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If these are your thoughts, then are you really Marcus Lepidus the Pontifex Maximus, the great-grandson of Marcus Lepidus, Pontifex Maximus, if you judge that every thing is lawful for men to do that they have power to do, then beware lest you seem to prefer acting on precedents set by those who have no connection with you, and these, too, modern precedents, to being guided by the ancient examples in your own family. But if you interpose your authority without having recourse to arms, in that case indeed I praise you more; but beware lest this thing itself be quite unnecessary. For although there is all the authority in you that there ought to be in a man of the highest rank, still the senate itself does not despise itself; nor was it ever more wise, more firm, more courageous. We are all hurried on with the most eager zeal to recover our freedom. Such a general ardor on the part of the senate and people of Rome can not be extinguished by the authority of any one: we hate a man who would extinguish it; we are angry with him, and resist him; our arms can not be wrested from our hands; we are deaf to all signals for retreat, to all recall from the combat. We hope for the happiest success; we will prefer enduring the bitterest disaster to being slaves.

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