Soon after the delivery of the last speech, despatches were received from Brutus by the consuls, giving an account of his success against Carus Antonius in Macedonia, stating that he had secured Macedonia, Illyricum, and Greece with the armies in those countries, that Carus Antonius had retired to Apollonia with seven cohorts, that a legion under Lucius Piso had surrendered to young Cicero, who was commanding his cavalry, that Dolabella’s cavalry had deserted to him, and that Vatinius had surrendered Dyrrachium and its garrison to him. He likewise praised Quintus Hortensius, the proconsul of Macedonia, as having assisted him in gaining over the Grecian provinces and the armies in those districts.
As soon as Pansa received the despatches, he summoned the senate to have them read, and in a set speech greatly extolled Brutus, and moved a vote of thanks to him but Calenus, who followed him, declared his opinion, that as Brutus had acted without any public commission or authority he should be required to give up his army to the proper governors of the provinces, or to whoever the senate should appoint to receive it. After he had sat down, Cicero rose, and delivered the following speech.
I. We all, O Pansa, ought both to feel and to show the greatest gratitude to you, who—though we did not expect that you would hold any senate to day,—the moment that you received the letters of Marcus Brutus, that most excellent citizen, did not interpose even the slightest delay to our enjoying the most excessive delight and mutual congratulation at the earliest opportunity. And not only ought this action of yours to be grateful to us all, but also the speech which you addressed to us after the letters had been read. For you showed plainly, that that was true which I have always felt to be so, that no one envied the virtue of another who was confident of his own. Therefore I, who have been connected with Brutus by many mutual good offices and by the greatest intimacy, need not say so much concerning him for the part that I had marked out for myself your speech has anticipated me in. But, O conscript fathers, the opinion delivered by the man who was asked for his vote before me, has imposed upon me the necessity of saying rather more than I otherwise should have said, and I differ from him so repeatedly at present, that I am afraid (what certainly ought not to be the case) that our continual disagreement may appear to diminish our friendship.
What can be the meaning of this argument of yours, O Calenus? what can be your intention? How is it that you have never once since the first of January been of the same opinion with him who asks you your opinion first? How is it that the senate has never yet been so full as to enable you to find one single person to agree with your sentiments? Why are you always defending men who in no point resemble you? why, when both your life and your fortune invite you to tranquillity and dignity, do you approve of those measures, and defend those measures, and declare those sentiments, which are adverse both to the general tranquillity and to your own individual dignity?