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[27]

You and your colleague, O Dolabella, ought not, indeed, to be angry with me for speaking in defence of the republic. Although I do not think that you yourself will be; I know your willingness to listen to reason. They say that your colleague, in this fortune of his, which he himself thinks so good, but which would seem to me more favourable if (not to use any harsh language) he were to imitate the example set him by the consulship of his grandfathers and of his uncle,—they say that he has been exceedingly offended. And I see what a formidable thing it is to have the same man angry with me and also armed; especially at a time when men can use their swords with such impunity. But I will propose a condition which I myself think reasonable, and which I do not imagine Marcus Antonius will reject. If I have said anything insulting against his way of life or against his morals, I will not object to his being my bitterest enemy. But if I have maintained the same habits that I have already adopted in the republic,—that is, if I have spoken my opinions concerning the affairs of the republic with freedom,—in the first place, I beg that he will not be angry with me for that; but, in the next place, if I cannot obtain my first request, I beg at least that he will show his anger only as he legitimately may show it to a fellow-citizen.

Let him employ arms, if it is necessary, as he says it is, for his own defence: only let not those arms injure those men who have declared their honest sentiments in the affairs of the republic. Now, what can be more reasonable than this demand?

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