I have now spoken, O consuls, on every point concerning which you have submitted a motion to us; and if the resolutions which I have proposed be decreed without delay, and seasonably, you will the more easily prepare those measures which the present time and emergency demand. But instant action is necessary. And if we had adopted that earlier, we should, as I have often said, now have no war at all.
In respect of the honours proposed by Cicero in the last speech the senate agreed with him, voting to Octavius honours beyond any that Cicero had proposed. But they were much divided about the question of sending an embassy to Antonius, and the consuls, seeing that a majority agreed with Cicero, adjourned the debate till the next day. The discussion lasted three days, and the senate would at last have adopted all Cicero’s measures if one of the tribunes, Salvius, had not put his veto on them. So that at last the embassy was ordered to be sent, and Servius Sulpicius, Lucius Piso, and Lucius Philippus, appointed as the ambassadors, but they were charged merely to order Antonius to abandon the siege of Mutina, and to desist from hostilities against the province of Gaul, and further, to proceed to Decimus Brutus in Mutina, and to give him and his army the thanks of the senate and people.
The length of the debates roused the curiosity of the people, who, being assembled in the forum to learn the result, called on Cicero to come forth and give them an account of what had been done—on which he went to the rostra, accompanied by Publius Appuleius the tribune, and related to them all that had passed in the following speech:
I. I imagine that you have heard, O Romans, what has been done in the senate, and what has been the opinion delivered by each individual. For the matter which has been in discussion ever since the first of January, has been just brought to a conclusion, with less severity indeed than it ought to have been, but still in a manner not altogether unbecoming. The war has been subjected to a delay, but the cause has not been removed. Wherefore, as to the question which Publius Appuleius—a man united to me by many kind offices and by the closest intimacy, and firmly attached to your interests—has asked me, I will answer in such a manner that you may be acquainted with the transactions at which you were not present.