The Orations of Marcus Tullius Cicero, Volume 4

Part 4 out of 11

the idea of Brutus having an army. As if there were any difference
between the troops of Aulus Hirtius, of Caius Pansa, of Decimus
Brutus, of Caius Caesar, and this army of Marcus Brutus. For if these
four armies which I have mentioned are praised because they have taken
up arms for the sake of the liberty of the Roman people, what reason
is there why this army of Marcus Brutus should not be classed under
the same head? Oh, but the very name of Marcus Brutus is unpopular
among the veterans.--More than that of Decimus Brutus?--I think not;
for although the action is common to both the Bruti, and although
their share in the glory is equal, still those men who were indignant
at that deed were more angry with Decimus Brutus, because they said,
that it was more improper for it to be executed by him. What now are
all those armies labouring at, except to effect the release of Decimus
Brutus from a siege? And who are the commanders of those armies? Those
men, I suppose, who wish the acts of Caius Caesar to be overturned,
and the cause of the veterans to be betrayed.

VIII. If Caesar himself were alive, could he, do you imagine, defend
his own acts more vigorously than that most gallant man Hirtius
defends them? or, is it possible that any one should be found more
friendly to the cause than his son? But the one of these, though not
long recovered from a very long attack of a most severe disease, has
applied all the energy and influence which he had to defending the
liberty of those men by whose prayers he considered that he himself
had been recalled from death; the other, stronger in the strength
of his virtue than in that of his age, has set out with those very
veterans to deliver Decimus Brutus. Therefore, those men who are both
the most certain and at the same time the most energetic defenders of
the acts of Caesar, are waging war for the safety of Decimus Brutus;
and they are followed by the veterans. For they see that they must
fight to the uttermost for the freedom of the Roman people, not for
their own advantages. What reason, then, is there why the army of
Marcus Brutus should be an object of suspicion to those men who with
the whole of their energies desire the preservation of Decimus Brutus?

But, moreover, if there were anything which were to be feared from
Marcus Brutus, would not Pansa perceive it? Or if he did perceive it,
would not he, too, be anxious about it? Who is either more acute in
his conjectures of the future, or more diligent in warding off danger?
But you have already seen his zeal for, and inclination towards Marcus
Brutus. He has already told us in his speech what we ought to decree,
and how we ought to feel with respect to Marcus Brutus. And he was so
far from thinking the army of Marcus Brutus dangerous to the republic,
that he considered it the most important and the most trusty bulwark
of the republic. Either, then, Pansa does not perceive this (no doubt
he is a man of dull intellect), or he disregards it. For he is
clearly not anxious that the acts which Caesar executed should be
ratified,--he, who in compliance with our recommendation is going to
bring forward a bill at the comitia centuriata for sanctioning and
confirming them.

IX. Let those, then, who have no fear, cease to pretend to be alarmed,
and to be exercising their foresight in the cause of the republic.
And let those who really are afraid of everything, cease to be too
fearful, lest the pretence of the one party and the inactivity of the
other be injurious to us. What, in the name of mischief! is the object
of always opposing the name of the veterans to every good cause? For
even if I were attached to their virtue, as indeed I am, still, if
they were arrogant I should not be able to tolerate their airs. While
we are endeavouring to break the bonds of slavery, shall any one
hinder us by saying that the veterans do not approve of it? For they
are not, I suppose, beyond all counting, who are ready to take up arms
in defence of the common freedom! There is no man, except the veteran
soldiers, who is stimulated by the indignation of a freeman to repel
slavery! Can the republic then stand, relying wholly on veterans,
without a great reinforcement of the youth of the state? Whom, indeed,
you ought to be attached to, if they be assistants to you in the
assertion of your freedom, but whom you ought not to follow if they be
the advisers of slavery.

Lastly, (let me at last say one true word, one word worthy of
myself!)--if the inclinations of this order are governed by the nod of
the veterans, and if all our words and actions are to be referred to
their will, death is what we should wish for, which has always, in the
minds of Roman citizens, been preferable to slavery. All slavery is
miserable; but some may have been unavoidable. Do you think, then,
that there is never to be a beginning of our endeavours to recover
our freedom? Or, when we would not bear that fortune which was
unavoidable, and which seemed almost as if appointed by destiny, shalt
we tolerate the voluntary bondage? All Italy is burning with a desire
for freedom. The city cannot endure slavery any longer. We have given
this warlike attire and these arms to the Roman people much later than
they have been demanded of us by them.

X. We have, indeed, undertaken our present course of action with a
great and almost certain hope of liberty. But even if I allow that the
events of war are uncertain, and that the chances of Mars are common
to both sides, still it is worth while to fight for freedom at the
peril of one's life. For life does not consist wholly in breathing,
there is literally no life at all for one who is a slave. All nations
can endure slavery. Our state cannot. Nor is there any other reason
for this, except that those nations shrink from toil and pain, and
are willing to endure anything so long as they may be free from those
evils, but we have been trained and bred up by our forefathers in such
a manner, as to measure all our designs and all our actions by the
standard of dignity and virtue. The recovery of freedom is so splendid
a thing that we must not shun even death when seeking to recover it.
But if immortality were to be the result of our avoidance of present
danger, still slavery would appear still more worthy of being avoided,
in proportion as it is of longer duration. But as all sorts of deaths
surround us on all sides night and day, it does not become a man,
and least of all a Roman, to hesitate to give up to his country that
breath which he owes to nature.

Men flock together from all quarters to extinguish a general
conflagration. The veterans were the first to follow the authority of
Caesar and to repel the attempts of Antonius, afterwards the Martial
legion checked his frenzy, the fourth legion crushed it. Being thus
condemned by his own legions, he burst into Gaul, which he knew to be
adverse and hostile to him both in word and deed. The armies of Aulus
Hirtius and Caius Caesar pursued him, and afterwards the levies of
Pansa roused the city and all Italy. He is the one enemy of all men.
Although he has with him Lucius his brother, a citizen very much
beloved by the Roman people, the regret for whose absence the city is
unable to endure any longer! What can be more foul than that beast?
what more savage? who appears born for the express purpose of
preventing Marcus Antonius from being the basest of all mortals. They
have with them Trebellius, who, now that all debts are cancelled, is
become reconciled to them, and Titus Plancus, and other like them,
who are striving with all their hearts, and whose sole object is, to
appear to have been restored against the will of the republic. Saxa
and Capho, themselves rustic and clownish men, men who never have
seen and who never wish to see this republic firmly established, are
tampering with the ignorant classes; men who are not upholding the
acts of Caesar but those of Antonius, who are led away by the unlimited
occupation of the Campanian district, and who I marvel are not
somewhat ashamed when they see that they have actors and actresses for
their neighbours.

XI. Why then should we be displeased that the army of Marcus Brutus is
thrown into the scale to assist us in overwhelming these pests of
the commonwealth? It is the army, I suppose, of an intemperate and
turbulent man. I am more afraid of his being too patient, although in
all the counsels and actions of that man there never has been anything
either too much or too little. The whole inclinations of Marcus
Brutus, O conscript fathers, the whole of his thoughts, the whole of
his ideas, are directed towards the authority of the senate and the
freedom of the Roman people. These are the objects which he proposes
to himself, these are what he desires to uphold. He has tried what he
could do by patience, as he did nothing he has thought it necessary to
encounter force by force. And, O conscript fathers, you ought at this
time to grant him the same honours which on the nineteenth of December
you conferred by my advice on Decimus Brutus and Caius Caesar, whose
designs and conduct in regard to the republic, while they also
were but private individuals, was approved of and praised by your
authority. And you ought to do the same now with respect to Marcus
Brutus, by whom an unhoped for and sudden reinforcement of legions and
cavalry, and numerous and trusty bands of allies, have been provided
for the republic.

Quintus Hortensius also ought to have a share of your praise, who,
being governor of Macedonia, joined Brutus as a most faithful and
untiring assistant in collecting that army. For I think that a
separate motion ought to be made respecting Marcus Appuleius, to whom
Brutus bears witness in his letters that he has been a prime assistant
to him in his endeavours to get together and equip his army. And since
this is the case,

"As Caius Pansa the consul has addressed to us a speech concerning
the letters which have been received from Quintus Caepio Brutus,[44]
proconsul, and have been read in this assembly, I give my vote in this
matter thus.

"Since, by the exertions and wisdom and industry and valour of Quintus
Caepio Brutus, proconsul, at a most critical period of the republic,
the province of Macedonia, and Illyircum, and all Greece, and the
legions and armies and cavalry, have been preserved in obedience to
the consuls and senate and people of Rome, Quintus Caepio Brutus,
proconsul, has acted well, and in a manner advantageous to the
republic and suitable to his own dignity and to that of his ancestors,
and to the principles according to which alone the affairs of the
republic can be properly managed, and that conduct is and will be
grateful to the senate and people of Rome.

"And moreover, as Quintus Caepio Brutus, proconsul, is occupying and
defending and protecting the province of Macedonia, and Illyricum, and
all Greece, and is preserving them in safety, and as he is in command
of an army which he himself has levied and collected, he is at
liberty, if he has need of any, to exact money for the use of the
military service, which belongs to the public, and can lawfully be
exacted, and to use it, and to borrow money for the exigencies of the
war from whomsoever he thinks fit, and to exact coin, and to endeavour
to approach Italy as near as he can with his forces. And as it has
been understood from the letters of Quintus Caepio Brutus, proconsul,
that the republic has been greatly benefited by the energy and valour
of Quintus Hortensius, proconsul, and that all his counsels have been
in harmony with those of Quintus Caepio Brutus, proconsul, and that
that harmony has been of the greatest service to the republic, Quintus
Hortensius has acted well and becomingly, and in a manner advantageous
to the republic. And the senate decrees that Quintus Hortensius,
proconsul, shall occupy the province of Macedonia with his quaestors,
or proquaestors and lieutenants, until he shall have a successor
regularly appointed by resolution of the senate."


* * * * *


A short time after the delivery of the preceding speech, news came
to Rome of Dolabella (the colleague of Antonius) having been very
successful in Asia. He had left Rome before the expiration of his
consulship to take possession of Syria, which Antonius had contrived
to have allotted him, and he hoped to prevail on the inhabitants of
the province of Asia also to abandon Trebonius, (who had been one of
the slayers of Caesar, and was governor of Asia) and submit to him.
Trebonius was residing at Smyrna, and Dolabella arrived before the
walls of that town with very few troops, requesting a free passage
through Trebonius's province. Trebonius refused to admit him into
the town, but promised that he would permit him to enter Ephesus.
Dolabella, however, effected an entry into Smyrna by a nocturnal
surprise, and seized Trebonius, whom he murdered with great cruelty.

As soon as the news of this event reached Rome, the consul summoned
the senate, which at once declared Dolabella a public enemy, and
confiscated his estate. Calenus was the mover of this decree. But
besides this motion there was another question to be settled namely,
who was to be appointed to conduct the war against Dolabella. Some
proposed to send Publius Servilus; others, that the two consuls should
be sent, and should have the two provinces of Asia and Syria allotted
to them, and this last proposition Pansa himself was favourable
to, and it was supported not only by his friends, but also by the
partisans of Antonius, who thought it would draw off the consuls from
their present business of relieving Decimus Brutus. But Cicero thought
that it would be an insult to Cassius, who was already in those
countries, to supersede him as it were, by sending any one else to
command there, and so he exerted all his influence to procure a decree
entrusting the command to him, though Servilia, the mother-in-law of
Cassius, and other of Cassius's friends, begged him not to disoblige
Pansa. He persevered, however and made the following speech in support
of his opinion.

It appears that Cicero failed in his proposition through the influence
of Pansa, but before any orders came from Rome, Cassius had defeated
Dolabella near Laodicea, and he killed himself to avoid falling into
the hands of his conqueror.

I. AMID the great grief, O conscript fathers, or rather misery which
we have suffered at the cruel and melancholy death of Caius Trebonius,
a most virtuous citizen and a most moderate man, there is still a
circumstance or two in the case which I think will turn out beneficial
to the republic. For we have now thoroughly seen what great barbarity
these men are capable of who have taken up wicked arms against their
country. For these two, Dolabella and Antonius, are the very blackest
and foulest monsters that have ever lived since the birth of man; one
of whom has now done what he wished; and as to the other, it has been
plainly shown what he intended. Lucius Cinna was cruel; Caius Marius
was unrelenting in his anger; Lucius Sylla was fierce; but still the
inhumanity of none of these men ever went beyond death; and that
punishment indeed was thought too cruel to be inflicted on citizens.

