After delivering the preceding speech in the senate, Cicero proceeded to the forum, where he delivered the following speech to the people, to give them information of what had been done.
The great numbers in which you are here met this day, O Romans, and this assembly, greater than, it seems to me, I ever remember, inspires me with both an exceeding eagerness to defend the republic, and with a great hope of reestablishing it. Although my courage indeed has never failed; what has been unfavorable is the time; and the moment that that has appeared to show any dawn of light, I at once have been the leader in the defense of your liberty. And if I had attempted to have done so before, I should not be able to do so now. For this day, O Romans (that you may not think it is but a trifling business in which we have been engaged), the foundations have been laid for future actions. For the senate has no longer been content with styling Antonius an enemy in words, but it has shown by actions that it thinks him one. And now I am much more elated still, because you too with such great unanimity and with such a clamor have sanctioned our declaration that he is an enemy.
And indeed, O Romans, it is impossible but that either the men must be impious who have levied armies against the consul, or else that he must be an enemy against whom they have rightly taken arms. And this doubt the senate has this day removed—not indeed that there really was any; but it has prevented the possibility of there being any. Caius Caesar, who has upheld and who is still upholding the republic and your freedom by his zeal and wisdom, and at the expense of his patrimonial estate, has been complimented with the highest praises of the senate.
I praise you,—yes, I praise you greatly, O Romans, when you follow with the most grateful minds the name of that most illustrious youth, or rather boy; for his actions belong to immortality, the name of youth only to his age. I can recollect many things; I have heard of many things; I have read of many things; but in the whole history of the whole world I have never known any thing like this. For, when we were weighed down with slavery, when the evil was daily increasing, when we had no defense, while we were in dread of the pernicious and fatal return of Marcus Antonius from Brundusium, this young man adopted the design which none of us had ventured to hope for, which beyond all question none of us were acquainted with, of raising an invincible army of his father's soldiers, and so hindering the frenzy of Antonius, spurred on as it was by the most inhuman counsels, from the power of doing mischief to the republic.
For who is there who does not see clearly that, if Caesar had not prepared an army, the return of Antonius must have been accompanied by our destruction? For, in truth, he returned in such a state of mind, burning with hatred of you all, stained with the blood of the Roman citizens, whom he had murdered at Suessa and at Brundusium, that he thought of nothing but the utter destruction of the republic. And what protection could have been found for your safety and for your liberty if the army of Caius Caesar had not been composed of the bravest of his father's soldiers? And with respect to his praises and honors,—and he is entitled to divine and everlasting honors for his godlike and undying services,—the senate has just consented to my proposals, and has decreed that a motion be submitted to it at the very earliest opportunity.
Now who is there who does not see that by this decree Antonius has been adjudged to be an enemy? For what else can we call him, when the senate decides that extraordinary honors are to be devised for those men who are leading armies against him? What? did not the Martial legion (which appears to me by some divine permission to have derived its name from that god from whom we have heard that the Roman people descended) decide by its resolutions that Antonius was an enemy before the senate had come to any resolution? For if he be not an enemy, we must inevitably decide that those men who have deserted the consul are enemies. Admirably and seasonably, O Romans, have you by your cries sanctioned the noble conduct of the men of the Martial legion, who have come over to the authority of the senate, to your liberty, and to the whole republic; and have abandoned that enemy and robber and parricide of his country. Nor did they display only their spirit and courage in doing this, but their caution and wisdom also. They encamped at Alba, in a city convenient, fortified, near, full of brave men and loyal and virtuous citizens. The fourth legion imitating the virtue of this Martial legion, under the leadership of Lucius. Egnatuleius, whom the senate deservedly praised a little while ago, has also joined the army of Caius Caesar.
