It was in expectation of this day that I avoided the wicked army of Marcus.
Antonius, at a time when he, while inveighing against me, was not aware for what
an occasion I was reserving myself and my strength. If at that time I had chosen
to reply to him, while he was seeking to begin the massacre with me, I should
nor now be able to consult the welfare of the republic. But now that I have this
opportunity, I will never, O conscript fathers, neither by day nor by night,
cease considering what ought to be thought concerning the liberty of the Roman
people, and concerning your dignity. And whatever ought to be planned or done, I
not only will never shrink from, but I will offer myself for, and beg to have
entrusted to me. This is what I did before while it was in my power; when it was
no longer in my power to do so, I did nothing. But now it is not only in my
power, but it is absolutely necessary for me, unless we prefer being slaves to
fighting with all our strength and courage to avoid being slaves.