Here now you have a pair equal in wickedness; unprecedented, unheard
of, savage, barbarous. Therefore those men whose vehement mutual
hatred and quarrel you recollect a short time ago, have now been
united in singular unanimity and mutual attachment by the singularity
of their wicked natures and most infamous lives. Therefore, that which
Dolabella has now done in a case in which he had the power, Antonius
threatens many with. But the former, as he was a long way from our
counsels and armies, and as he was not yet aware that the senate had
united with the Roman people, relying on the forces of Antonius, has
committed those wicked actions which he thought were already put in
practice at Rome by his accomplice in wickedness. What else then do
you think that this man is contriving or wishing, or what other object
do you think he has in the war? All of us who have either entertained
the thoughts of freemen concerning the republic, or have given
utterance to opinions worthy of ourselves, he decides to be not merely
opposed to him, but actual enemies. And he plans inflicting bitterer
punishments on us than on the enemy; he thinks death a punishment
imposed by nature, but torments and tortures the proper inflictions of
anger. What sort of enemy then must we consider that man who, if he be
victorious, requires one to think death a kindness if he spares one
the tortures with which it is in his power to accompany it?

II. Wherefore, O conscript fathers, although you do not need any one
to exhort you, (for you yourself have of your own accord warmed up
with the desire of recovering your freedom,) still defend, I warn you,
your freedom with so much the more zeal and courage, in proportion
as the punishments of slavery with which you see the conquered are
threatened are more terrible. Antonius has invaded Gaul; Dolabella,
Asia; each a province with which he had no business whatever. Brutus
has opposed himself to the one, and at the peril of his own life has
checked the onset of that frantic man wishing to harass and plunder
everything, has prevented his further progress, and has cut him off
from his return. By allowing himself to be besieged he has hemmed in
Antonius on each side.

The other has forced his way into Asia. With what object? If it was
merely to proceed into Syria, he had a road open to him which was
sure, and was not long. What was the need of sending forward some
Marsian, they call him Octavius, with a legion; a wicked and
necessitous robber; a man to lay waste the lands, to harass the
cities, not from any hope of acquiring any permanent property, which
they who know him say that he is unable to keep (for I have not the
honour of being acquainted with this senator myself,) but just as
present food to satisfy his indigence? Dolabella followed him, without
any one having any suspicion of war. For how could any one think
of such a thing? Very friendly conferences with Trebonius ensued;
embraces, false tokens of the greatest good-will, were there full of
simulated affection; the pledge of the right hand, which used to be a
witness of good faith, was violated by treachery and wickedness;
then came the nocturnal entry into Smyrna, as if into an enemy's
city--Smyrna, which is a city of our most faithful and most ancient
allies; then the surprise of Trebonius, who, if he were surprised by
one who was an open enemy, was very careless; if by one who up to that
moment maintained the appearance of a citizen, was miserable. And by
his example fortune wished us to take a lesson of what the conquered
party had to fear. He handed over a man of consular rank, governing
the province of Asia with consular authority, to an exiled
armourer;[45] he would not slay him the moment that he had taken him,
fearing, I suppose, that his victory might appear too merciful; but
after having attacked that most excellent man with insulting words
from his impious mouth, then he examined him with scourges and
tortures concerning the public money, and that for two days together.
Afterwards he cut off his head, and ordered it to be fixed on a
javelin and carried about, and the rest of his body, having been
dragged through the street and town, he threw into the sea.

We, then, have to war against this enemy by whose most foul cruelty
all the savageness of barbarous nations is surpassed. Why need I speak
of the massacre of Roman citizens? of the plunder of temples? Who is
there who can possibly deplore such circumstances as their atrocity
deserves? And now he is ranging all over Asia, he is triumphing about
as a king, he thinks that we are occupied in another quarter by
another war, as if it were not one and the same war against this
outrageous pair of impious men.

III. You see now an image of the cruelty of Marcus Antonius in
Dolabella, this conduct of his is formed on the model of the other.
It is by him that the lessons of wickedness have been taught to
Dolabella. Do you think that Antonius, if he had the power, would be
more merciful in Italy than Dolabella has proved in Asia? To me,
indeed, this latter appears to have gone as far as the insanity of a
savage man could go; nor do I believe that Antonius either would omit
any description of punishment, if he had only the power to inflict it.

Place then before your eyes, O conscript fathers, that spectacle,
miserable indeed, and tearful, but still indispensable to rouse your
minds properly: the nocturnal attack upon the most beautiful city in
Asia; the irruption of armed men into Trebonius's house, when that
unhappy man saw the swords of the robbers before he heard what was the
matter, the entrance of Dolabella, raging,--his ill omened voice,
and infamous countenance,--the chains, the scourges, the rack, the
armourer who was both torturer and executioner, all which they say
that the unhappy Trebonius endured with great fortitude. A great
praise, and in my opinion indeed the greatest of all, for it is the
part of a wise man to resolve beforehand that whatever can happen to
a brave man is to be endured with patience if it should happen. It is
indeed a proof of altogether greater wisdom to act with such foresight
as to prevent any such thing from happening, but it is a token of no
less courage to bear it bravely if it should befall one.

And Dolabella was indeed so wholly forgetful of the claims of
humanity, (although, indeed, he never had any particular recollection
of it,) as to vent his insatiable cruelty, not only on the living man,
but also on the dead carcass, and, as he could not sufficiently glut
his hatred, to feed his eyes also on the lacerations inflicted, and
the insults offered to his corpse.

IV. O Dolabella, much more wretched than he whom you intended to be
the most wretched of all men! Trebonius endured great agonies, many
men have endured greater still, from severe disease, whom, however,
we are in the habit of calling not miserable, but afflicted. His
sufferings, which lasted two days, were long, but many men have had
sufferings lasting many years, nor are the tortures inflicted by
executioners more terrible than those caused by disease are sometimes.
There are other tortures,--others, I tell you, O you most abandoned
and insane man, which are far more miserable. For in proportion as
the vigour of the mind exceeds that of the body, so also are the
sufferings which rack the mind more terrible than those which are
endured by the body. He, therefore, who commits a wicked action is
more wretched than he who is compelled to endure the wickedness of
another. Trebonius was tortured by Dolabella, and so, indeed, was
Regulus by the Carthaginians. If on that account the Carthaginians
were considered very cruel for such behaviour to an enemy, what must
we think of Dolabella, who treated a citizen in such a manner? Is
there any comparison? or can we doubt which of the two is most
miserable? he whose death the senate and Roman people wish to avenge,
or he who has been adjudged an enemy by the unanimous vote of the
senate? For in every other particular of their lives, who could
possibly, without the greatest insult to Trebonius, compare the life
of Trebonius to that of Dolabella? Who is ignorant of the wisdom, and
genius, and humanity, and innocence of the one, and of his greatness
of mind as displayed in his exertions for the freedom of his country?
The other, from his very childhood, has taken delight in cruelty; and,
moreover, such has been the shameful nature of his lusts, that he has
always delighted in the very fact of doing those things which he could
not even be reproached with by a modest enemy.

And this man, O ye immortal gods, was once my relation! For his vices
were unknown to one who did not inquire into such things nor perhaps
should I now be alienated from him if he had not been discovered to
be an enemy to you, to the walls of his country, to this city, to our
household gods, to the altars and hearths of all of us,--in short, to
human nature and to common humanity. But now, having received this
lesson from him, let us be the more diligent and vigilant in being on
our guard against Antonius.

V. Indeed, Dolabella had not with him any great number of notorious
and conspicuous robbers. But you see there are with Antonius, and in
what numbers. In the first place, there is his brother Lucius--what
a firebrand, O ye immortal gods! what an incarnation of crime and
wickedness! what a gulf, what a whirlpool of a man! What do you think
that man incapable of swallowing up in his mind, or gulping down
in his thoughts! Who do you imagine there is whose blood he is not
thirsting for? who, on whose possessions and fortunes he is not fixing
his most impudent eyes, his hopes, and his whole heart? What shall we
say of Censorinus? who, as far as words go, said indeed that he wished
to be the city praetor, but who, in fact, was unwilling to be so? What
of Bestia, who professes that he is a candidate for the consulship in
the place of Brutus? May Jupiter avert from us this most detestable
omen! But how absurd is it for a man to stand for the consulship who
cannot be elected praetor! unless, indeed, he thinks his conviction may
be taken as an equivalent to the praetorship. Let this second Caesar,
this great Vopiscus[46], a man of consummate genius, of the highest
influence, who seeks the consulship immediately after having been
aedile, be excused from obedience to the laws. Although, indeed, the
laws do not bind him, on account, I suppose, of his exceeding dignity.
But this man has been acquitted five times when I have defended him.
To win a sixth city victory is difficult, even in the case of a
gladiator. However, this is the fault of the judges, not mine. I
defended him with perfect good faith, they were bound to retain a most
illustrious and excellent citizen in the republic, who now, however,
appears to have no other object except to make us understand that
those men whose judicial decisions we annulled, decided rightly and in
a manner advantageous to the republic.

Nor is this the case with respect to this man alone; there are other
men in the same camp honestly condemned and shamefully restored; what
counsel do you imagine can be adopted by those men who are enemies to
all good men, that is not utterly cruel? There is besides a fellow
called Saxa; I don't know who he is, some man whom Caesar imported
from the extremity of Celtiberia and gave us for a tribune of the
people. Before that, he was a measurer of ground for camps; now he
hopes to measure out and value the city. May the evils which this
foreigner predicts to us fall on his own head, and may we escape in
safety! With him is the veteran Capho; nor is there any man whom the
veteran troops hate more cordially; to these men, as if in addition to
the dowry which they had received during our civil disasters, Antonius
had given the Campanian district, that they might have it as a sort
of nurse for their other estates. I only wish they would be contented
with them! We would bear it then, though it would not be what ought to
be borne, but still it would be worth our while to bear anything, as
long as we could escape this most shameful war.

VI. What more? Have you not before your eyes those ornaments of the
camp of Marcus Antonius? In the first place, these two colleagues of
the Antonii and Dolabella, Nucula and Lento the dividers of all Italy
according to that law which the senate pronounced to have been earned
by violence, one of whom has been a writer of farces, and the other an
actor of tragedies. Why should I speak of Domitius the Apulian? whose
property we have lately seen advertised, so great is the carelessness
of his agents. But this man lately was not content with giving poison
to his sister's son, he actually drenched him with it. But it is
impossible for these men to live in any other than a prodigal manner,
who hope for our property while they are squandering their own. I have
seen also an auction of the property of Publius Decius, an illustrious
man, who, following the example of his ancestors, devoted himself for
the debts of another. But at that auction no one was found to be a
purchaser. Ridiculous man to think it possible to escape from debt by
selling other people's property! For why should I speak of Trebellius?
on whom the furies of debts seem to have wrecked their vengeance, for
we have seen one table[47] avenging another. Why should I speak of
Plancus? whom that most illustrious citizen Aquila has driven from
Pollentia,--and that too with a broken leg, and I wish he had met with
that accident earlier, so as not to be liable to return hither.

I had almost passed over the light and glory of that army, Caius
Annius Cimber, the son of Lysidicus, a Lysidicus himself in the Greek
meaning of the word, since he has broken all laws, unless perhaps it
is natural for a Cimbrian to slay a German[48]? When Antonius has such
numbers with him, and those too men of that sort, what crime will he
shrink from, when Dolabella has polluted himself with such atrocious
murders without at all an equal troop of robbers to support him?
Wherefore, as I have often at other times differed against my will
from Quintus Fufius, so on this occasion I gladly agree with his
proposition. And from this you may see that my difference is not with
the man, but with the cause which he sometimes advocates.

Therefore, at present I not only agree with Quintus Fufius, but I even
return thanks to him, for he has given utterance to opinions which are
upright, and dignified, and worthy of the republic. He has pronounced
Dolabella a public enemy, he has declared his opinion that his
property ought to be confiscated by public authority. And though
nothing could be added to this, (for, indeed, what could he propose
more severe or more pitiless?) nevertheless, he said that if any of
those men who were asked their opinion after him proposed any more
severe sentence, he would vote for it. Who can avoid praising such
severity as this?