What more adverse decisions, O Marcus Antonius, can you want? Caesar, who has levied an army against you, is extolled to the skies. The legions are praised in the most complimentary language, which have abandoned you, which were sent for into Italy by you; and which, if you had chosen to be a consul rather than an enemy, were wholly devoted to you. And the fearless and honest decision of those legions is confirmed by the senate, is approved of by the whole Roman people,—unless, indeed, you today, O Romans, decide that Antonius is a consul and not an enemy. I thought, O Romans, that you did think as you show you do. What? do you suppose that the municipal towns, and the colonies, and the prefectures have any other opinion? All men are agreed with one mind; so that every one who wishes the state to be saved must take up every sort of arms against that pestilence. What? does, I should like to know, does the opinion of Decimus Brutus, O Romans, which you can gather from his edict, which has this day reached us, appear to any one deserving of being lightly esteemed? Rightly and truly do you say No, O Romans. For the family and name of Brutus has been by some especial kindness and liberality of the immortal gods given to the republic, for the purpose of at one time establishing, and at another of recovering, the liberty of the Roman people. What then has been the opinion which Decimus Brutus has formed of Marcus Antonius? He excludes him from his province. He opposes him with his army. He rouses all Gaul to war, which is already roused of its own accord, and in consequence of the judgment which it has itself formed. If Antonius be consul, Brutus is an enemy. Can we then doubt which of these alternatives is the fact?
And just as you now with one mind and one voice affirm that you entertain no doubt, so did the senate just now decree that Decimus Brutus deserved excellently well of the republic, inasmuch as he was defending the authority of the senate and the liberty and empire of the Roman people. Defending it against whom? Why, against an enemy. For what other sort of defense deserves praise? In the next place the province of Gaul is praised, and is deservedly complimented in most honorable language by the senate for resisting Antonius. But if that province considered him the consul, and still refused to receive him, it would be guilty of great wickedness. For all the provinces belong to the consul of right, and are bound to obey him. Decimus Brutus, imperator and consul elect, a citizen born for the republic, denies that he is consul; Gaul denies it; all Italy denies it; the senate denies it; you deny it. Who then thinks that he is consul except a few robbers? Although even they themselves do not believe what they say; nor is it possible that they should differ from the judgment of all men, impious and desperate men though they be. But the hope of plunder and booty blinds their minds men whom no gifts of money, no allotment of land nor even that interminable auction has satisfied; who have proposed to themselves the city, the properties and fortunes of all the citizens as their booty; and who, as long as there is something for them to seize and carry off, think that nothing will be wanting to them; among whom Marcus Antonius (O ye immortal gods, avert, I pray you, and efface this omen), has promised to divide this city. May things rather happen O Romans as you pray that they should, and may the chastisement of this frenzy fall on him and on his friend. And, indeed, I feel sure that it will be so. For I think that at present not only men but the immortal gods have all united together to preserve this republic. For if the immortal gods foreshow us the future, by means of portents and prodigies then it has been openly revealed to us that punishment is near at hand to him, and liberty to us. Or if it was impossible for such unanimity on the part of all men to exist without the inspiration of the gods, in either case how can we doubt as to the indications of the heavenly deities?
It only remains, O Romans, for you to persevere in the sentiments which you at present display.
I will act, therefore, as commanders are in the habit of doing when their army is ready for battle, who, although they see their soldiers ready to engage, still address an exhortation to them; and in like manner I will exhort you who are already eager and burning to recover your liberty. You have not—you have not, indeed, O Romans, to war against an enemy with whom it is possible to make peace on any terms whatever. For he does not now desire your slavery, as he did before, but he is angry now and thirsts for your blood. No sport appears more delightful to him than bloodshed, and slaughter, and the massacre of citizens before his eyes. You have not, O Romans, to deal with a wicked and profligate man, but with an unnatural and savage beast. And, since he has fallen into a well, let him be buried in it. For if he escapes out of it, there will be no inhumanity of torture which it will be possible to avoid. But he is at present hemmed in, pressed, and besieged by those troops which we already have, and will soon be still more so by those which in a few days the new consuls will levy. Apply yourselves then to this business, as you are doing. Never have you shown greater unanimity in any cause; never have you been so cordially united with the senate. And no wonder. For the question now is not in what condition we are to live, but whether we are to live at all, or to perish with torture and ignominy.
