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[2] The cause which prompted our most fearless and excellent consuls to submit a motion on the first of January, concerning the general state of the republic, arose from the decree which the senate passed by my advice on the nineteenth of December. On that day, O Romans were the foundations of the republic first laid. For then, after a long interval, the senate was free in such a manner that you too might become free. On which day, indeed,—even if it had been to bring to me the end of my life—I received a sufficient, reward for my exertions, when you all with one heart and one voice cried out together, that the republic had been a second time saved by me. Stimulated by so important and so splendid a decision of yours in my favor, I came into the senate on the first of January, with the feeling that I was bound to show my recollection of the character which you had imposed upon me, and which I had to sustain.

Therefore, when I saw that a nefarious war was waged against the republic, I thought that no delay ought to be interposed to our pursuit of Marcus Antonius, and I gave my vote that we ought to pursue with war that most audacious man, who, having committed many atrocious enemies before, was at this moment attacking a general of the Roman people and besieging your most faithful and gallant colony; and that a state of civil war ought to be proclaimed; and I said farther, that my opinion was that a suspension of the ordinary forms of justice should be declared, and that the garb of war should be assumed by the citizens, in order that all men might apply themselves with more activity and energy to avenging the injuries of the republic, if they saw that all the emblems of a regular war had been adopted by the senate.

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