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The war with Gaul, O conscript fathers, has been carried on actively since Caius Caesar has been our commander-in-chief; previously, we were content to act on the defensive, and to repel attacks. For our generals at all times thought it better to limit themselves to repulsing those nations, than to provoke their hostility by any attack of our own. Even that great man, Caius Marius, whose godlike and amazing valour came to the assistance of the Roman people in many of its distresses and disasters, was content to check the enormous multitudes of Gauls who were forcing their way into Italy, without endeavouring to penetrate himself into their cities and dwelling-places. And lately, that partner of my labours, and dangers, and counsels, Caius Pomptinus, that most gallant man, crushed in battle a war of the Allobroges which rose up suddenly against us, and which was excited by that impious conspiracy, and defeated those tribes who had provoked us, and then he remained quiet, contented with the victory by which be had delivered the republic from alarm.

But I see that the counsels of Caius Caesar are widely different. For he thought it his duty, not only to war against those men whom he saw already in arms against the Roman people, but to reduce the whole of Gaul under our dominion.

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