Although nature, indeed, has appointed death for all men: but valor is accustomed to ward off any cruelty or disgrace in death. And that is an inalienable possession of the Roman race and name. Preserve, I beseech you, O Romans, this attribute which your ancestors have left you as a sort of inheritance. Although all other things are uncertain, fleeting, transitory; virtue alone is planted firm with very deep roots; it can not be undermined by any violence; it can never be moved from its position. By it your ancestors first subdued the whole of Italy; then destroyed Carthage, overthrew Numantia, and reduced the most mighty kings and most warlike nations under the dominion of this empire.
And your ancestors, O Romans, had to deal with an enemy who had also a republic, a senate-house, a treasury, harmonious and united citizens, and with whom, if fortune had so willed it, there might have been peace and treaties on settled principles. But this enemy of yours is attacking your republic, but has none himself; is eager to destroy the senate, that is to say, the council of the whole world, but has no public council himself; he has exhausted your treasury, and has none of his own. For how can a man be supported by the unanimity of his citizens, who has no city at all? And what principles of peace can there be with that man who is full of incredible cruelty, and destitute of faith?
The whole then of the contest, O Romans, which is now before the Roman people, the conqueror of all nations, is with an assassin, a robber, a Spartacus.[*](Spartacus was the general of the gladiators and slaves in the Servile war.) For as to his habitual boast of being like Catilina, he is equal to him in wickedness, but inferior in energy. He, though he had no army, rapidly levied one. This man has lost that very army which he had. As, therefore, by my diligence, and the authority of the senate, and your own zeal and valor, you crushed Catilina, so you will very soon hear that this infamous piratical enterprise of Antonius has been put down by your own perfect and unexampled harmony with the senate, and by the good fortune and valor of your armies and generals. I, for my part, as far as I am able to labor, and to effect any thing by my care, and exertions, and vigilance, and authority, and counsel, will omit nothing which I may think serviceable to your liberty. Nor could I omit it without wickedness after all your most ample and honorable kindness to me. However, on this day, encouraged by the motion of a most gallant man, and one most firmly attached to you, Marcus Servilius, whom you see before you, and his colleagues also, most distinguished men, and most virtuous citizens; and partly, too, by my advice and my example, we have, for the first time after a long interval, fired up again with a hope of liberty.
The new consuls Hirtius and Pansa were much attached to Cicero, had consulted him a great deal, and professed great respect for his opinion; but they were also under great obligations to Julius Caesar, and, consequently, connected to some extent with his party and with Antonius; on which account they wished, if possible, to employ moderate measures only against him.
As soon as they had entered on their office, they convoked the senate to meet for the purpose of deliberating on the general welfare of the republic. They both spoke themselves with great firmness, promising to be the leaders in defending the liberties of Rome, and exhorting the senate to act with courage. And then they called on Quintus Fufius Calenus, who had been consul A.U.C. 707, and who was Pansa's father-in-law, to deliver his opinion first. He was known to be a firm friend of Antonius. Cicero wished to declare Antonius a public enemy at once; but Calenus proposed, that before they proceeded to acts of open hostility against him, they should send an embassy to admonish him to desist from his attempts upon Gaul, and to submit to the authority of the senate. Piso and others supported this motion, on the ground that it was cruel and unjust to condemn a man without giving him a fair chance of submitting, and without hearing what he had to say. It was in opposition to Calenus's motion that Cicero made the following speech, substituting for his proposition one to declare Antonius an enemy, and to offer pardon to those of his army who returned to their duty by the first of February, to thank Decimus Brutus for his conduct in Gaul, to decree a statue to Marcus Lepidus[*](Lepidus had not in reality done any particular service to the republic (he was afterward one of the triumviri), but he was at the head of the best army in the empire; and so was able to be of the most important service to either party, and, therefore, Cicero hoped to attach him to his side by this compliment.) for his services to the republic and his loyalty, to thank Caius Caesar (Octavius) and to grant him a special commission as general, to make him a senator and propraetor, and to enable him to stand for any subsequent magistracy as if he had been quaestor, to thank Lucius Egnatuleius, and to vote thanks and promise rewards to the Martial and the fourth legion.