VII. Now, since Dolabella has been pronounced a public enemy, he must
be pursued by war. For he himself will not remain quiet. He has a
legion with him, he has troops of runaway slaves, he has a wicked band
of impious men, he himself is confident, intemperate, and bent on
falling by the death of a gladiator. Wherefore, since, as Dolabella
was voted an enemy by the decree which was passed yesterday, war must
be waged, we must necessarily appoint a general.

Two opinions have been advanced, neither of which do I approve. The
one, because I always think it dangerous unless it be absolutely
necessary, the other, because I think it wholly unsuited to the
emergency. For an extraordinary commission is a measure suited rather
to the fickle character of the mob, one which does not at all become
our dignity or this assembly. In the war against Antiochus, a great
and important war, when Asia had fallen by lot to Lucius Scipio as his
province, and when he was thought to have hardly spirit and hardly
vigour enough for it, and when the senate was inclined to entrust the
business to his colleague Caius Laelius, the father of this Laelius,
who was surnamed the Wise; Publius Africanus, the elder brother of
Lucius Scipio, rose up, and entreated them not to cast such a slur on
his family, and said that in his brother there was united the greatest
possible valour, with the most consummate prudence, and that he too,
notwithstanding his age, and all the exploits which he had performed,
would attend his brother as his lieutenant. And after he had said
this, nothing was changed in respect to Scipio's province, nor was any
extraordinary command sought for any more in that war than in those
two terrible Punic wars which had preceded it, which were carried
on and conducted to their termination either by the consuls or by
dictators, or than in the war with Pyrrhus, or in that with Philippus,
or afterwards in the Achaean war, or in the third Punic war, for which
last the Roman people took great care to select a suitable general,
Publius Scipio, but at the same time it appointed him to the
consulship in order to conduct it.

VIII. War was to be waged against Aristonicus in the consulship of
Publius Licunius and Lucius Valerius. The people was consulted as to
whom it wished to have the management of that war. Crassus, the consul
and Pontifex Maximus, threatened to impose a fine upon Flaccus his
colleague the priest of Mars, if he deserted the sacrifices. And
though the people remitted the fine, still they ordered the priest to
submit to the commands of the pontiff. But even then the Roman people
did not commit the management of the war to a private individual,
although there was Africanus, who the year before had celebrated a
triumph over the people of Numantia, and who was far superior to all
men in martial renown and military skill; yet he only gained the
votes of two tribunes. And accordingly the Roman people entrusted the
management of the war to Crassus the consul rather than to the private
individual Africanus. As to the commands given to Cnaeus Pompeius, that
most illustrious man, that first of men, they were carried by some
turbulent tribunes of the people. For the war against Sertorius was
only given by the senate to a private individual because the consuls
refused it, when Lucius Philippus said that he sent the general in the
place of the two consuls, not as proconsul.

What then is the object of these comitia? Or what is the meaning of
this canvassing which that most wise and dignified citizen, Lucius
Caesar, has introduced into the senate? He has proposed to vote a
military command to one who is certainly a most illustrious and
unimpeachable man, but still only a private individual. And by doing
so he has imposed a heavy burden upon us. Suppose I agree, shall I by
so doing countenance the introduction of the practice of canvassing
into the senate house? Suppose I vote against it, shall I appear as if
I were in the comitia to have refused an honour to a man who is one of
my greatest friends? But if we are to have the comitia in the senate,
let us ask for votes, let us canvass, let a voting tablet be given us,
just as one is given to the people. Why do you, O Caesar, allow it to
be so managed that either a most illustrious man, if your proposition
be not agreed too, shall appear to have received a repulse, or else
that one of us shall appear to have been passed over, if, while we are
men of equal dignity, we are not considered worthy of equal honour?

But (for this is what I hear is said,) I myself gave by my own vote an
extraordinary commission to Caius Caesar. Ay, indeed, for he had given
me extraordinary protection, when I say me, I mean he had given it
to the senate and to the Roman people. Was I to refuse giving an
extraordinary military command to that man from whom the republic had
received protection which had never even been thought of, but that
still was of so much consequence that without it she could not have
been safe? There were only the alternatives of taking his army from
him, or giving him such a command. For on what principle or by what
means can an army be retained by a man who has not been invested with
any military command? We must not, therefore, think that a thing has
been given to a man which has, in fact, not been taken away from him.
You would, O conscript fathers, have taken a command away from Caius
Caesar, if you had not given him one. The veteran soldiers, who,
following his authority and command and name, had taken up arms in the
cause of the republic, desired to be commanded by him. The Martial
legion and the fourth legion had submitted to the authority of the
senate, and had devoted themselves to uphold the dignity of the
republic, in such a way as to feel that they had a right to demand
Caius Caesar for their commander. It was the necessity of the war that
invested Caius Caesar with military command, the senate only gave him
the ensigns of it. But I beg you to tell me, O Lucius Caesar,--I am
aware that I am arguing with a man of the greatest experience,--when
did the senate ever confer a military command on a private individual
who was in a state of inactivity, and doing nothing?

IX. However, I have been speaking hitherto to avoid the appearance of
gratuitously opposing a man who is a great friend of mine, and who has
showed me great kindness. Although, can one deny a thing to a person
who not only does not ask for it, but who even refuses it? But, O
conscript fathers, that proposition is unsuited to the dignity of the
consuls, unsuited to the critical character of the times, namely, the
proposition that the consuls, for the sake of pursuing Dolabella,
shall have the provinces of Asia and Syria allotted to them. I will
explain why it is inexpedient for the republic, but first of all,
consider what ignominy it fixes on the consuls. When a consul elect
is being besieged, when the safety of the republic depends upon his
liberation, when mischievous and parricidal citizens have revolted
from the republic, and when we are carrying on a war in which we are
fighting for our dignity, for our freedom, and for our lives, and
when, if any one falls into the power of Antonius, tortures and
torments are prepared for him, and when the struggle for all these
objects has been committed and entrusted to our most admirable and
gallant consuls,--shall any mention be made of Asia and Syria so
that we may appear to have given any injurious cause for others to
entertain suspicion of us, or to bring us into unpopularity? They do
indeed propose it, "after having liberated Brutus,"--for those were
the last words of the proposal, say rather, after having deserted,
abandoned, and betrayed him.

But I say that any mention whatever of any provinces has been made at
a most unseasonable time. For although your mind, O Caius Pausa, be
ever so intent, as indeed it is, on effecting the liberation of the
most true and illustrious of all men, still the nature of things would
compel you inevitably sometimes to turn your thoughts to the idea
of pursuing Antonius, and to divert some portion of your care and
attention to Asia and Syria. But if it were possible, I could wish you
to have more minds than one, and yet to direct them all upon Mutina.
But since that is impossible, I do wish you, with that most virtuous
and all accomplished mind which you have got, to think of nothing but
Brutus. And that indeed, is what you are doing; that is what you are
especially striving at, but still no man can I will not say do two
things, especially two most important things, at one time but he
cannot even do entire justice to them both in his thoughts. It is our
duty rather to spur on and inflame that excellent eagerness of yours,
and not to transfer any portion of it to another object of care in a
different direction.

X. Add to these considerations the way men talk, the way in which they
nourish suspicion, the way in which they take dislikes. Imitate
me whom you have always praised; for I rejected a province fully
appointed and provided by the senate, for the purpose of discarding
all other thoughts, and devoting all my efforts to extinguishing the
conflagration that threatened to consume my country. There was no one
except me alone, to whom, indeed, you would, in consideration of our
intimacy, have been sure to communicate anything which concerned your
interests, who would believe that the province had been decreed to you
against your will. I entreat you, check, as is due to your eminent
wisdom, this report, and do not seem to be desirous of that which you
do not in reality care about. And you should take the more care of
this point, because your colleague, a most illustrious man, cannot
fall under the same suspicion. He knows nothing of all that is going
on here, he suspects nothing, he is conducting the war, he is standing
in battle array, he is fighting for his blood and for his life, he
will hear of the province being decreed to him before he could imagine
that there had been time for such a proceeding. I am afraid that our
armies too, which have devoted themselves to the republic, not from
any compulsory levy, but of their own voluntary zeal, will be checked
in their ardour, if they suppose that we are thinking of anything but
instant war.

But if provinces appear to the consuls as things to be desired, as
they often have been desired by many illustrious men, first restore us
Brutus, the light and glory of the state, whom we ought to preserve
like that statue which fell from heaven, and is guarded by the
protection of Vesta, which, as long as it is safe, ensures our safety
also. Then we will raise you, if it be possible, even to heaven on
our shoulders, unquestionably we will select for you the most worthy
provinces. But at present let us apply ourselves to the business
before us. And the question is, whether we will live as freemen, or
die, for death is certainly to be preferred to slavery. What more
need I say? Suppose that proposition causes delay in the pursuit of
Dolabella? For when will the consul arrive? Are we waiting till there
is not even a vestige of the towns and cities of Asia left? "But they
will send some one of their officers"--That will certainly be a step
that I shall quite approve of, I who just now objected to giving any
extraordinary military command to even so illustrious a man if he were
only a private individual. "But they will send a man worthy of such a
charge." Will they send one more worthy than Publius Servilius? But
the city has not such a man. What then he himself thinks ought to be
given to no one, not even by the senate, can I approve of that being
conferred by the decision of one man? We have need, O conscript
fathers, of a man ready and prepared, and of one who has a military
command legally conferred on him, and of one who, besides this, has
authority, and a name, and an army, and a courage which has been
already tried in his exertions for the deliverance of the republic.

XI Who then is that man? Either Marcus Brutus, or Caius Cassius,
or both of them. I would vote in plain words, as there are many
precedents for, one consul or both, if we had not already hampered
Brutus sufficiently in Greece, and if we had not preferred having his
reinforcement approach nearer to Italy rather than move further off
towards Asia, not so much in order to receive succour ourselves from
that army, as to enable that army to receive aid across the water.
Besides, O conscript fathers, even now Caius Antonius is detaining
Marcus Brutus, for he occupies Apollonia, a large and important
city, he occupies, as I believe, Byllis, he occupies Amantia, he is
threatening Epirus, he is pressing on Illyricum, he has with him
several cohorts, and he has cavalry. If Brutus be transferred from
this district to any other war, we shall at all events lose Greece. We
must also provide for the safety of Brundusium and all that coast
of Italy. Although I marvel that Antonius delays so long, for he is
accustomed usually to put on his marching dress and not to endure the
fear of a siege for any length of time. But if Brutus has finished
that business, and perceives that he can better serve the republic by
pursuing Dolabella than by remaining in Greece, he will act of his own
head, as he has hitherto done, nor amid such a general conflagration
will he wait for the orders of the senate when instant help is
required. For both Brutus and Cassius have in many instances been
a senate to themselves. For it is quite inevitable that in such a
confusion and disturbance of all things men should be guided by the
present emergency rather than by precedent. Nor will this be the first
time that either Brutus or Cassius has considered the safety and
deliverance of his country his most holy law and his most excellent
precedent. Therefore, if there were no motion submitted to us about
the pursuit of Dolabella, still I should consider it equivalent to a
decree, when there were men of such a character for virtue, authority,
and the greatest nobleness, possessing armies, one of which is already
known to us, and the other has been abundantly heard of.

XII Brutus then, you may be sure, has not waited for our decrees, as
he was sure of our desires. For he is not gone to his own province of
Crete, he has flown to Macedonia, which belonged to another, he has
accounted everything his own which you have wished to be yours, he has
enlisted new legions, he has received old ones, he has gained over to
his own standard the cavalry of Dolabella, and even before that man
was polluted with such enormous parricide, he, of his own head,
pronounced him his enemy. For if he were not one, by what right could
he himself have tempted the cavalry to abandon the consul? What more
need I say? Did not Caius Cassius, a man endowed with equal greatness
of mind and with equal wisdom, depart from Italy with the deliberate
object of preventing Dolabella from obtaining possession of Syria? By
what law? By what right? By that which Jupiter himself has sanctioned,
that everything which was advantageous to the republic should be
considered legal and just.

