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V However, I return to your love and especial delight, Lucius Antonius, who has admitted you all to swear allegiance to him. Do you deny it? is there any one of you who does not belong to a tribe? Certainly not. But thirty five tribes have adopted him for their patron. Do you again cry out against my statement? Look at that gilt statue of him on the left what is the inscription upon it? "The thirty five tribes to their patron." Is then Lucius Antonius the patron of the Roman people? Plague take him! For I fully assent to your outcry. I won't speak of this bandit whom no one would choose to have for a client, but was there ever a man possessed of such influence, or illustrious for mighty deeds, as to dare to call himself the patron of the whole Roman people, the conqueror and master of all nations? We see in the forum a statue of Lucius Antonius, just as we see one of Quintus Tremulus, who conquered the Hernici, before the temple of Castor. Oh the incredible impudence of the man! Has he assumed all this credit to himself, because as a mumillo at Mylasa he slew the Thracian, his friend? How should we be able to endure him, if he had fought in this forum before the eyes of you all? But, however, this is but one statue. He has another erected by the Roman knights who received horses from the state, and they too inscribe on that, "To their patron". Who was ever before adopted by that order as its patron? If it ever adopted any one as such, it ought to have adopted me. What censor was ever so honoured? what imperator? "But he distributed land among them". Shame on their sordid natures for accepting it! shame on his dishonesty for giving it!
Moreover, the military tribunes who were in the army of Caesar have erected him a statue. What order is that? There have been plenty of tribunes in our numerous legions in so many years. Among them he has distributed the lands of Semurium. The Campus Martius was all that was left, if he had not first fled with his brother. But this allotment of lands was put an end to a little while ago, O Romans, by the declaration of his opinion by Lucius Caesar a most illustrious man and a most admirable senator. For we all agreed with him and annulled the acts of the septemvirs. So all the kindness of Nucula goes for nothing, and the patron Antonius is at a discount. For those who had taken possession will depart with more equanimity. They had not been at any expense, they had not yet furnished or stocked their domains, partly because they did not feel sure of their title, and partly because they had no money.
But as for that splendid statue, concerning which, if the times were better, I could not speak without laughing, "To Lucius Antonius, patron of the middle of Janus" Is it so? Is the middle of Janus a client of Lucius Antonius? Who ever was found in that Janus who would have lent Lucius Antonius a thousand sesterces?
VI. However, we have been spending too much time in trifles. Let us return to our subject and to the war. Although it was not wholly foreign to the subject for some characters to be thoroughly appreciated by you, in order that you might in silence think over who they were against whom you were to wage war.
But I exhort you, O Romans, though perhaps other measures might have been wiser, still now to wait with calmness for the return of the ambassadors. Promptness of action has been taken from our side, but still some good has accrued to it. For when the ambassadors have reported what they certainly will report, that Antonius will not submit to you nor to the senate, who then will be so worthless a citizen as to think him deserving of being accounted a citizen? For at present there are men, few indeed, but still more than there ought to be, or than the republic deserves that there should be, who speak in this way,—"Shall we not even wait for the return of the ambassadors?" Certainly the republic itself will force them to abandon that expression and that pretence of clemency. On which account, to confess the truth to you, O Romans, I have less striven to day, and laboured all the less to day, to induce the senate to agree with me in decreeing the existence of a seditious war, and ordering the apparel of war to be assumed. I preferred having my sentiments applauded by every one in twenty days' time, to having it blamed to day by a few. Wherefore, O Romans, wait now for the return of the ambassadors, and devour your annoyance for a few days. And when they do return, if they bring back peace, believe me that I have been desirous that they should, if they bring back war, then allow me the praise of foresight. Ought I not to be provident for the welfare of my fellow-citizens? Ought I not day and night to think of your freedom and of the safety of the republic? For what do I not owe to you, O Romans, since you have preferred for all the honours of the state a man who is his own father to the most nobly born men in the republic? Am I ungrateful? Who is less so? I, who, after I had obtained those honours, have constantly laboured in the forum with the same exertions as I used while striving for them. Am I inexperienced in state affairs? Who has had more practice than I, who have now for twenty years been waging war against impious citizens?
VII Wherefore, O Romans, with all the prudence of which I am master, and with almost more exertion than I am capable of, will I put forth my vigilance and watchfulness in your behalf In truth, what citizen is there, especially in this rank in which you have placed me, so forgetful of your kindness, so unmindful of his country, so hostile to his own dignity, as not to be roused and stimulated by your wonderful unanimity? I, as consul, have held many assemblies of the people, I have been present at many others, I have never once seen one so numerous as this one of yours now is. You have all one feeling, you have all one desire, that of averting the attempts of Marcus Antonius from the republic, of extinguishing his frenzy and crushing his audacity. All orders have the same wish. The municipal towns, the colonies, and all Italy are labouring for the same end. Therefore you have made the senate, which was already pretty firm of its own accord, firmer still by your authority. The time has come, O Romans, later altogether than for the honour of the Roman people it should have been, but still so that the things are now so ripe that they do not admit of a moment's delay. There has been a sort of fatality, if I may say so, which we have borne as it was necessary to bear it. But hereafter if any disaster happens to us it will be of our own seeking. It is impossible for the Roman people to be slaves, that people whom the immortal gods have ordained should rule over all nations. Matters are now come to a crisis. We are fighting for our freedom. Either you must conquer, O Romans, which indeed you will do if you continue to act with such piety and such unanimity, or you must do anything rather than become slaves. Other nations can endure slavery. Liberty is the inalienable possession of the Roman people.
