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5. [11]

I will act, therefore, as commanders are in the habit of doing when their army is ready for battle, who, although they see their soldiers ready to engage, still address an exhortation to them; and in like manner I will exhort you who are already eager and burning to recover your liberty. You have not—you have not, indeed, O Romans, to war against an enemy with whom it is possible to make peace on any terms whatever. For he does not now desire your slavery, as he did before, but he is angry now and thirsts for your blood. No sport appears more delightful to him than bloodshed, and slaughter, and the massacre of citizens before his eyes. [12] You have not, O Romans, to deal with a wicked and profligate man, but with an unnatural and savage beast. And, since he has fallen into a well, let him be buried in it. For if he escapes out of it, there will be no inhumanity of torture which it will be possible to avoid. But he is at present hemmed in, pressed, and besieged by those troops which we already have, and will soon be still more so by those which in a few days the new consuls will levy. Apply yourselves then to this business, as you are doing. Never have you shown greater unanimity in any cause; never have you been so cordially united with the senate. And no wonder. For the question now is not in what condition we are to live, but whether we are to live at all, or to perish with torture and ignominy. [13]

Although nature, indeed, has appointed death for all men: but valor is accustomed to ward off any cruelty or disgrace in death. And that is an inalienable possession of the Roman race and name. Preserve, I beseech you, O Romans, this attribute which your ancestors have left you as a sort of inheritance. Although all other things are uncertain, fleeting, transitory; virtue alone is planted firm with very deep roots; it can not be undermined by any violence; it can never be moved from its position. By it your ancestors first subdued the whole of Italy; then destroyed Carthage, overthrew Numantia, and reduced the most mighty kings and most warlike nations under the dominion of this empire.

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