For law is nothing but a correct principle drawn from the inspiration
of the gods, commanding what is honest, and forbidding the contrary.
Cassius, therefore, obeyed this law when he went into Syria, a
province which belonged to another, if men were to abide by the
written laws, but which, when these were trampled under foot, was his
by the law of nature. But in order that they may be sanctioned by your
authority also, I now give my vote, that,

"As Publius Dolabella, and those who have been the ministers of and
accomplices and assistants in his cruel and infamous crime, have been
pronounced enemies of the Roman people by the senate, and as the
senate has voted that Publius Dolabella shall be pursued with war, in
order that he who has violated all laws of men and gods by a new
and unheard of and inexpiable wickedness and has committed the most
infamous treason against his country, may suffer the punishment which
is his due, and which he has well deserved at the hands of gods and
men, the senate decrees that Caius Cassius, proconsul, shall have the
government of Syria as one appointed to that province with all due
form, and that he shall receive their armies from Quintus Marcus
Crispus, proconsul, from Lucius Statius Murcus, proconsul, from Aulus
Allienus, lieutenant, and that they shall deliver them up to him, and
that he, with these troops and with any more which he may have got
from other quarters, shall pursue Dolabella with war both by sea and
land; that, for the sake of carrying on war, he shall have authority
and power to buy ships, and sailors, and money, and whatever else may
be necessary or useful for the carrying on of the war, in whatever
places it seems fitting to him to do so, throughout Syria, Asia,
Bithynia, and Pontus; and that, in whatever province he shall arrive
for the purpose of carrying on that war, in that province as soon
as Caius Cassius, proconsul, shall arrive in it, the power of Caius
Cassius, proconsul, shall be superior to that of him who may be the
regular governor of the province at the time. That king Deiotarus the
father, and also king Deiotarus the son, if they assist Caius Cassius,
proconsul, with their armies and treasures, as they have heretofore
often assisted the generals of the Roman people, will do a thing which
will be grateful to the senate and people of Rome; and that also, if
the rest of the kings and tetrarchs and governors in those districts
do the same, the senate and people of Rome will not be forgetful of
their loyalty and kindness; and that Caius Pansa and Aulus Hirtius the
consuls, one or both of them, as it seems good to them, as soon
as they have re-established the republic, shall at the earliest
opportunity submit a motion to this order about the consular and
praetorian provinces; and that, in the meantime, the provinces should
continue to be governed by those officers by whom they are governed at
present, until a successor be appointed to each by a resolution of the

XIII. By this resolution of the senate you will inflame the existing
ardour of Cassius, and you will give him additional arms; for you
cannot be ignorant of his disposition, or of the resources which he
has at present. His disposition is such as you see; his resources,
which you have heard stated to you, are those of a gallant and
resolute man, who, even while Trebonius was alive, would not permit
the piratical crew of Dolabella to penetrate into Syria. Allienus, my
intimate friend and connexion, who went thither after the death of
Trebonius, will not permit himself to be called the lieutenant of
Dolabella. The army of Quintus Caecilius Bassus, a man indeed without
any regular appointment, but a brave and eminent man, is vigorous and
victorious. The army of Deiotarus the king, both father and son, is
very numerous, and equipped in our fashion. Moreover, in the son
there is the greatest hope, the greatest vigour of genius and a good
disposition, and the most eminent valour. Why need I speak of the
father, whose good-will towards the Roman people is coeval with his
life; who has not only been the ally of our commanders in their wars,
but has also served himself as the general of his own troops. What
great things have Sylla, and Murena, and Servilius, and Lucullus said
of that man; what complimentary, what honourable and dignified mention
have they often made of him in the senate! Why should I speak of
Cnaeus Pompeius, who considered Deiotarus the only friend and real
well-wisher from his heart, the only really loyal man to the Roman
people in the whole world? We were generals, Marcus Bibulus and I, in
neighbouring provinces bordering on his kingdom; and we were assisted
by that same monarch both with cavalry and infantry. Then followed
this most miserable and disastrous civil war; in which I need not say
what Deiotarus ought to have done, or what would have been the most
proper course which he could have adopted, especially as victory
decided for the party opposed to the wishes of Deiotarus. And if in
that war he committed any error, he did so in common with the senate.
If his judgment was the right one, then even though defeated it does
not deserve to be blamed. To these resources other kings and other
levies of troops will be added. Nor will fleets be wanting to us; so
greatly do the Tyrians esteem Cassius, so mighty is his name in Syria
and Phoenicia.

XIV. The republic, O conscript fathers, has a general ready against
Dolabella, in Caius Cassius, and not ready only, but also skilful and
brave. He performed great exploits before the arrival of Bibulus, a
most illustrious man, when he defeated the most eminent generals of
the Parthians and their innumerable armies, and delivered Syria from
their most formidable invasion. I pass over his greatest and most
extraordinary glory; for as the mention of it is not yet acceptable
to every one, we had better preserve it in our recollection than by
bearing testimony to it with our voice.

I have noticed, O conscript fathers, that some people have said before
now, that even Brutus is too much extolled by me, that Cassius is too
much extolled; and that by this proposition of mine absolute power and
quite a principality is conferred upon Cassius. Whom do I extol? Those
who are themselves the glory of the republic. What? have I not at all
times extolled Decimus Brutus whenever I have delivered my opinion at
all? Do you then find fault with me? or should I rather praise the
Antonii, the disgrace and infamy not only of their own families, but of
the Roman name? or should I speak in favour of Censorenus, an enemy in
time of war, an assassin in time of peace? or should I collect all
the other ruined men of that band of robbers? But I am so far from
extolling those enemies of tranquility, of concord, of the laws, of
the courts of justice, and of liberty, that I cannot avoid hating them
as much as I love the republic. "Beware," says one, "how you offend
the veterans." For this is what I am most constantly told. But I
certainly ought to protect the rights of the veterans; of those at
least who are well disposed; but surely I ought not to fear them. And
those veterans who have taken up arms in the cause of the republic,
and have followed Caius Caesar, remembering the kindnesses which they
received from his father, and who at this day are defending the
republic to their own great personal danger,--those I ought not only
to defend, but to seek to procure additional advantages for them. But
those also who remain quiet, such as the sixth and eighth legion, I
consider worthy of great glory and praise. But as for those companions
of Antonius, who after they have devoured the benefits of Caesar,
besiege the consul elect, threaten this city with fire and sword, and
have given themselves up to Saxa and Capho, men born for crime and
plunder, who is there who thinks that those men ought to be defended?
Therefore the veterans are either good men, whom we ought to load with
distinctions, or quiet men, whom we ought to preserve, or impious
ones, against whose frenzy we have declared war and taken up
legitimate arms.

XV. Who then are the veterans whom we are to be fearful of offending?
Those who are desirous to deliver Decimus Brutus from siege? for how
can those men, to whom the safety of Brutus is dear, hate the name of
Cassius? Or those men who abstain from taking arms on either side? I
have no fear of any of those men who delight in tranquility becoming
a mischievous citizen. But as for the third class, whom I call not
veteran soldiers, but infamous enemies, I wish to inflict on them the
most bitter pain. Although, O conscript fathers, how long are we to
deliver our opinions as it may please the veterans? why are we to
yield so much to their haughtiness? why are we to make their arrogance
of such importance as to choose our generals with reference to their
pleasure? But I (for I must speak, O conscript fathers, what I feel,)
think that we ought not so much to regard the veterans, as to look at
what the young soldiers, the flower of Italy--at what the new legions,
most eager to effect the deliverance of their country--at what all
Italy will think of your wisdom. For there is nothing which flourishes
for ever. Age succeeds age. The legions of Caesar have flourished for a
long time; but now those who are flourishing are the legions of Pansa,
and the Legions of Hirtius, and the legions of the son of Caesar, and
the legions of Plancus. They surpass the veterans in number, they have
the advantage of youth, moreover, they surpass them also in authority.
For they are engaged in waging that war which is approved of by all
nations. Therefore, rewards have been promised to these latter. To
the former they have been already paid,--let them enjoy them. But let
these others have those rewards given to them which we have promised
them. For that is what I hope that the immortal gods will consider

And as this is the case, I give my vote for the proposition which I
have made to you, O conscript fathers, being adopted by you.



Decimus Brutus was in such distress in Mutina, that his friends began
to be alarmed, fearing that, if he fell into the hands of Antonius,
he would be treated as Trebonius had been. And, as the friends of
Antonius gave out that he was now more inclined to come to terms with
the senate, a proposition was made and supported by Pansa to send a
second embassy to him. And even Cicero at first consented to it,
and allowed himself to be nominated with Servilius and three other
senators, all of consular rank, but on more mature reflection he was
convinced that he had been guilty of a blunder, and that the object of
Antonius and his friends was only to gain time for Ventidius to join
him with his three legions. Accordingly, at the next meeting of the
senate, he delivered the following speech, retracting his former
sanction of the proposed embassy. And he spoke so strongly against it,
that the measure was abandoned and Pansa soon afterwards marched with
his army to join Hirtius and Octavius, with the intention of forcing
Antonius to a battle.

I. Although, O conscript fathers it seems very unbecoming for that
man whose counsels you have so often adopted in the most important
affairs, to be deceived and deluded, and to commit mistakes, yet I
console myself, since I made the mistake in company with you, and in
company also with a consul of the greatest wisdom. For when two men of
consular rank had brought us hope of an honorable peace, they appeared
as being friends and extremely intimate with Marcus Antonius, to be
aware of some weak point about him with which we were unacquainted.
His wife and children are in the house of one, the other is known
every day to send letters to, to receive letters from, and openly to
favour Antonius.

These men, then, appeared likely to have some reason for exhorting us
to peace, which they had done for some time. The consul, too, added
the weight of his exhortation, and what a consul! If we look for
prudence, one who was not easily to be deceived; if for virtue and
courage, one who would never admit of peace unless Antonius submitted
and confessed himself to be vanquished, if for greatness of mind, one
who would prefer death to slavery. You, too, O conscript fathers,
appeared to be induced to think not of accepting but of imposing
conditions, not so much because you were forgetful of your most
important and dignified resolutions, as because you had hopes
suggested you of a surrender on the part of Antonius, which his
friends preferred to call peace. My own hopes, and I imagine yours
also, were increased by the circumstance of my hearing that the family
of Antonius was overwhelmed with distress, and that his wife was
incessantly lamenting. And in this assembly, too, I saw that the
partisans, on whose countenance my eyes are always dwelling, looked
more sorrowful than usual. And if that is not so, why on a sudden has
mention been made of peace by Piso and Calenus of all people in the
world, why at this particular moment, why so unexpectedly? Piso
declares that he knows nothing, that he has not heard anything.
Calenus declares that no news has been brought. And they make that
statement now, after they think that we are involved in a pacific
embassy. What need have we, then, of any new determination, if no new
circumstances have arisen to call for one?

II. We have been deceived,--we have, I say, been deceived, O conscript
fathers. It is the cause of Antonius that has been pleaded by his
friends, and not the cause of the public. And I did indeed see that,
though through a sort of mist, the safety of Decimus Brutus had
dazzled my eyesight. But if in war, substitutes were in the habit of
being given, I would gladly allow myself to be hemmed in, so long
as Decimus Brutus might be released. But we were caught by this
expression of Quintus Fufius; "Shall we not listen to Antonius, even
if he retires from Mutina? Shall we not, even if he declares that he
will submit himself to the authority of the senate?" It seemed harsh
to say that. Thus it was that we were broken, we yielded. Does he then
retire from Mutina? "I don't know." Is he obeying the senate? "I think
so" says Calenus, "but so as to preserve his own dignity at the same
time." You then, O conscript fathers, are to make great exertions for
the express purpose of losing your own dignity, which is very great,
and of preserving that of Antonius, which neither has nor can have any
existence, and of enabling him to recover that by your conduct, which
he has lost by his own. "But, however, that matter is not open for
consideration now, an embassy has been appointed." But what is there
which is not open for consideration to a wise man, as long as it
can be remodelled? Any man is liable to a mistake; but no one but a
downright fool will persist in error. For second thoughts, as people
say, are best. The mist which I spoke of just now is dispelled, light
has arisen, the case is plain--we see everything, and that not by our
own acuteness, but we are warned by our friends.