Nothing, O conscript fathers, has ever seemed to me longer than these calends of January; and I think that for the last few days you have all been feeling the same thing. For those who are waging war against the republic have not waited for this day. But we, while it would have been most especially proper for us to come to the aid of the general safety with our counsel, were not summoned to the senate. However, the speech just addressed to us by the consuls has removed our complaints as to what is past, for they have spoken in such a manner that the calends of January seem to have been long wished for rather than really to have arrived late.
And while the speeches of the consuls have encouraged my mind, and have given me a hope, not only of preserving our safety, but even of recovering our former dignity; on the other hand, the opinion of the man who has been asked for his opinion first would have disturbed me, if I had not confidence in your virtue and firmness. For this day, O conscript fathers, has dawned upon you, and this opportunity has been afforded you of proving to the Roman people how much virtue, how much firmness, and how much dignity exists in the counsels of this order. Recollect what a day it was thirteen days ago; how great was then your unanimity, and virtue, and firmness; and what great praise, what great glory, and what great gratitude you earned from the Roman people. And on that day, O conscript fathers, you resolved that no other alternative was in your power, except either an honorable peace or a necessary war.
Is Marcus Antonius desirous of peace? Let him lay down his arms, let him implore our pardon, let him deprecate our vengeance: he w ill find no one more reasonable than me, though, while seeking to recommend himself to impious citizens, he has chosen to be an enemy instead of a friend to me. There is, in truth, nothing which can be given to him while waging war; there will perhaps be something which may be granted to him if he comes before us as a suppliant
But to send ambassadors to a man respecting whom you passed a most dignified and severe decision only thirteen days ago, is not an act of lenity, but, if I am to speak my real opinion, of downright madness. In the first place, you praised those generals who, of their own head, had undertaken war against him; in the next place, you praised the veterans who, though they had been settled in those colonies by Antonius, preferred the liberty of the Roman people to the obligations which they were under to him. Is it not so? Why was the Martial legion? why was the fourth legion praised? For if they have deserted the consul, they ought to be blamed; if they have abandoned an enemy to the republic, then they are deservedly praised.
But as at that time you had not yet got any consuls, you passed a decree that a motion concerning the rewards for the soldiers and the honors to be conferred on the generals should be submitted to you at the earliest opportunity. Are you then going now to arrange rewards for those men who have taken arms against Antonius, and to send ambassadors to Antonius? so as to deserve to be ashamed that the legions should have come to more honorable resolutions than the senate: if, indeed, the legions have resolved to defend the senate against Antonius, but the senate decrees to send ambassadors to Antonius. Is this encouraging the spirit of the soldiers, or damping their virtue?
This is what we have gained in the last twelve days, that the man whom no single person except Cotyla was then found to defend, has now advocates, even of consular rank. Would that they had all been asked their opinion before me (although I have my suspicions as to what some of those men who will be asked after me, are intending to say); I should find it easier to speak against them if any argument appeared to have been advanced.
For there is an opinion in some quarters, that some one intends to propose to decree Antonius that farther Gaul, which Plancus is at present in possession of. What else is that but supplying an enemy with all the arms necessary for civil war: first of all with the sinews of war, money in abundance, of which he is at present destitute; and secondly, with as much cavalry as he pleases? Cavalry do I say? He is a likely man to hesitate, I suppose, to bring with him the barbarian nations;—a man who does not see this is senseless; he who does see it, and still advocates such a measure, is impious. Will you furnish a wicked and desperate citizen with an army of Gauls and Germans, with money, and infantry, and cavalry, and all sorts of resources? All these excuses are no excuse at all:—“He is a friend of mine.” Let him first be a friend of his country:—“ He is a relation of mine.” Can any relationship be nearer than that of one's country, in which even one's parents are comprised? “He has given me money:”—I should like to see the man who will dare to say that. But when I have explained what is the real object aimed at, it will be easy for you to decide which opinion you ought to agree with and adopt.
