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[26]

What now is the object of this oration? For we do not yet know what the ambassadors have done. But still we ought to be awake, erect, prepared, armed in our minds, so as not to be deceived by any civil or supplicatory language, or by any pretense of justice. He must have complied with all the prohibitions and all the commands which we have sent him, before he can demand any thing. He must have desisted from attacking Brutus and his army, and from plundering the cities and lands of the province of Gaul; he must have permitted the ambassadors to go to Brutus, and led his army back on this side of the Rubicon, and yet not come within two hundred miles of this city. He must have submitted himself to the power of the senate and of the Roman people. If he does this, then we shall have an opportunity of deliberating without any decision being forced upon us either way. If he does not obey the senate, then it will not be the senate that declares war against him, but he who will have declared it against the senate.

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