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He then dismissed the council; and assembling the soldiers, put them in mind of what advantage their steadiness and zeal had been to Caesar at Corfinium, and how serviceable towards the conquest of the greatest part of Italy. " It was you," said he, "that gave the example, and all the municipal towns soon followed: their submission to Caesar was your work; and therefore it is not without reason, that he is so particularly attached to you, and that Pompey hates you sincerely. It was you that obliged him to quit Italy, without being forced to it by the loss of a battle. Caesar, who ranks me in the number of his dearest friends, has committed my safety to your care, with Sicily and Africa, without which it would be impossible to defend either Rome or Italy. You are now in the presence of those who exhort you to abandon us: and indeed what could be more desirable to them, than at the same time to ensnare us, and fix upon you the stain of an infinite crime? What worse opinion could an enraged enemy testify of you, than to suppose you capable of betraying those, who own themselves indebted to you for all; and of throwing yourselves into the power of a party, who consider you as the authors of all their misfortunes? Are you strangers to Caesar's exploits in Spain? Two armies defeated! Two generals overcome! Two provinces brought under subjection! And all this in the space of forty days, is it likely that those, who, with forces unbroken, could not stand their ground, will be able to resist, now they are vanquished? And will you who followed Caesar before fortune declared in his favour, now return to the vanquished, when fortune has already decided the quarrel, and you are upon the point of obtaining the reward of your services? They charge you with having abandoned and betrayed them, contrary to the faith of oaths. But is it indeed true, that you abandoned Domitius? Or did he not rather meanly abandon you, at a time when you were ready to suffer every thing for his sake? Did he not, unknown to you, resolve to seek his safety in flight? And were you not, after being thus basely betrayed by him, indebted to Caesar's goodness for your preservation? How could your oath bind you to one, who, after throwing away the ensigns of his authority, and divesting himself of his office, surrendered himself a private man and a captive into the power of another? The new engagement you were then brought under alone subsists at present, and ought quite to obliterate that, which the surrender of your general, and his loss of liberty, have made void. But though I doubt not of your being satisfied with Caesar, you may perhaps have taken offence at me. And, indeed, I have no thought of mentioning any services I may have done you: which, as yet, come far short of my intentions, and your expectations: but you are not ignorant, that the rewards of military service come not till after the conclusion of the war; and I believe you little doubt what the issue of this will be. Nor need I, on this occasion, decline taking notice of the diligence I have used, the progress already made, and the good fortune that has hitherto attended me. Are you dissatisfied that I have landed my army safe in Africa, without the loss of a single ship ? That I dispersed the enemy's fleet at the first onset ? That within the space of two days I have twice defeated their cavalry? That I forced two hundred of their merchantmen to quit the port of Utica and join me? And that I have reduced them to a situation where it is impossible for them to receive any supplies either by land or sea? Can you think of abandoning a cause conducted by such leaders, and attended with such success; to followthe fortune of those who so ignominiously delivered up Corfinium, relinquished Italy, surrendered Spain, and have already sustained considerable losses in the African war? I never pretended to more than being a follower of Caesar: it was you that honoured me with the title of Imperator, which I am ready this moment to resign, if you think me unworthy of the favour. Restore me my former name, that it may not be said I was honoured, to be covered afterwards with the greater ignominy."
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