The matter at issue is, whether power is to be given to Marcus Antonius of oppressing the republic, of massacring the virtuous citizens, of plundering the city, of distributing the lands among his robbers, of overwhelming the Roman people in slavery; or, whether he is not to be allowed to do all this. Do you doubt what you are to do? “Oh, but all this does not apply to Antonius.” Even Cotyla would not venture to say that. For what does not apply to him? A man who, while he says that he is defending the acts of another, perverts all those laws of his which we might most properly praise. Caesar wished to drain the marshes: this man has given all Italy to that moderate man Lucius Antonius to distribute.—What? has the Roman people adopted this law?—What? could it be passed with a proper regard for the auspices? But this conscientious augur acts in reference to the auspices without his colleagues. Although those auspices do not require any interpretation—for who is there who is ignorant that it is impious to submit any motion to the people while it is thundering? The tribunes of the people carried laws respecting the provinces in opposition to the acts of Caesar; Caesar had extended the provisions of his law over two years; Antonius over six years. Has then the Roman people adopted this law? What? was it ever regularly promulgated? What? was it not passed before it was even drawn up? Did we not see the deed done before we even suspected that it was going to be done? Where is the Caecilian and Didian law? What is become of the law that such bills should be published on three market-days? What is become of the penalty appointed by the recent Junian and Licinian law? Can these laws be ratified without the destruction of all other laws? Has any one had a right of entering the forum? Moreover what thunder and what a storm that was! so that, even if the consideration of the auspices had no weight with Marcus Antonius, it would seem strange that he could endure and bear such exceeding violence of tempest, and rain and whirlwind. When therefore he, as augur, says that he carried a law while Jupiter was not only thundering, but almost uttering an express prohibition of it by his clamor from heaven, will he hesitate to confess that it was carried in violation of the auspices? What? does the virtuous augur think that it has nothing to do with the auspices, that he carried the law with the aid of that colleague whose election he himself vitiated by giving notice of the auspices?
But perhaps we, who are his colleagues, may be the interpreters of the auspices? Do we also want interpreters of arms? In the first place, all the approaches to the forum were so fenced round, that even if no armed men were standing in the way, still it would have been impossible to enter the forum except by tearing down the barricades. But the guards were arranged in such a manner, that, as the access of an enemy to a city is prevented, so you might in this instance see the burgesses and the tribunes of the people cut off by forts and works from all entrance to the forum. On which account I give my vote that those laws which Marcus Antonius is said to have carried were all carried by violence, and in violation of the auspices; and that the people is not bound by them. If Marcus Antonius is said to have carried any law about confirming the acts of Caesar and abolishing the dictatorship forever, and of leading colonies into any lands, then I vote that those laws be passed over again, with a due regard to the auspices, so that they may bind the people. For although they may be good measures which he passed irregularly and by violence, still they are not to be accounted laws, and the whole audacity of this frantic gladiator must he repudiated by our authority. But that squandering of the public money can not possibly be endured by which he got rid of seven hundred millions of sesterces by forged entries and deeds of gifts, so that it seems an absolute miracle that so vast a sum of money belonging to the Roman people can have disappeared in so short a time. What? are those enormous profits to be endured which the household of Marcus Antonius has swallowed up? He was continually selling forged decrees; ordering the names of kingdoms and states, and grants of exemptions to be engraved on brass, having received bribes for such orders. And his statement always was, that he was doing these things in obedience to the memoranda of Caesar, of which he himself was the author. In the interior of his house there was going on a brisk market of the whole republic. His wife, more fortunate for herself than for her husband, was holding an auction of kingdoms and provinces: exiles were restored without any law, as if by law: and unless all these acts are rescinded by the authority of the senate, now that we have again arrived at a hope of recovering the republic, there will be no likeness of a free city left to us.
Nor is it only by the sale of forged memoranda and autographs that a countless sum of money was collected together in that house, while Antonius, whatever he sold, said that he was acting in obedience to the papers of Caesar; but he even took bribes to make false entries of the resolutions of the senate; to seal forged contracts; and resolutions of the senate that had never been passed were entered on the records of that treasury. Of all this baseness even foreign nations were witnesses. In the meantime treaties were made; kingdoms given away; nations and provinces released from the burdens of the state; and false memorials of all these transactions were fixed up all over the Capitol, amid the groans of the Roman people. And by all these proceedings so vast a sum of money was collected in one house, that if it were all made available, the Roman people would never want money again.
