But who is there who can consider Marcus Antonius a citizen, rather than a most
foul and barbarous enemy, who, while sitting in front of the temple of Castor,
in the hearing of the Roman people, said that no one should survive except those
who were victorious? Do you suppose, O conscript fathers, that he spoke with
more violence than he would act? And what are we to think of his having ventured
to say that, after he had given up his magistracy, he should still be at the
city with his army? that he should enter the city as often as he pleased? What
else was this but threatening the Roman people with slavery?
And what was the object of his journey to Brundusium
? and of that great haste?
What was his hope, except to lead that vast army to the city or rather into the
city? What a proceeding was that selection of the centurions! What unbridled
fury of an intemperate mind! For when those gallant legions had raised an outcry
against his promises he ordered those centurions to come to him to his house
whom he perceived to be loyally attached to the republic and then he had them
all murdered before his own eyes and those of his wife whom this noble commander
had taken with him to the army What disposition do you suppose that this man
will display toward us whom he hates when he was so cruel to those men whom he
had never seen? And how covetous will he be with respect to the money of rich
men when he thirsted for even the blood of poor men? whose property such as it
was he immediately divided among his satellites and boon companions.
And he in a fury was now moving his hostile
standards against his country from Brundusium
when Caius Caesar by the kind inspiration of the
immortal gods, by the greatness of his own heavenly courage, and wisdom, and
genius, of his own accord, indeed and prompted by his own admirable virtue, but
still with the approbation of my authority went down to the colonies which had
been founded by his father; convoked the veteran soldiery; in a few days raised
an army and checked the furious advance of this bandit. But after the Martial
legion saw this admirable leader, it had no other thoughts but those of securing
our liberty. And the fourth legion followed its example.