Would Marcus Lepidus, that
man so richly endowed with all the gifts of virtue and fortune, if he saw this
letter, either wish for peace with this man, or even think it possible that
peace should be made? “Sooner shall fire and water mingle,”
as some poet or other says; sooner shall any thing in the world happen than
either the republic become reconciled to the Antonii, or the Antonii to the
republic. Those men are monsters, prodigies, portentous pests of the republic.
It would be better for this city to be uplifted from its foundations and
transported, if such a thing were possible, into other regions, where it should
never hear of the actions or the name of the Antonii, than for it to see those
men, driven out by the valor of Caesar, and hemmed in by the courage of Brutus,
inside these walls. The most desirable thing is victory; the next best thing is
to think no disaster too great to bear in defense of the dignity and freedom of
one's country. The remaining alternative, I will not call it the third, but the
lowest of all, is to undergo the greatest disgrace from a desire of life.