I myself, indeed, am a man who have at all times despised that applause which is bestowed by the vulgar crowd, but at the same time, when it is bestowed by those of the highest, and of the middle, and of the lowest rank, and, in short, by all ranks together, and when those men who were previously accustomed to aim at nothing but the favour of the people keep aloof, I then think that, not mere applause, but a deliberate verdict. If this appears to you unimportant, which is in reality most significant, do you also despise the fact of which you have had experience,—namely, that the life of Aulus Hirtius is so dear to the Roman people? For it was sufficient for him to be esteemed by the Roman people as he is; to be popular among his friends, in which respect he surpasses everybody; to be beloved by his own kinsmen, who do love him beyond measure; but in whose case before do we ever recollect such anxiety and such fear being manifested? Certainly in no one’s.
What, then, are we to do? In the name of the immortal gods, can you interpret these facts, and see what is their purport? What do you think that those men think of your lives, to whom the lives of those men who they hope will consult the welfare of the republic are so dear? I have reaped, O conscript fathers, the reward of my return, since I have said enough to bear testimony of my consistency whatever event may befall me, and since I have been kindly and attentively listened to by you. And if I have such opportunities frequently without exposing both myself and you to danger, I shall avail myself of them. If not, as far as I can I shall reserve myself not for myself, but rather for the republic. I have lived long enough for the course of human life, or for my own glory. If any additional life is granted to me, it shall be bestowed not so much on myself as on you and on the republic.
Called also the second Philippic.
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This second speech was not actually spoken at all. Antonius was greatly enraged at the first speech, and summoned another meeting of the senate for the nineteenth day of the month, giving Cicero especial notice to be present, and he employed the interval in preparing an invective against Cicero, and a reply to the first Philippic. The senate met in the temple of Concord, but Cicero himself was persuaded not to attend by his friends, who were afraid of Antonius proceeding to actual violence against him, (and indeed he brought a strong guard of armed men with him to the senate) He spoke with the greatest fury against Cicero, charging him with having been the principal author and contriver of Caesar’s murder, hoping by this to inflame the soldiers, whom he had posted within hearing of his harangue.