You heard just now what was the statement made by a most admirable
man. I found, said he, his house, his wife, his children, all in great
distress. Good men marvelled at me, my friends blamed me for having
been led by the hope of peace to undertake an embassy. And no wonder,
O Publius Servilius. For by your own most true and most weighty
arguments Antonius was stripped, I do not say of all dignity, but of
even every hope of safety. Who would not wonder if you were to go
as an ambassador to him? I judge by my own case, for with regard to
myself I see how the same design as you conceived is found fault with.
And are we the only people blamed? What? did that most gallant man
speak so long and so precisely a little while ago without any reason?
What was he labouring for, except to remove from himself a groundless
suspicion of treachery? And whence did that suspicion arise? From his
unexpected advocacy of peace, which he adopted all on a sudden, being
taken in by the same error that we were.

But if an error has been committed, O conscript fathers, owing to a
groundless and fallacious hope, let us return into the right road. The
best harbour for a penitent is a change of intention.

III. For what, in the name of the immortal gods! what good can our
embassy do to the republic? What good, do I say? What will you say if
it will even do us harm? _Will_ do us harm? What if it already _has_
done us harm? Do you suppose that that most energetic and fearless
desire shown by the Roman people for recovery of their liberty has
been damped and weakened by hearing of this embassy for peace? What
do you think the municipal towns feel? and the colonies? What do you
think will be the feelings of all Italy? Do you suppose that it will
continue to glow with the same zeal with which it burnt before to
extinguish this common conflagration? Do we not suppose that those
men will repent of having professed and displayed so much hatred to
Antonius, who promised us money and arms, who devoted themselves
wholly, body, heart, and soul, to the safety of the republic? How will
Capua, which at the present time feels like a second Rome, approve of
this design of yours? That city pronounced them impious citizens, cast
them out, and kept them out. Antonius was barely saved from the hands
of that city, which made a most gallant attempt to crush him. Need I
say more? Are we not by these proceedings cutting the sinews of our
own legions, for what man can engage with ardour in a war, when the
hope of peace is suggested to him? Even that godlike and divine
Martial legion will grow languid at and be cowed by the receipt of
this news, and will lose that most noble title of Martial, their
swords will fall to the ground, their weapons will drop from their
hands. For, following the senate, it will not consider itself bound to
feel more bitter hatred against Antonius than the senate.

I am ashamed for this legion, I am ashamed for the fourth legion,
which, approving of our authority with equal virtue, abandoned
Antonius, not looking upon him as their consul and general, but as an
enemy and attacker of their country. I am ashamed for that admirable
army which is made up of two armies, which has now been reviewed, and
which has started for Mutina, and which, if it hears a word of peace,
that is to say, of our fear, even if it does not return, will at all
events halt. For who, when the senate recals him and sounds a retreat,
will be eager to engage in battle?[49]

IV. For what can be more unreasonable than for us to pass resolutions
about peace without the knowledge of those men who wage the war? And
not only without their knowledge, but even against their will? Do you
think that Aulus Hirtius, that most illustrious consul, and that
Carus Caesar, a man born by the especial kindness of the gods for this
especial crisis, whose letters, announcing their hope of victory, I
hold in my hand, are desirous of peace? leader; and still we cannot
bear the countenances or support the language of those men who are
left behind in the city out of their number. What do you think will
be the result when such numbers force their way into the city at one
time? when we have laid aside our arms and they have not laid aside
theirs? Must we not be defeated for everlasting, in consequence of our
own counsels?

Place before your eyes Marcus Antonius, as a man of consular rank, add
to him Lucius, hoping to obtain the consulship, join to them all the
rest, and those too not confined to our order, who are fixing then
thoughts on honours and commands. Do not despise the Tiros, and the
Numisii, or the Mustellae, or the Seii. A peace made with those men
will not be peace, but a covenant of slavery. That was in admirable
expression of Lucius Piso, a most honourable man, and one which has
been deservedly praised by you O Pansa, not only in this order, but
also in the assembly of the people. He said, that he would depart from
Italy, and leave his household gods and his native home, if (but might
the gods avert such a disaster!) Antonius overwhelmed the republic.

VII. I ask, therefore, of you, O Lucius Piso, whether you would not
think the republic overwhelmed if so many men of such impiety, of such
audacity, and such guilt, were admitted into it? Can you think that
men whom we could hardly bear when they were not yet polluted with
such parricidal treasons; will be able to be borne by the city now
that they are immersed in every sort of wickedness? Believe me, we
must either adopt your plan, and retire, depart, embrace a life of
indigence and wandering, or else we must offer our throats to those
robbers, and perish in our country. What has become, O Carus Pansa, of
those noble exhortations of yours, by which the senate was roused, and
the Roman people stimulated, not only hearing but also learning from
you that there is nothing more disgraceful to a Roman than slavery?
Was it for this that we assumed the garb of war, and took arms and
roused up all the youth all over Italy, in order that while we had a
most flourishing and numerous army, we might send ambassadors to treat
for peace? If that peace is to be received by others, why do we not
wait to be entreated for it? If our ambassadors are to beg it, what is
it that we are afraid of? Shall I make one of this embassy, or shall I
be mixed up with this design, in which, even if I should dissent from
the rest of my colleagues, the Roman people will not know it? The
result will be that if anything be granted or conceded, it will be my
danger if Antonius commits any offences, since the power to commit
them will seem to have been put in his hands by me.

But even if it had been proper to entertain any idea of peace with the
piratical crew of Marcus Antonius, still I was the last person who
ought to have been selected to negotiate such a peace. I never voted
for sending ambassadors. Before the return of the last ambassadors I
ventured to say, that peace itself, even if they did bring it, ought
to be repudiated, since war would be concealed under the name of
peace; I was the chief adviser of the adoption of the garb of war, I
have invariably called that man a public enemy, when others have been
calling him only an adversary, I have always pronounced this to be a
war, while others have styled it only a tumult Nor have I done this
in the senate alone; I have always acted in the same way before the
people. Nor have I spoken against himself only, but also against the
accomplices in and agents of his crimes, whether present here, or
there with him. In short, I have at all times inveighed against the
whole family and party of Antonius. Therefore, as those impious
citizens began to congratulate one another the moment the hope of
peace was presented to them, as if they had gained the victory, so
also they abused me as unjust, they made complaints against me, they
distrusted Servilius also, they recollected that Antonius had been
damaged by his avowed opinions and propositions, they recollected that
Lucius Caesar, though a brave and consistent senator, is still his
uncle, that Calenus is his agent, that Piso is his intimate friend,
they think that you yourself, O Pansa, though a most vigorous and
fearless consul, are now become more mercifully inclined. Not that it
really is so, or that it possibly can be so. But the fact of a mention
of peace having been made by you, has given rise to a suspicion in the
hearts of many, that you have changed your mind a little. The friends
of Antonius are annoyed at my being included among these persons,
and we must no doubt yield to them, since we have once begun to be

VIII. Let the ambassadors go, with all our good wishes, but let those
men go at whom Antonius may take no offence. But if you are not
anxious about what he may think, at all events. O conscript fathers,
you ought to have some regard for me. At least spare my eyes, and make
some allowance for a just indignation. For with what countenance shall
I be able to behold, (I do not say, the enemy of my country, for my
hatred of him on that score I feel in common with you all,) but how
shall I bear to look upon that man who is my own most bitter personal
enemy, as his most furious harangues against me plainly declare him?
Do you think that I am so completely made of iron as to be able
unmoved to meet him, or look at him? who lately, when in an assembly
of the people he was making presents to those men who appeared to him
the most audacious of his band of parricidal traitors, said that
he gave my property to Petissius of Urbinum, a man who, after the
shipwreck of a very splendid patrimony, was dashed against these rocks
of Antonius. Shall I be able to bear the sight of Lucius Antonius? a
man from whose cruelty I could not have escaped if I had not defended
myself behind the walls and gates and by the zeal of my own municipal
town. And this same Asiatic gladiator, this plunderer of Italy, this
colleague of Lenti and Nucula, when he was giving some pieces of
gold to Aquila the centurion, said that he was giving him some of my
property. For, if he had said he was giving him some of his own, he
thought that the eagle itself would not have believed it. My eyes
cannot--my eyes, I say, will not bear the sight of Saxa, or Capho, or
the two praetors, or the tribune of the people, or the two tribunes
elect, or Bestia, or Trebellius, or Titus Plancus. I cannot look with
equanimity on so many, and those such foul, such wicked enemies;
nor is that feeling caused by any fastidiousness of mine, but by my
affection for the republic. But I will subdue my feelings, and keep my
own inclinations under restraint. If I cannot eradicate my most just
indignation, I will conceal it. What? Do you not think, O Conscript
fathers, that I should have some regard for my own life? But that
indeed has never been an object of much concern to me, especially
since Dolabella has acted in such a way that death is a desirable
thing, provided it come without torments and tortures. But in your
eyes and in those of the Roman people my life ought not to appear of
no consequence. For I am a man,--unless indeed I am deceived in my
estimate of myself,--who by my vigilance, and anxiety, by the opinions
which I have delivered, and by the dangers too of which I have
encountered great numbers, by reason of the most bitter hatred which
all impious men bear me, have at least, (not to seem to say anything
too boastful,) conducted myself so as to be no injury to the republic.
And as this is the case, do you think that I ought to have no
consideration for my own danger?

IX. Even here, when I was in the city and at home, nevertheless many
attempts were made against me, in a place where I have not only the
fidelity of my friends but the eyes also of the entire city to guard
me. What do you think will be the case when I have gone on a journey,
and that too a long one? Do you think that I shall have no occasion
to fear plots then? There are three roads to Mutina, a place which my
mind longs to see, in order that I may behold as speedily as possible
that pledge of freedom of the Roman people Decimus Brutus, in whose
embrace I would willingly yield up my parting breath, when all my
actions for the last many months, and all my opinions and propositions
have resulted in the end which I proposed to myself. There are, as I
have said, three roads, the Flaminian road, along the Adriatic, the
Aurelian road, along the Mediterranean coast, the Midland road, which
is called the Cassian.

Now, take notice, I beg of you, whether my suspicion of danger to
myself is at variance with a reasonable conjecture. The Cassian road
goes through Etruria. Do we not know then, O Pansa, over what places
the authority of Lenti Caesennius, as a septemvir, prevails at
present? He certainly is not on our side either in mind or body. But
if he is at home, or not far from home, he is certainly in Etruria,
that is, in my road. Who, then, will undertake to me that Lenti will
be content with exacting one life alone? Tell me besides, O Pansa,
where Ventidius is,--a man to whom I have always been friendly before
he became so openly an enemy to the republic and to all good men. I
may avoid the Cassian road, and take the Flaminian. What if, as it is
said, Ventidius has arrived at Ancona? Shall I be able in that case
to reach Ariminum in safety? The Aurelian road remains and here too
I shall find a, protector, for on that road are the possessions of
Publius Clodius. His whole household will come out to meet me, and
will invite me to partake of their hospitality, on account of my
notorious intimacy with their master?

X. Shall I then trust myself to those roads--I who lately, on the day
of the feast of Terminus, did not dare even to go into the suburbs and
return by the same road on the same day? I can scarcely defend myself
within the walls of my own house without the protection of my friends;
therefore I remain in the city; and if I am allowed to do so I will
remain. This is my proper place, this is my beat, this is my post as
a sentinel, this is my station as a defender of the city. Let others
occupy camps and kingdoms, and engage in the conduct of the war; let
them show the active hatred of the enemy; we, as we say, and as we
have always hitherto done, will, in common with you, defend the
city and the affairs of the city. Nor do I shrink from this office;
although I see the Roman people shrink from it for me. No one is less
timid than I am; no one more cautious. The facts speak for themselves.
This is the twentieth year that I have been a mark for the attempts of
all wicked men; therefore, they have paid to the republic (not to
say to me) the penalty of their wickedness. As yet the republic has
preserved me in safety for itself. I am almost afraid to say what I am
going to say; for I know that any accident may happen to a man; but
still, when I was once hemmed in by the united force of many most
influential men, I yielded voluntarily, and fell in such a manner as
to be able to rise again in the most honourable manner.