Moreover he passed a law to regulate judicial proceedings, this chaste and upright man, this upholder of the tribunals and the law And in this he deceived us He used to say that he appointed men from the front ranks of the army, common soldiers men of the Alauda,[*](It has been already explained that this was the name of one legion.)as judges but he has in reality selected gamesters, he has selected exiles, he has selected Greeks. Oh the fine bench of judges Oh the admirable dignity of that council! I do long to plead in behalf of some defendant before that tribunal—Cyda of Crete; a prodigy even in that island; the most audacious and abandoned of men. But even suppose he were not so. Does he understand Latin? Is he qualified by birth and station to be a judge! Does he—which is most important—does he know any thing about our laws and manners? Is he even acquainted with any of the citizens? Why Crete is better known to you than Rome is to Cyda. In fact the selection and appointment of the judges has usually been confined to our own citizens. But who ever knew or could possibly have known this. Gortynian judge? For Lysiades, the Athenian, we most of us do know For he is the son of Phaedrus an eminent philosopher. And, besides, he is a witty man, so that he will be able to get on very well with Marcus Curius, who will be one of his colleagues, and with whom he is in the habit of playing. I ask if Lysiades, when summoned as a judge, should not answer to his name, and should have an excuse alleged for him that he is an Areopagite, and that he is not bound to act as a judge at both Rome and Athens at the same time, will the man who presides over the investigation admit the excuse of this Greekling judge, at one time a Greek, and at another a Roman? Or will he disregard the most ancient laws of the Athenians?
And what a bench will it be, O ye good gods! A Cretan judge, and he the most worthless of men. Whom can a defendant employ to propitiate him? How is he to get at him? He comes of a hard nation. But the Athenians are merciful. I dare say that Curius, too, is not cruel, inasmuch as he is a man who is himself at the mercy of fortune every day. There are besides other chosen judges who will perhaps be excused. For they have a legitimate excuse, that they have left their country in banishment, and that they have not been restored since. And would that madman have chosen these men as judges, would he have entered their names as such in the treasury, would he have trusted a great portion of the republic to them, if he had intended to leave the least semblance of a republic?
And I have been speaking of those judges who are known. Those whom you are less acquainted with I have been unwilling to name. Know then that dancers, harp-players, the whole troop, in fact, of Antonius's revelers, have all been pitchforked into the third decury of judges. Now you see the object of passing so splendid and admirable a law, amidst excessive rain, storm, wind, tempest, and whirlwind, amidst thunder and lightning; it was that he might have those men for our judges whom no one would like to have for guests. It is the enormity of his wickedness, the consciousness of his crimes, the plunder of that money of which the account was kept in the temple of Ops, which have been the real inventors of this third decury. And infamous judges were not sought for, till all hope of safety for the guilty was despaired of, if they came before respectable ones. But what must have been the impudence, what must have been the iniquity of a man who dared to select those men as judges, by the selection of whom a double disgrace was stamped on the republic: one, because the judges were so infamous; the other, because by this step it was revealed and published to the world how many infamous citizens we had in the republic? These then, and all other similar laws, I should vote ought to be annulled, even if they had been passed without violence, and with all proper respect for the auspices. But now why need I vote that they ought to be annulled, when I do not consider that they were ever legally passed?
Is not this, too, to be marked with the deepest ignominy, and with the severest animadversion of this order, so as to be recollected by all posterity, that Marcus Antonius. (the first man who has ever done so since the foundation of the city) has openly taken armed men about with him in this city? A thing which the kings never did, nor those men who, since the kings have been banished, have endeavored to seize on kingly power. I can recollect Cinna; I have seen Sulla; and lately Caesar. For these three men are the only ones since the city was delivered by Lucius Brutus, who have had more power than the entire republic. I can not assert that no man in their trains had weapons. This I do say, that they had not many, and that they concealed them. But this post was attended by an army of armed men. Classitius, Mustela, and Tiro, openly displaying their swords, led troops of fellows like themselves through the forum. Barbarian archers occupied their regular place in the army. And when they armed at the temple of Concord, the steps were crowded, the litters full of shields were arranged; not because he wished the shields to be concealed, but that his friends might not be fatigued by carrying the shields themselves.
