The time has come, O Romans,
later altogether than for the honor of the Roman people it should have been, but
still so that the things are now so ripe that they do not admit of a moment's
delay. There has been a sort of fatality, if I may say so, which we have borne
as it was necessary to bear it. But hereafter if any disaster happens to us it
will be of our own seeking. It is impossible for the Roman people to be slaves;
that people whom the immortal gods have ordained should rule over all nations.
Matters are now come to a crisis. We are fighting for our freedom. Either you
must conquer, O Romans, which indeed you will do if you continue to act with
such piety and such unanimity, or you must do anything rather than become
slaves. Other nations can endure slavery, Liberty is the inalienable possession
of the Roman people.