Can I, then, appear as cautious and as prudent as I ought to be if I
commit myself to a journey so full of enemies and dangers to me? Those
men who are concerned in the government of the republic ought at their
death to leave behind them glory, and not reproaches for their fault,
or grounds for blaming their folly. What good man is there who does
not mourn for the death of Trebonius? Who is there who does not grieve
for the loss of such a citizen and such a man? But there are men who
say, (hastily indeed, but still they do say so,) that he deserves to
be grieved for less because he did not take precautions against a
desperately wicked man. In truth, a man who professes to be himself a
defender of many men, wise men say, ought in the first place to show
himself able to protect his own life. I say, that when one is fenced
round by the laws and by the fear of justice, a man is not bound to be
afraid of everything, or to take precautions against all imaginable
designs; for who would dare to attack a man in daylight, on a military
road, or a man who was well attended, or an illustrious man? But these
considerations have no bearing on the present time, nor in my case;
for not only would a man who offered violence to me have no fear of
punishment, but he would even hope to obtain glory and rewards from
those bands of robbers.

XI. These dangers I can guard against in the city; it is easy for me
to look around and see where I am going out from, whither I am going,
what there is on my right hand, and on my left. Shall I be able to do
the same on the roads of the Apennines? in which, even if there should
be no ambush, as there easily may be, still my mind will be kept in
such a state of anxiety as not to be able to attend to the duties of
an embassy. But suppose I have escaped all plots against me, and have
passed over the Apennines; still I have to encounter a meeting and
conference with Antonius. What place am I to select? If it is outside
the camp, the rest may look to themselves,--I think that death would
come upon me instantly. I know the frenzy of the man; I know his
unbridled violence. The ferocity of his manners and the savageness of
his nature is not usually softened even by wine. Then, inflamed by
anger and insanity, with his brother Lucius, that foulest of beasts,
at his side, he will never keep his sacrilegious and impious hands
from me. I can recollect conferences with most bitter enemies, and
with citizens in a state of the most bitter disagreement.

Cnaeus Pompeius, the son of Sextus, being consul, in my presence, when
I was serving my first campaign in his army, had a conference with
Publius Vettius Scato, the general of the Marsians, between the camps.
And I recollect that Sextus Pompeius, the brother of the consul, a
very learned and wise man, came thither from Rome to the conference.
And when Scato had saluted him, "What," said he, "am I to call
you?"--"Call me," said he, "one who is by inclination a friend, by
necessity an enemy." That conference was conducted with fairness;
there was no fear, no suspicion; even their mutual hatred was not
great; for the allies were not seeking to take our city from us, but
to be themselves admitted to share the privileges of it. Sylla and
Scipio, one attended by the flower of the nobility, the other by the
allies, had a conference between Cales and Teanum, respecting the
authority of the senate, the suffrages of the people, and the
privileges of citizenship; and agreed upon conditions and
stipulations. Good faith was not strictly observed at that conference;
but still there was no violence used, and no danger incurred.

XII. But can we be equally safe among Antonius's piratical crew? We
cannot; or, even if the rest can, I do not believe that I can. What
will be the case if we are not to confer out of the camp? What camp
is to be chosen for the conference? He will never come into our
camp:--much less will we go to his. It follows then, that all demands
must be received and sent to and fro by means of letters. We then
shall be in our respective camps. On all his demands I shall have but
one opinion; and when I have stated it here, in your hearing, you may
think that I have gone, and that I have come back again.--I shall have
finished my embassy. As far as my sentiments can prevail I shall refer
every demand which Antonius makes to the senate. For, indeed, we have
no power to do otherwise; nor have we received any commission from
this assembly, such as, when a war is terminated, is usually, in
accordance with the precedents of your ancestors, entrusted to the
ambassadors. Nor, in fact, have we received any particular commission
from the senate at all.

And, as I shall pursue this line of conduct in the council, where
some, as I imagine, will oppose it, have I not reason to fear that the
ignorant mob may think that peace is delayed by my means? Suppose now
that the new legions do not disapprove of my resolution. For I am
quite sure that the Martial legion and the fourth legion will not
approve of anything which is contrary to dignity and honour. What
then? have we no regard for the opinion of the veterans? For even
they themselves do not wish to be feared by us.--Still, how will
they receive my severity? For they have heard many false statements
concerning me; wicked men have circulated among them many calumnies
against me. Their advantage indeed, as you all are most perfect
witnesses of, I have always promoted by my opinion, by my authority,
and by my language. But they believe wicked men, they believe
seditious men, they believe their own party. They are, indeed, brave
men; but by reason of their exploits which they have performed in the
cause of the freedom of the Roman people and of the safety of the
republic they are too ferocious and too much inclined to bring all
our counsels under the sway of their own violence. Their deliberate
reflection I am not afraid of, but I confess I dread their

If I escape all these great dangers too, do you think my return will
be completely safe? For when I have, according to my usual custom,
defended your authority, and have proved my good faith towards the
republic, and my firmness; then I shall have to fear, not those men
alone who hate me, but those also who envy me. Let my life then be
preserved for the republic, let it be kept for the service of my
country as long as my dignity or nature will permit; and let death
either be the necessity of fate, or, if it must be encountered
earlier, let it be encountered with glory.

This being the case, although the republic has no need (to say the
least of it) of this embassy, still if it be possible for me to go on
it in safety, I am willing to go. Altogether, O conscript fathers,
I shall regulate the whole of my conduct in this affair, not by any
consideration of my own danger, but by the advantage of the republic.
And, as I have plenty of time, I think that it behoves me to
deliberate upon that over and over again, and to adopt that line of
conduct which I shall judge to be most beneficial to the republic.



Antonius wrote a long letter to Hirtius and to Octavius, to persuade
them that they were acting against their true interests and dignity
in combining with the slayers of Julius Caesar against him. But they,
instead of answering this letter, sent it to Cicero at Rome. At the
same time Lepidus wrote a public letter to the senate to exhort them
to measures of peace; and to a reconciliation with Antonius; and took
no notice of the public honours which had been decreed to him in
compliance with Cicero's motion. The senate was much displeased at
this. They agreed, however, to a proposal of Servilius--to thank
Lepidus for his love of peace, but to desire him to leave that to
them; as there could be no peace till Antonius had laid down his arms.
But Antonius's friends were encouraged by Lepidus's letter to renew
their suggestions of a treaty; which caused Cicero to deliver the
following speech to the senate for the purpose of counteracting the
influence of their arguments.

I. From the first beginning, O conscript fathers, of this war which we
have undertaken against those impious and wicked citizens, I have been
afraid lest the insidious proposals of peace might damp our zeal for
the recovery of our liberty. But the name of peace is sweet; and the
thing itself not only pleasant but salutary. For a man seems to have
no affection either for the private hearths of the citizens, nor for
the public laws, nor for the rights of freedom, who is delighted with
discord and the slaughter of his fellow-citizens, and with civil war;
and such a man I think ought to be erased from the catalogue of men,
and exterminated from all human society. Therefore, if Sylla, or
Marius, or both of them, or Octavius, or Cinna, or Sylla for the
second time, or the other Marius and Carbo, or if any one else has
ever wished for civil war, I think that man a citizen born for the
detestation of the republic. For why should I speak of the last man
who stirred up such a war; a man whose acts, indeed, we defend, while
we admit that the author of them was deservedly slain? Nothing, then,
is more infamous than such a citizen or such a man; if indeed he
deserves to be considered either a citizen or a man, who is desirous
of civil war.

But the first thing that we have to consider, O conscript fathers,
is whether peace can exist with all men, or whether there be any war
incapable of reconciliation, in which any agreement of peace is only
a covenant of slavery. Whether Sylla was making peace with Scipio,
or whether he was only pretending to do so, there was no reason to
despair, if an agreement had been come to, that the city might have
been in a tolerable state. If Cinna had been willing to agree with
Octavius, the safety of the citizens might still have had an existence
in the republic. In the last war, if Pompeius had relaxed somewhat
of his dignified firmness, and Caesar a good deal of his ambition, we
might have had both a lasting peace, and some considerable remainder
of the republic.

II. But what is the state of things now? Is it possible for there
to be peace with Antonius? with Censorinus, and Ventidius, and
Trebellius, and Bestia, and Nucula, and Munatius, and Lento, and Saxa?
I have just mentioned a few names as a specimen; you yourselves see
the countless numbers and savage nature of the rest of the host. Add,
besides the wrecks of Caesar's party, the Barbae Cassii, the Barbatii,
the Pollios; add the companions and fellow-gamblers of Antonius,
Eutrapelus, and Mela, and Coelius, and Pontius, and Crassicius, and
Tiro, and Mustela, and Petissius; I say nothing of the main body, I
am only naming the leaders. To these are added the legionaries of the
Alauda and the rest of the veterans, the seminary of the judges of the
third decury; who, having exhausted their own estates, and squandered
all the fruits of Caesar's kindness, have now set their hearts on our
fortunes. Oh that trustworthy right hand of Antonius, with which he
has murdered many citizens! Oh that regularly ratified and solemn
treaty which we made with the Antonii! Surely if Marcus shall attempt
to violate it, the conscientious piety of Lucius will call him back
from such wickedness. If there is any room allowed these men in this
city, there will be no room for the city itself. Place before your
eyes, O conscript fathers, the countenances of those men, and
especially the countenances of the Antonii. Mark their gait, their
look, their face, their arrogance; mark those friends of theirs who
walk by their side, who follow them, who precede them. What breath
reeking of wine, what insolence, what threatening language do you not
think there will be there? Unless, indeed, the mere fact of peace is
to soften them, and unless you expect that, especially when they come
into this assembly, they will salute every one of us kindly, and
address us courteously.

III. Do you not recollect, in the name of the immortal gods! what
resolutions you have given utterance to against those men? You have
repealed the acts of Marcus Antonius; you have taken down his laws;
you have voted that they were carried by violence, and with a
disregard of the auspices; you have called out the levies throughout
all Italy; you have pronounced that colleague and ally of all
wickedness a public enemy. What peace can there be with this man? Even
if he were a foreign enemy, still, after such actions as have taken
place, it would be scarcely possible, by any means whatever, to have
peace. Though seas and mountains, and vast regions lay between you,
still you would hate such a man without seeing him. But these men will
stick to your eyes, and when they can, to your very throats; for what
fences will be strong enough for us to restrain savage beasts?--Oh,
but the result of war is uncertain. It is at all events in the power
of brave men, such as you ought to be, to display your valour, (for
certainly brave men can do that,) and not to fear the caprice of

But since it is not only courage but wisdom also which is expected
from this order, (although these qualities appear scarcely possible to
be separated, still let us separate them here,) courage bids us fight,
inflames our just hatred, urges us to the conflict, summons us to
danger. What says wisdom? She uses more cautious counsels, she
is provident for the future, she is in every respect more on the
defensive. What then does she think? for we must obey her, and we are
bound to consider that the best thing which is arranged in the most
prudent manner. If she enjoins me to think nothing of more consequence
than my life, not to fight at the risk of my life, but to avoid all
danger, I will then ask her whether I am also to become a slave when
I have obeyed all these injunctions? If she says, yes, I for one will
not listen to that Wisdom, however learned she may be, but if the
answer is, Preserve your life and your safety, Preserve your fortune,
"Preserve your estate, still, however, considering all these things of
less value than liberty, therefore enjoy these things if you can do
so consistently with the freedom of the republic, and do not abandon
liberty for them, but sacrifice them for liberty, as proofs of the
injury you have sustained,"--then I shall think that I really am
listening to the voice of Wisdom, and I will obey her as a god.
Therefore, if when we have received those men we can still be free,
let us subdue our hatred to them, and endure peace, but if there can
be no tranquillity while those men are in safety, then let us rejoice
that an opportunity of fighting them is put in our power. For so,
either (these men being conquered) we shall enjoy the republic
victorious, or, if we be defeated (but may Jupiter avert that
disaster), we shall live, if not with an actual breath, at all events
in the renown of our valour.

