Their deliberate reflection I am not afraid of, but I
confess I dread their impetuosity.
If I escape all these great dangers too, do you think my return will be
completely safe? For when I have, according to my usual custom, defended your
authority, and have proved my good faith toward the republic, and my firmness;
then I shall have to fear, not those men alone who hate me, but those also who
envy me. Let my life then be preserved for the republic, let it be kept for the
service of my country as long as my dignity or nature will permit; and let death
either be the necessity of fate, or, if it must be encountered earlier, let it
be encountered with glory.
This being the case, although the republic has no need (to say the least of it)
of this embassy, still if it be possible for me to go on it in safety, I am
willing to go. Altogether, O conscript fathers, I shall regulate the whole of my
conduct in this affair, not by any consideration of my own danger, but by the
advantage of the republic. And, as I have plenty of time, I think that it
behooves me to deliberate upon that over and over again, and to adopt that line
of conduct which I shall judge to be most beneficial to the republic.