When men could not bear him, do you think they will bear
you? Believe me, the time will come when men will race with one another to do
this deed, and when no one will wait for the tardy arrival of an opportunity.
Consider, I beg you, Marcus Antonius, do some time or other consider the
republic: think of the family of which you are born, not of the men with whom
you are living. Be reconciled to the republic. However, do you decide on your
conduct. As to mine, I myself will declare what that shall be. I defended the
republic as a young man, I will not abandon it now that I am old. I scorned the
sword of Catiline, I will not quail before yours. No, I will rather cheerfully
expose my own person, if the liberty of the city can her restored by my death.
May the indignation of the Roman people at last bring forth what it has been so
long laboring with. In truth, if twenty years ago in this very temple I asserted
that death could not come prematurely upon a man of consular rank, with how much
more truth must I now say the same of an old man? To me, indeed, O conscript
fathers, death is now even desirable, after all the honors which I have gained,
and the deeds which I have done. I only pray for these two things: one, that
dying I may leave the Roman people free. No greater boon than this can be
granted me by the immortal gods. The other, that every one may meet with a fate
suitable to his deserts and conduct toward the republic.