IV. But Marcus Lepidus, having been a second time styled Imperator,
Pontifex Maximus, a man who deserved excellently well of the republic
in the last civil war, exhorts us to peace. No one, O conscript
fathers, has greater weight with me than Marcus Lepidus, both on
account of his personal virtues and by reason of the dignity of his
family. There are also private reasons which influence me, such as
great services he has done me, and some kindnesses which I have done
him. But the greatest of his services I consider to be his being of
such a disposition as he is towards the republic, which has at all
times been dearer to me than my life. For when by his influence he
inclined Magnus Pompeius, a most admirable young man, the son of
one of the greatest of men, to peace, and without arms released the
republic from imminent danger of civil war, by so doing he laid me
under as great obligations as it was in the power of any man to do.
Therefore I proposed to decree to him the most ample honours that were
in my power, in which you agreed with me, nor have I ceased both to
think and speak in the highest terms of him. The republic has Marcus
Lepidus bound to it by many pledges. He is a man of the highest rank,
of the greatest honours, he has the most honourable priesthood, and
has received numberless distinctions in the city. There are monuments
of himself, and of his brother, and of his ancestors; he has a most
excellent wife, children such as any man might desire, an ample family
estate, untainted with the blood of his fellow-citizens. No citizen
has been injured by him; many have been delivered from misery by his
kindness and pity. Such a man and such a citizen may indeed err in
his opinion, but it is quite impossible for him in inclination to be
unfriendly to the republic.

Marcus Lepidus is desirous of peace. He does well especially if he can
make such a peace as he made lately, owing to which the republic will
behold the son of Cnaeus Pompeius, and will receive him in her bosom
and embrace; and will think, that not he alone, but that she also is
restored to herself with him. This was the reason why you decreed to
him a statue in the rostra with an honourable inscription, and why
you voted him a triumph in his absence. For although he had performed
great exploits in war, and such as well deserved a triumph, still for
that he might not have had that given to him which was not given to
Lucius aemilius, nor to aemilianus Scipio, nor to the former Africanus,
nor to Marius, nor to Pompeius, who had the conduct of greater wars
than he had, but because he had put an end to a civil war in perfect
silence, the first moment that it was in his power, on that account
you conferred on him the greatest honours.

V. Do you think, then, O Marcus Lepidus, that the Antonii will be to
the republic such citizens as she will find Pompeius? In the one there
is modesty, gravity, moderation, integrity; in them (and when I speak
of them, I do not mean to omit one of that band of pirates), there is
lust, and wickedness, and savage audacity capable of every crime. I
entreat of you, O conscript fathers, which of you fails to see this
which Fortune herself, who is called blind, sees? For, saving the acts
of Caesar, which we maintain for the sake of harmony, his own house
will be open to Pompeius, and he will redeem it for the same sum for
which Antonius bought it. Yes, I say the son of Cnaeus Pompeius will
buy back his house. O melancholy circumstance! But these things have
been already lamented long and bitterly enough. You have voted a sum
of money to Cnaeus Pompeius, equal to that which his conquering
enemy had appropriated to himself of his father's property in the
distribution of his booty. But I claim permission to manage this
distribution myself, as due to my connexion and intimacy with his
father. He will buy back the villas, the houses, and some of the
estates in the city which Antonius is in possession of. For as for the
silver plate, the garments, the furniture, and the wine which that
glutton has made away with, those things he will lose without
forfeiting his equanimity. The Alban and Firmian villas he will
recover from Dolabella; the Tusculan villa he will also recover from
Antonius. And these Ansers who are joining in the attack on Mutina and
in the blockade of Decimus Brutus will be driven from his Falernian
villa. There are many others, perhaps, who will be made to disgorge
their plunder, but their names escape my memory. I say, too, that
those men who are not in the number of our enemies, will be made to
restore the possessions of Pompeius to his son for the price at which
they bought them. It was the act of a sufficiently rash man, not to
say an audacious one, to touch a single particle of that property;
but who will have the face to endeavour to retain it, when its most
illustrious owner is restored to his country? Will not that man
restore his plunder, who enfolding the patrimony of his master in
his embrace, clinging to the treasure like a dragon, the slave of
Pompeius, the freedman of Caesar, has seized upon his estates in
the Lucanian district? And as for those seven hundred millions of
sesterces which you, O conscript fathers, promised to the young man,
they will be recovered in such a manner that the son of Cnaeus Pompeius
will appear to have been established by you in his patrimony. This
is what the senate must do; the Roman people will do the rest
with respect to that family which was at one time one of the most
honourable it ever saw. In the first place, it will invest him with
his father's honour as an augur, for which rank I will nominate him
and promote his election, in order that I may restore to the son what
I received from the father. Which of these men will the Roman people
most willingly sanction as the augur of the all-powerful and
all-great Jupiter, whose interpreters and messengers we have been
appointed,--Pompeius or Antonius? It seems indeed, to me, that Fortune
has managed this by the divine aid of the immortal gods, that, leaving
the acts of Caesar firmly ratified, the son of Cnaeus Pompeius might
still be able to recover the dignities and fortunes of his father.

VI. And I think, O conscript fathers, that we ought not to pass over
that fact either in silence,--that those illustrious men who are
acting as ambassadors, Lucius Paullus, Quintus Thermus, and Caius
Fannius, whose inclinations towards the republic you are thoroughly
acquainted with, and also with the constancy and firmness of that
favourable inclination, report that they turned aside to Marseilles
for the purpose of conferring with Pompeius, and that they found him
in a disposition very much inclined to go with his troops to Mutina,
if he had not been afraid of offending the minds of the veterans. But
he is a true son of that father who did quite as many things wisely
as he did bravely. Therefore you perceive that his courage was quite
ready, and that prudence was not wanting to him.

And this, too, is what Marcus Lepidus ought to take care of,--not
to appear to act in any respect with more arrogance than suits his
character. For if he alarms us with his army, he is forgetting that
that army belongs to the senate, and to the Roman people, and to the
whole republic, not to himself. "But he has the power to use it as
if it were his own." What then? Does it become virtuous men to do
everything which it is in their power to do? Suppose it be a base
thing? Suppose it be a mischievous thing? Suppose it be absolutely
unlawful to do it?

But what can be more base, or more shameful, or more utterly
unbecoming, than to lead an army against the senate, against one's
fellow-citizens, against one's country? Or what can deserve greater
blame than doing that which is unlawful? But it is not lawful for any
one to lead an army against his country? if indeed we say that that is
lawful which is permitted by the laws or by the usages and established
principles of our ancestors. For it does not follow that whatever
a man has power to do is lawful for him to do; nor, if he be not
hindered, is he on that account permitted to do so. For to you, O
Lepidus, as to your ancestors, your country has given an army to be
employed in her cause. With this army you are to repel the enemy, you
are to extend the boundaries of the empire, you are to obey the senate
and people of Rome, if by any chance they direct you to some other

VII. If these are your thoughts, then are you really Marcus Lepidus
the Pontifex Maximus, the great-grandson of Marcus Lepidus, Pontifex
Maximus. If you judge that everything is lawful for men to do that
they have the power to do, then beware lest you seem to prefer acting
on precedents set by those who have no connexion with you, and these,
too, modern precedents, to being guided by the ancient examples in
your own family. But if you interpose your authority without having
recourse to arms, in that case indeed I praise you more; but beware
lest this thing itself be quite unnecessary. For although there is all
the authority in you that there ought to be in a man of the highest
rank, still the senate itself does not despise itself; nor was it ever
more wise, more firm, more courageous. We are all hurried on with the
most eager zeal to recover our freedom. Such a general ardour on the
part of the senate and people of Rome cannot be extinguished by the
authority of any one: we hate a man who would extinguish it; we are
angry with him, and resist him; our arms cannot be wrested from our
hands; we are deaf to all signals for retreat, to all recal from the
combat. We hope for the happiest success; we will prefer enduring the
bitterest disaster to being slaves. Caesar has collected an invincible
army. Two perfectly brave consuls are present with their forces. The
various and considerable reinforcements of Lucius Plancus, consul
elect, are not wanting. The contest is for the safety of Decimus
Brutus. One furious gladiator, with a band of most infamous robbers,
is waging war against his country, against our household gods, against
our altars and our hearths, against four consuls. Shall we yield to
him? Shall we listen to the conditions which he proposes? Shall we
believe it possible for peace to be made with him?

VIII. But there is danger of our being overwhelmed. I have no fear
that the man who cannot enjoy his own most abundant fortunes, unless
all the good men are saved, will betray his own safety. It is nature
which first makes good citizens, and then fortune assists them. For it
is for the advantage of all good men that the republic should be safe;
but that advantage appears more clearly in the case of those who are
fortunate. Who is more fortunate than Lentulus, as I said before, and
who is more sensible? The Roman people saw his sorrow and his tears at
the Lupercal festival. They saw how miserable, how overwhelmed he was
when Antonius placed a diadem on Caesar's head and preferred being his
slave to being his colleague. And even if he had been able to abstain
from his other crimes and wickednesses, still on account of that one
single action I should think him worthy of all punishment. For even if
he himself was calculated to be a slave, why should he impose a master
on us? And if his childhood had borne the lusts of those men who were
tyrants over him, was he on that account to prepare a master and a
tyrant to lord it over our children? Therefore since that man was
slain, he himself has behaved to all others in the same manner as he
wished him to behave to us.

For in what country of barbarians was there ever so foul and cruel a
tyrant as Antonius, escorted by the arms of barbarians, has proved in
this city? When Caesar was exercising the supreme power, we used to
come into the senate, if not with freedom, at all events with safety.
But under this arch-pirate, (for why should I say tyrant?) these
benches were occupied by Itureans. On a sudden he hastened to
Brundusium, in order to come against this city from thence with
a regular army. He deluged Suessa, a most beautiful town, now of
municipal citizens, formerly of most honourable colonists, with the
blood of the bravest soldiers. At Brundusium he massacred the chosen
centurions of the Martial legion in the lap of his wife, who was not
only most avaricious but also most cruel. After that with what fury,
with what eagerness did he hurry on to the city, that is to say, to
the slaughter of every virtuous man! But at that time the immortal
gods brought to us a protector whom we had never seen nor expected.

IX. For the incredible and godlike virtue of Caesar checked the cruel
and frantic onslaught of that robber, whom then that madman believed
that he was injuring with his edicts, ignorant that all the charges
which he was falsely alleging against that most righteous young man,
were all very appropriate to the recollections of his own childhood.
He entered the city, with what an escort, or rather with what a troop!
when on the right hand and on the left, amid the groans of the Roman
people, he was threatening the owners of property, taking notes of the
houses, and openly promising to divide the city among his followers.
He returned to his soldiers; then came that mischievous assembly at
Tibur. From thence he hurried to the city; the senate was convened at
the Capitol. A decree with the authority of the consuls was prepared
for proscribing the young man; when all on a sudden (for he was aware
that the Martial legion had encamped at Alba) news is brought him of
the proceedings of the fourth legion.

Alarmed at that, he abandoned his intention of submitting a motion to
the senate respecting Caesar. He departed not by the regular roads, but
by the by-lanes, in the robe of a general; and on that very self-same
day he trumped up a countless number of resolutions of the senate; all
of which he published even before they were drawn up. From thence it
was not a journey, but a race and flight into Gaul. He thought that
Caesar was pursuing him with the fourth legion, with the martial
legion, with the veterans, whose very name he could not endure for
fright. Then, as he was making his way into Gaul, Decimus Brutus
opposed him; who preferred being himself surrounded by the waves of
the whole war, to allowing him either to retreat or advance; and who
put Mutina on him as a sort of bridle to his exultation. And when he
had blockaded that city with his works and fortifications, and when
the dignity of a most flourishing colony, and the majesty of a consul
elect, were both insufficient to deter him from his parricidal
treason, then, (I call you, and the Roman people, and all the gods who
preside over this city, to witness,) against my will, and in spite of
my resistance and remonstrance, three ambassadors of consular rank
were sent to that robber, to that leader of gladiators, Marcus

Who ever was such a barbarian? Who was ever so savage? so brutal? He
would not listen to them; he gave them no answer; and he not only
despised and showed that he considered of no importance those men who
were with him, but still more us, by whom these men had been sent. And
afterwards what wickedness, or what crime was there which that traitor
abstained from? He blockaded your colonists, and the army of the Roman
people, and your general, and your consul elect. He lays waste the
lands of a nation of most excellent citizens. Like a most inhuman
enemy he threatens all virtuous men with crosses and tortures.