And what was most infamous not only to see, but even to hear of, armed men, robbers, assassins were stationed in the temple of Concord; the temple was turned into a prison; the doors of the temple were closed, and the conscript fathers delivered their opinions while robbers were standing among the benches of the senators. And if I did not come to a senate-house in this state, he, on the first of September, said that he would send carpenters and pull down my house. It was an important affair, I suppose, that was to be discussed. He made some motion about a supplication. I attended the day after. He himself did not come. I delivered my opinion about the republic, not indeed with quite so much freedom as usual, but still with more than the threats of personal danger to myself made perhaps advisable. But that violent and furious man (for Lucius Piso had done the same thing with great credit thirty days before) threatened me with his enmity, and ordered me to attend the senate on the nineteenth of September. In the meantime he spent the whole of the intervening seventeen days in the villa of Scipio, at Tibur, declaiming against me to make himself thirsty. For this is his usual object in declaiming. When the day arrived on which he had ordered me to attend, then he came with a regular army in battle array to the temple of Concord, and out of his impure mouth vomited forth an oration against me in my absence. On which day, if my friends had not prevented me from attending the senate as I was anxious to do, he would have begun a massacre by the slaughter of me. For that was what he had resolved to do. And when once he had dyed his sword in blood, nothing would have made him leave off but pure fatigue and satiety. In truth, his brother, Lucius. Antonius, was present, an Asiatic gladiator, who had fought as a mirmillo,[*](The mirmillo was the gladiator who fought with the retiarius; he wore a Gallic helmet with a fish for a crest.) at Mylasa; he was thirsting for my blood, and had shed much of his own in that gladiatorial combat. He was now valuing our property in his mind, taking notice of our possessions in the city and in the country; his indigence united with his covetousness was threatening all our fortunes; he was distributing our lands to whomsoever and in whatever shares he pleased; no private individual could get access to him, or find any means to propitiate him, and induce him to act with justice. Every former propraetor had just so much property as Antonius left him after the division of his estate. And although all these proceedings can not be ratified, if you annul his laws, still I think that they ought all to be separately taken note of, article by article; and that we ought formally to decide that the appointment of septemvirs was null and void; and that nothing is ratified which is said to have been done by them.
But who is there who can consider Marcus Antonius a citizen, rather than a most foul and barbarous enemy, who, while sitting in front of the temple of Castor, in the hearing of the Roman people, said that no one should survive except those who were victorious? Do you suppose, O conscript fathers, that he spoke with more violence than he would act? And what are we to think of his having ventured to say that, after he had given up his magistracy, he should still be at the city with his army? that he should enter the city as often as he pleased? What else was this but threatening the Roman people with slavery? And what was the object of his journey to Brundusium? and of that great haste? What was his hope, except to lead that vast army to the city or rather into the city? What a proceeding was that selection of the centurions! What unbridled fury of an intemperate mind! For when those gallant legions had raised an outcry against his promises he ordered those centurions to come to him to his house whom he perceived to be loyally attached to the republic and then he had them all murdered before his own eyes and those of his wife whom this noble commander had taken with him to the army What disposition do you suppose that this man will display toward us whom he hates when he was so cruel to those men whom he had never seen? And how covetous will he be with respect to the money of rich men when he thirsted for even the blood of poor men? whose property such as it was he immediately divided among his satellites and boon companions.
And he in a fury was now moving his hostile standards against his country from Brundusium when Caius Caesar by the kind inspiration of the immortal gods, by the greatness of his own heavenly courage, and wisdom, and genius, of his own accord, indeed and prompted by his own admirable virtue, but still with the approbation of my authority went down to the colonies which had been founded by his father; convoked the veteran soldiery; in a few days raised an army and checked the furious advance of this bandit. But after the Martial legion saw this admirable leader, it had no other thoughts but those of securing our liberty. And the fourth legion followed its example.