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However, let us say no more of what is past Are we still to allow any farther delay while the ambassadors are on their road to him? and while they are coming back again? and the time spent in waiting for them will make men doubt about the war. And while the fact of the war is in doubt, how can men possibly be zealous about the levies for the army?

Wherefore, O conscript fathers, I give my vote that there should be no mention made of ambassadors. I think that the business that is to be done must be done without any delay and instantly. I say that it is necessary that we should decree that there is sedition abroad, that we should suspend the regular courts of justice, order all men to wear the garb of war, and enlist men in all quarters suspending all exemptions from military service in the city and in all Italy except in Gaul. [32] And if this be done, the general opinion and report of your severity will overwhelm the insanity of that wicked gladiator. He will feel that he has undertaken a war against the republic; he will experience the sinews and vigor of a unanimous senate. For at present he is constantly saying that it is a mere struggle between parties. Between what parties? One party is defeated, the other is the heart of Caius Caesar's party. Unless, indeed we believe that the party of Caesar is attacked by Pansa and Hirtius the consuls and by Caius Caesar's son. But this war has been kindled not by a struggle between parties, but by the nefarious hopes of the most abandoned citizens; by whom all our estates and properties had been marked down, and already distributed according as every one has thought them desirable. [33]

I have read the letter of Antonius which he sent to one of the septemviri, a thorough-paced scoundrel, a. colleague of his own. “Look out, and see what you take a fancy to; what you do fancy you shall certainly have.” See to what a man we are sending ambassadors; against what a man we are delaying to make war; a man who does not even let us draw lots for our fortunes, but hands us over to each man's caprice in such a way, that he has not left even himself any thing untouched, or which has not been promised to somebody. With this man, O conscript fathers, we must wage war,—war, I say, and that instantly. We must reject the slow proceedings of ambassadors. [34]

Therefore, that we may not have a number of decrees to pass every day, I give my vote that the whole republic should be committed to the consuls; and that they should have a charge given them to defend the republic, and to take care “that the republic suffer no injury.” And I give my vote that those men who are in the army of Antonius be not visited with blame, if they leave him before the first of February.

If you adopt these proposals or mine, O conscript fathers, you will in a short time recover the liberty of the Roman people and your own authority. But if you act with more mildness, still you will pass those resolutions, but perhaps you will pass them too late. As to the general welfare of the republic, on which you, O consuls, have consulted us, I think that I have proposed what is sufficient.

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