THE SEVENTH ORATION OF M. T. CICERO AGAINST MARCUS ANTONIUS CALLED ALSO THE SEVENTH PHILIPPIC.
After the senate had decided on sending them, the ambassadors immediately set out, though Servius Sulpicius was in a very bad state of health. In the meantime the partisans of Antonius in the city, with Calenus at their head were endeavouring to gain over the rest of the citizens, by representing him as eager for an accommodation and they kept up a correspondence with him, and published such of his letters as they thought favourable for their views. Matters being in this state, Cicero, at an ordinary meeting of the senate, made the following speech to counteract the machinations of this party, and to warn the citizens generally of the danger of being deluded by them.
I. We are consulted to-day about matters of small importance, but still perhaps necessary, O conscript fathers. The consul submits a motion to us about the Appian road, and about the coinage, the tribune of the people one about the Luperci. And although it seems easy to settle such matters as those, still my mind cannot fix itself on such subjects, being anxious about more important matters. For our affairs, O conscript fathers, are come to a crisis, and are in a state of almost extreme danger. It is not without reason that I have always feared and never approved of that sending of ambassadors. And what their return is to bring us I know not, but who is there who does not see with how much languor the expectation of it infects our minds? For those men put no restraint on themselves who grieve that the senate has revived so as to entertain hopes of its former authority, and that the Roman people is united to this our order, that all Italy is animated by one common feeling, that armies are prepared, and generals ready for the armies, even already they are inventing replies for Antonius, and defending them. Some pretend that his demand is that all the armies be disbanded. I suppose then we sent ambassadors to him, not that he should submit and obey this our body, but that he should offer us conditions, impose laws upon us, order us to open Italy to foreign nations, especially while we were to leave him in safety from whom there is more danger to be feared than from any nation whatever. Others say that he is willing to give up the nearer Gaul to us, and that he will be satisfied with the further Gaul. Very kind of him! in order that from thence he may endeavour to bring not merely legions, but even nations against this city. Others say that he makes no demands now but such as are quite moderate. Macedonia he calls absolutely his own, since it was from thence that his brother Caius was recalled. But what province is there in which that firebrand may not kindle a conflagration? Therefore those same men, like provident citizens and diligent senators, say that I have sounded the charge, and they undertake the advocacy of peace. Is not this the way in which they argue? "Antonius ought not to have been irritated, he is a reckless and a bold man, there are many bad men besides him." (No doubt, and they may begin and count themselves first). And they warn us to be on our guard against them. Which conduct then is it which shows the more prudent caution chastising wicked citizens when one is able to do so, or fearing them?
II. And these men speak in this way, who on account of their trifling disposition used to be considered friends of the people. From which it may be understood that they in their hearts have at all times been disinclined to a good constitution of the state, and they were not friends of the people from inclination. For how comes it to pass that those men who were anxious to gratify the people in evil things, now, on an occasion which above all others concerns the people's interests, because the same thing would be also salutary for the republic, now prefer being wicked to being friends of the people? This noble cause of which I am the advocate has made me popular, a man who (as you know) have always opposed the rashness of the people. And those men are called, or rather they call themselves, consulars; though no man is worthy of that name except those who can support so high an honour. Will you favour an enemy? Will you let him send you letters about his hopes of success? Will you be glad to produce them? to read them? Will you even give them to wicked citizens to take copies of? Will you thus raise their courage? Will you thus damp the hopes and valour of the good? And then will you think yourself a consular, or a senator, or even a citizen? Caius Pansa, a most fearless and virtuous consul, will take what I say in good part. For I will speak with a disposition most friendly to him; but I should not consider him himself a consul, though a man with whom I am most intimate, unless he was such a consul as to devote all his vigilance, and cares, and thoughts to the safety of the republic.
Although long acquaintance, and habit, and a fellowship and resemblance in the most honourable pursuits, has bound us together from his first entrance into life; and his incredible diligence, proved at the time of the most formidable dangers of the civil war, showed that he was a favourer not only of my safety, but also of my dignity; still, as I said before, if he were not such a consul as I have described, I should venture to deny that he was a consul at all. But now I call him not only a consul, but the most excellent and virtuous consul within my recollection; not but that there have been others of equal virtue and equal inclination, but still they have not had an equal opportunity of displaying that virtue and inclination. But the opportunity of a time of most formidable change has been afforded to his magnanimity, and dignity, and wisdom. And that is the time when the consulship is displayed to the greatest advantage, when it governs the republic during a time which, if not desirable, is at all events critical and momentous. And a more critical time than the present, O conscript fathers, never was.
