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Who then is that man? Either Marcus Brutus, or Caius Cassius, or both of them. I would vote in plain words, as there are many precedents for, one consul or both, if we had not already hampered Brutus sufficiently in Greece, and if we had not preferred having his reinforcement approach nearer to Italy rather than move farther off toward Asia; not so much in order to receive succor ourselves from that army, as to enable that army to receive aid across the water. Besides, O conscript fathers, even now Caius. Antonius is detaining Marcus Brutus, for he occupies Apollonia, a large and important city; he occupies, as I believe, Byllis; he occupies Amantia; he is threatening Epirus; he is pressing on Illyricum; he has with him several cohorts, and he has cavalry. If Brutus be transferred from this district to any other war, we shall at all events lose Greece. We must also provide for the safety of Brundusium and all that coast of Italy. Although I marvel that Antonius delays so long; for he is accustomed usually to put on his marching dress, and not to endure the fear of a siege for any length of time. But if Brutus has finished that business, and perceives that he can better serve the republic by pursuing Dolabella than by remaining in Greece, he will act of his own head, as he has hitherto done; nor amid such a general conflagration will he wait for the orders of the senate when instant help is required. [27] For both Brutus and Cassius have in many instances been a senate to themselves. For it is quite inevitable that in such a confusion and disturbance of all things men should be guided by the present emergency rather than by precedent. Nor will this be the first time that either Brutus or Cassius has considered the safety and deliverance of his country his most holy law and his most excellent precedent. Therefore, if there were no motion submitted to us about the pursuit of Dolabella, still I should consider it equivalent to a decree, when there were men of such a character for virtue, authority, and the greatest nobleness, possessing armies, one of which is already known to us, and the other has been abundantly heard of.

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load focus Latin (Albert Clark, Albert Curtis Clark, 1918)
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