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 Accordingly, having made a sort of test which gave him encouragement, Lucius called his army together and spoke as follows: "It was my intention, fellow-soldiers, to restore the republic to you when I saw that the government of the triumvirs was a tyranny, which was established, indeed, on the pretext of combating Brutus and Cassius, but was not relaxed after their death. Lepidus had been deprived of his share of the government, Antony was far away collecting money, and this one man was managing everything according to his own will, and the ancient system of Roman government was only a pretence and a laughing-stock. With the intention of reverting to the freedom and democratic government of our ancestors, I asked that after the rewards of victory had been distributed the monarchy should be dissolved. When my request was not granted, I sought to enforce it by virtue of my office. Octavius falsely accused me, before the army, of obstructing the colonies out of pity for the landowners. I was ignorant of this slander for a long time, and even when I learned of it I did not suppose that anybody could believe it, when one saw that the colony officers were men assigned by my very self to divide the lands among you. But the calumny misled some people, who joined Octavius in order to make war against us as they think. But eventually they will find that they have been warring against their own interests. I affirm that you have chosen the better cause, and that you have suffered for it beyond your strength. We are vanquished, not by our enemies, but by hunger, to which we have been left a prey by our own generals.1 It would be becoming in me to fight to the last extremity for my country. Such an end would make my fame glorious after my high purposes. To that destiny I do not submit, for the sake of you, whom I prefer to my own fame. I will send to the conqueror and beg that he will inflict such punishment as he chooses upon me alone, in place of all of you; that he will grant amnesty, not to me, but to you, his fellow-citizens and formerly his soldiers, who are not now in the wrong, who are not fighting without good cause, and are vanquished, not by war, but by hunger."
1 Ventidius, Asinius, and Plancus.
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