For why should I speak of the last man who stirred up such
a war; a man whose acts, indeed, we defend, while we admit that the author of
them was deservedly slain? Nothing, then, is more infamous than such a citizen
or such a man; if indeed he deserves to he considered either a citizen or a man,
who is desirous of civil war.
But the first thing that we have to consider, O conscript fathers, is whether
peace can exist with all men, or whether there be any war incapable of
reconciliation, in which any agreement of peace is only a covenant of slavery.
Whether Sulla was making peace with Scipio, or whether he was only pretending to
do so, there was no reason to despair, if an agreement had been come to, that
the city might have been in a tolerable state. If Cinna had been willing to
agree with Octavius, the safety of the citizens might still have had an
existence in the republic. In the last war, if Pompeius had relaxed somewhat of
his dignified firmness, and Caesar a good deal of his ambition, we might have
had both a lasting peace, and some considerable remainder of the republic.