage, worthy both
of himself and of his ancestors, you may clearly perceive from the
letters of Brutus. The legion which Lucius Piso, the lieutenant of
Antonius, commanded, has surrendered itself to Cicero, my own son.
Of the cavalry, which was being led into Syria in two divisions, one
division has left the quaestor who was commanding it, in Thessaly, and
has joined Brutus; and Cnaeus Domitius, a young man of the greatest
virtue and wisdom and firmness, has carried off the other from the
Syrian lieutenant in Macedonia. But Publius Vatinius, who has before
this been deservedly praised by us, and who is justly entitled to
further praise at the present time, has opened the gates of Dyrrachium
to Brutus, and has given him up his army.

The Roman people then is now in possession of Macedonia, and
Illyricum, and Greece. The legions there are all devoted to us, the
light-armed troops are ours, the cavalry is ours, and, above all,
Brutus is ours, and always will be ours--a man born for the republic,
both by his own most excellent virtues, and also by some especial
destiny of name and family, both on his father's and on his mother's

VII. Does any one then fear war from this man, who, until we commenced
the war, being compelled to do so, preferred lying unknown in peace to
flourishing in war? Although he, in truth, never did lie unknown, nor
can this expression possibly be applied to such great eminence in
virtue. For he was the object of regret to the state; he was in every
one's mouth, the subject of every one's conversation. But he was so
far removed from an inclination to war, that, though he was burning
with a desire to see Italy free, he preferred being wanting to the
zeal of the citizens, to leading them to put everything to the issue
of war. Therefore, those very men, if there be any such, who find
fault with the slowness of Brutus's movements, nevertheless at the
same time admire his moderation and his patience.

But I see now what it is they mean: nor, in truth, do they use much
disguise. They say that they are afraid how the veterans may endure


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