The Orations of Marcus Tullius Cicero, Volume 4 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 784 pages of information about The Orations of Marcus Tullius Cicero, Volume 4.

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

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

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

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

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The Orations of Marcus Tullius Cicero, Volume 4 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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