“On these accounts the senate thinks and declares that the Roman people has been released from the most disgraceful and cruel slavery by the valour, and military skill, and prudence, and firmness, and perseverance, and greatness of mind and good fortune of these their generals. And decrees that, as they have preserved the republic, the city, the temples of the immortal gods, the property and fortunes and families of all the citizens, by their own exertions in battle, and at the risk of their own lives; on account of these virtuous and gallant and successful achievements, Caius Pansa and Aulus Hirtius, the consuls, imperators, one or both of them, or, in their absence, Marcus Cornutus, the city praetor, shall appoint a supplication at all the altars for fifty days. And as the valour of the legions has shown itself worthy of their most illustrious generals, the senate will with great eagerness, now that the republic is recovered, bestow on our legions and armies all the rewards which it formerly promised them. And as the martial legion was the first to engage with the enemy, and fought in such a manner against superior numbers as to slay many and take some prisoners; and as they shed their blood for their country without any shrinking; and as the soldiers of the other legions encountered death with similar valour in defence of the safety and freedom of the Roman people;—the senate does decree that Caius Pansa and Aulus Hirtius, the consuls, imperators, one or both of them if it seems good to them, shall see to the issuing of a contract for, and to the erecting, the most honourable possible monument to those men who shed their blood for the lives and liberties and fortunes of the Roman people, and for the city and temples of the immortal gods; that for that purpose they shall order the city quaestors to furnish and pay money, in order that it may be a witness for the everlasting recollection of posterity of the wickedness of our most cruel enemies, and the god-like valour of our soldiers. And that the rewards which the senate previously appointed for the soldiers, be paid to the parents or children, or wives or brothers of those men who in this war have fallen in defence of their country; and that all honours be bestowed on them which should have been bestowed on the soldiers themselves if those men had lived who gained the victory by their death.”
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These essays on rhetoric were composed by Cicero when he was about one and twenty years of age, and he mentions them afterwards in his more elaborate treatise De Oratore, (Lib. i. c. 2,) as unworthy of his more mature age, and more extended experiences. Quintilian also (III. c. 63,) mentions them as works which Cicero condemned by subsequent writings. This treatise originally consisted of four books, of which only two have come down to us.