X. Now what peace, O Marcus Lepidus, can exist with this man? when it
does not seem that there is even any punishment which the Roman people
can think adequate to his crimes?

But if any one has hitherto been able to doubt the fact, that there
can be nothing whatever in common between this order and the Roman
people and that most detestable beast, let him at least cease to
entertain such a doubt, when he becomes acquainted with this letter
which I have just received, it having been sent to me by Hirtius the
consul. While I read it, and while I briefly discuss each paragraph, I
beg, O conscript fathers, that you will listen to me most attentively,
as you have hitherto done.

"Antonius to Hirtius and Caesar."

He does not call himself imperator, nor Hirtius consul, nor Caesar
pro-praetor. This is cunningly done enough. He preferred laying aside
a title to which he had no right himself, to giving them their proper

"When I heard of the death of Caius Trebonius, I was not more rejoiced
than grieved."

Take notice why he says he rejoiced, why he says that he was grieved;
and then you will be more easily able to decide the question of peace.

"It was a matter of proper rejoicing that a wicked man had paid the
penalty due to the bones and ashes of a most illustrious man, and that
the divine power of the gods had shown itself before the end of the
current year, by showing the chastisement of that parricide already
inflicted in some cases, and impending in others."

O you Spartacus! for what name is more fit for you? you whose
abominable wickedness is such as to make even Catiline seem tolerable.
Have you dared to write that it is a matter of rejoicing that
Trebonius has suffered punishment? that Trebonius was wicked? What was
his crime, except that on the ides of March he withdrew you from the
destruction which you had deserved? Come; you rejoice at this; let us
see what it is that excites your indignation.

"That Dolabella should at this time have been pronounced a public
enemy because he has slain an assassin; and that the son of a buffoon
should appear dearer to the Roman people than Caius Caesar, the father
of his country, are circumstances to be lamented."

Why should you be sad because Dolabella has been pronounced a public
enemy? Why? Are you not aware that you yourself--by the fact of an
enlistment having taken place all over Italy, and of the consuls being
sent forth to war, and of Caesar having received great honours, and
of the garb of war having been assumed--have also been pronounced an
enemy? And what reason is there, O you wicked man, for lamenting that
Dolabella has been declared an enemy by the senate? a body which you
indeed think of no consequence at all; but you make it your main
object in waging war utterly to destroy the senate, and to make all
the rest of those who are either virtuous or wealthy follow the fate
of the highest order of all. But he calls him the son of a buffoon. As
if that noble Roman knight the father of Trebonius were unknown to us.
And does he venture to look down on any one because of the meanness of
his birth, when he has himself children by Fadia?

XL "But it is the bitterest thing of all that you, O Aulus Hirtius,
who have been distinguished by Caesar's kindness, and who have been
left by him in a condition which you yourself marvel at. [lacuna]"

I cannot indeed deny that Aulus Hirtius was distinguished by Caesar,
but such distinctions are only of value when conferred on virtue and
industry. But you, who cannot deny that you also were distinguished
by Caesar, what would you have been if he had not showered so many
kindnesses on you? Where would your own good qualities have borne you?
Where would your birth have conducted you? You would have spent the
whole period of your manhood in brothels, and cookshops, and in
gambling and drinking, as you used to do when you were always burying
your brains and your beard in the laps of actresses.

"And you too, O boy--"

He calls him a boy whom he has not only experienced and shall again
experience to be a man, but one of the bravest of men. It is indeed
the name appropriate to his age; but he is the last man in the world
who ought to use it, when it is his own madness that has opened to
this boy the path to glory.

"You who owe everything to his name--"

He does indeed owe everything, and nobly is he paying it. For if he
was the father of his country, as you call him, (I will see hereafter
what my opinion of that matter is,) why is not this youth still more
truly our father, to whom it certainly is owing that we are now
enjoying life, saved out of your most guilty hands!

"Are taking pains to have Dolabella legally condemned."

A base action, truly! by which the authority of this most honourable
order is defended against the insanity of a most inhuman gladiator.

"And to effect the release of this poisoner from blockade."

Do you dare to call that man a poisoner who has found a remedy against
your own poisoning tricks? and whom you are besieging in such a
manner, O you new Hannibal, (or if there was ever any abler general
than he,) as to blockade yourself, and to be unable to extricate
yourself from your present position, should you be ever so desirous to
do so? Suppose you retreat; they will all pursue you from all sides.
Suppose you stay where you are; you will be caught. You are very
right, certainly, to call him a poisoner, by whom you see that your
present disastrous condition has been brought about.

"In order that Cassius and Brutus may become as powerful as possible."

Would you suppose that he is speaking of Censorinus, or of Ventidius,
or of the Antonii themselves. But why should they be unwilling that
those men should become powerful, who are not only most excellent and
nobly born men, but who are also united with them in the defence of
the republic?

"In fact, you look upon the existing circumstances as you did on the
former ones."

What can he mean?

"You used to call the camp of Pompeius the senate."

XII. Should we rather call your camp the senate? In which you are the
only man of consular rank, you whose whole consulship is effaced from
every monument and register; and two praetors, who are afraid that
they will lose something by us,--a groundless fear. For we are
maintaining all the grants made by Caesar; and men of praetorian rank,
Philadelphus Annius, and that innocent Gallius; and men of aedilitian
rank, he on whom I have spent so much of my lungs and voice,
Bestia, and that patron of good faith and cheater of his creditors,
Trebellius, and that bankrupt and ruined man Quintus Caelius, and that
support of the friends of Antonius Cotyla Varius, whom Antonius for
his amusement caused at a banquet to be flogged with thongs by the
public slaves. Men of septemviral rank, Lento and Nucula, and then
that delight and darling of the Roman people, Lucius Antonius. And for
tribunes, first of all two tribunes elect, Tullus Hostilius, who was
so full of his privileges as to write up his name on the gate of Rome;
and who, when he found himself unable to betray his general, deserted
him. The other tribune elect is a man of the name of Viseius; I know
nothing about him; but I hear that he is (as they say) a bold robber;
who, however, they say was once a bathing man at Pisaurum, and a
very good hand at mixing the water. Then there are others too, of
tribunitian rank: in the first place, Titus Plancus; a man who, if
he had had any affection for the senate, would never have burnt the
senate-house. Having been condemned for which wickedness, he returned
to that city by force of arms from which he was driven by the power of
the law. But, however, this is a case common to him and to many others
who are very unlike him. But this is quite true which men are in the
habit of saying of this Plancus in a proverbial way, that it is quite
impossible for him to die unless his legs are broken.[50] They are
broken, and still he lives. But this, like many others, is a service
that has been done us by Aquila.

XIII. There is also in that camp Decius, descended, as I believe, from
the great Decius Mus; accordingly he gained[51] the gifts of Caesar.
And so after a long interval the recollection of the Decii is renewed
by this illustrious man. And how can I pass over Saxa Decidius, a
fellow imported from the most distant nations, in order that we might
see that man tribune of the people whom we had never beheld as a
citizen? There is also one of the Sasernae; but all of them have such
a resemblance to one another, that I may make a mistake as to their
first names. Nor must I omit Exitius, the brother of Philadelphus the
quaestor; lest, if I were to be silent about that most illustrious
young man, I should seem to be envying Antonius. There is also a
gentleman of the name of Asinius, a voluntary senator, having been
elected by himself. He saw the senate-house open after the death of
Caesar, he changed his shoes, and in a moment became a conscript
father. Sextus Albedius I do not know, but still I have not fallen in
with any one so fond of evil-speaking, as to deny that he is worthy of
a place in the senate of Antonius.

I dare say that I have passed over some names; but still I could not
refrain from mentioning those who did occur to me. Relying then on
this senate, he looks down on the senate which supported Pompeius, in
which ten of us were men of consular rank; and if they were all alive
now this war would never have arisen at all. Audacity would have
succumbed to authority. But what great protection there would have
been in the rest may be understood from this, that I, when left alone
of all that band, with your assistance crushed and broke the audacity
of that triumphant robber.

XIV. But if Fortune had not taken from us not only Servius Sulpicius,
and before him, his colleague Marcus Marcellus,--what citizens! What
men! If the republic had been able to retain the two consuls, men most
devoted to their country, who were driven together out of Italy; and
Lucius Afranius, that consummate general; and Publius Lentulus, a
citizen who displayed his extraordinary virtue on other occasions, and
especially in the securing my safe return; and Bibulus, whose constant
and firm attachment to the republic has at all times been deservedly
praised; and Lucius Domitius, that most excellent citizen; and Appius
Claudius, a man equally distinguished for nobleness of birth and for
attachment to the state; and Publius Scipio, a most illustrious man,
closely resembling his ancestors. Certainly with these men of consular
rank,[52] the senate which supported Pompeius was not to be despised.

Which, then, was more just, which was more advantageous for the
republic, that Cnaeus Pompeius, or that Antonius the brother who
bought all Pompeius's property, should live? And then what men of
praetorian rank were there with us! the chief of whom was Marcus Cato,
being indeed the chief man of any nation in the world for virtue. Why
need I speak of the other most illustrious men? you know them all. I
am more afraid lest you should think me tedious for enumerating so
many, than ungrateful for passing over any one. And what men of
aedilitian rank! and of tribunitian rank! and of quaestorian rank!
Why need I make a long story of it, so great was the dignity of the
senators of our party, so great too were their numbers, that those men
have need of some very valid excuse who did not join that camp. Now
listen to the rest of the letter.

XV. "You have the defeated Cicero for your general."

I am the more glad to hear that word "general," because he certainly
uses it against his will, for as for his saying "defeated," I do not
mind that, for it is my fate that I can neither be victorious nor
defeated without the republic being so at the same time.

"You are fortifying Macedonia with armies".

Yes, indeed, and we have wrested one from your brother, who does not
in the least degenerate from you.

"You have entrusted Africa to Varus, who has been twice taken

Here he thinks that he is making out a case against his own brother

"You have sent Capius into Syria".

Do you not see then, O Antonius, that the whole world is open to our
party, but that you have no spot out of your own fortifications, where
you can set your foot?

"You have allowed Casca to discharge the office of tribune".

What then? Were we to remove a man, as if he had been Marullus,[53]
or Caesetius, to whom we own it, that this and many other things like
this can never happen for the future?

"You have taken away from the Luperci the revenues which Julius Caesar
assigned to them."

Does he dare to make mention of the Luperci? Does he not shudder at
the recollection of that day on which, smelling of wine, reeking with
perfumes, and naked, he dared to exhort the indignant Roman people to
embrace slavery?

"You, by a resolution of the senate, have removed the colonies of the
veterans which had been legally settled".

Have we removed them, or have we rather ratified a law which was
passed in the comitia centunata? See, rather, whether it is not you
who have ruined these veterans (those at least who are ruined,) and
settled them in a place from which they themselves now feel that they
shall never be able to make their escape.

"You are promising to restore to the people of Marseilles what has
been taken from them by the laws of war."

I am not going to discuss the laws of war. It is a discussion far more
easy to begin than necessary. But take notice of this, O conscript
fathers, what a born enemy to the republic Antonius is, who is so
violent in his hatred of that city which he knows to have been at all
times most firmly attached to this republic.

XVI. "[Do you not know] that no one of the party of Pompeius, who is
still alive, can, by the Hirtian law, possess any rank?"

What, I should like to know, is the object of now making mention of
the Hirtian law?--a law of which I believe the framer himself repents
no less than those against whom it was passed. According to my
opinion, it is utterly wrong to call it a law at all; and, even if it
be a law, we ought not to think it a law of Hirtius.

"You have furnished Brutus with money belonging to Apuleius."

Well? Suppose the republic had furnished that excellent man with all
its treasures and resources, what good man would have disapproved of
it? For without money he could not have supported an army, nor without
an army could he have taken your brother prisoner.

"You have praised the execution of Paetus and Menedemus, men who had
been presented with the freedom of the city, and who were united by
ties of hospitality to Caesar."

We do not praise what we have never even heard of; we were very
likely, in such a state of confusion, and such a critical period of
the republic, to busy our minds about two worthless Greeklings!

"You took no notice of Theopompus having been stripped, and driven out


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