III. Therefore I, who have been at all times an adviser of peace, and who, though all good men always considered peace, and especially internal peace, desirable, have desired it more than all of them;—for the whole of the career of my industry has been passed in the forum and in the senate-house, and in warding off dangers from my friends; it is by this course that I have arrived at the highest honours, at moderate wealth, and at any dignity which we may be thought to have: I therefore, a nursling of peace, as I may call myself, I who, whatever I am, (for I arrogate nothing to myself,) should undoubtedly not have been such without internal peace: I am speaking in peril: I shudder to think how you will receive it, O conscript fathers: but still, out of regard for my unceasing desire to support and increase your dignity, I beg and entreat you, O conscript fathers, although it may be a bitter thing to hear, or an incredible thing that it should be said by Marcus Cicero, still to receive at first, without offence, what I am going to say, and not to reject it before I have fully explained what it is;—I, who, I will say so over and over again, have always been a panegyrist, have always been an adviser of peace, do not wish to have peace with Marcus Antonius. I approach the rest of my speech with great hope, O conscript fathers, since I have now passed by that perilous point amid your silence.
Why then do I not wish for peace? Because it would be shameful; because it would be dangerous; because it cannot possibly be real. And while I explain these three points to you, I beg of you, O conscript fathers, to listen to my words with the same kindness which you usually show to me.
What is more shameful than inconsistency, fickleness, and levity, both to individuals, and also to the entire senate? Moreover, what can be more inconsistent than on a sudden to be willing to be united in peace with a man whom you have lately adjudged to be an enemy, not by words, but by actions and by many formal decrees? Unless, indeed, when you were decreeing honours to Caius Caesar, well-deserved indeed by and fairly due to him, but still unprecedented and never to be forgotten, for one single reason,—because he had levied an army against Marcus Antonius,—you were not judging Marcus Antonius to be an enemy; and unless Antonius was not pronounced an enemy by you, when the veteran soldiers were praised by your authority, for having followed Caesar; and unless you did not declare Antonius an enemy when you promised exemptions and money and lands to those brave legions, because they had deserted him who was consul while he was an enemy.
IV. What? when you distinguished with the highest praises Brutus, a man born under some omen, as it were, of his race and name, for the deliverance of the republic, and his army, which was waging war against Antonius on behalf of the liberty of the Roman people, and the most loyal and admirable province of Gaul, did you not then pronounce Antonius an enemy? What? when you decreed that the consuls, one or both of them, should go to the war, what war was there if Antonius was not an enemy? Why then was it that most gallant man, my own colleague and intimate friend, Aulus Hirtius the consul, has set out? And in what delicate health he is; how wasted away! But the weak state of his body could not repress the vigour of his mind. He thought it fair, I suppose, to expose to danger in defence of the Roman people that life which had been preserved to him by their prayers. What? when you ordered levies of troops to be made throughout all Italy, when you suspended all exemptions from service, was he not by those steps declared to be an enemy? You see manufactories of arms in the city; soldiers, sword in hand, are following the consul; they are in appearance a guard to the consul, but in fact and reality to us; all men are giving in their names, not only without any shirking, but with the greatest eagerness; they are acting in obedience to your authority. Has not Antonius been declared an enemy by such acts?
"Oh, but we have sent ambassadors to him." Alas, wretched that I am! why am I compelled to find fault with the senate whom I have always praised? Why? Do you think, O conscript fathers, that you have induced the Roman people to approve of the sending ambassadors? Do you not perceive, do you not hear, that the adoption of my opinion is demanded by them? that opinion which you, in a full house, agreed to the day before, though the day after you allowed yourselves to be brought down to a groundless hope of peace. Moreover, how shameful it is for the legions to send out ambassadors to the senate, and the senate to Antonius! Although that is not an embassy; it is a denunciation that destruction is prepared for him if he do not submit to this order. What is the difference? At all events, men's opinions are unfavourable to the measure; for all men see that ambassadors have been sent, but it is not all who are acquainted with the terms of your decree.
V. You must, therefore, preserve your consistency, your wisdom, your firmness, your perseverance. You must go back to the old-fashioned severity, if at least the authority of the senate is anxious to establish its credit, its honour, its renown, and its dignity, things which this order has been too long deprived of. But there was some time ago some excuse for it, as being oppressed; a miserable excuse indeed, but still a fair one; now there is none. We appeared to have been delivered from kingly tyranny; and afterwards we were oppressed much more severely by domestic enemies. We did indeed turn their arms aside; we must now wrest them from their hands. And if we cannot do so, (I will say what it becomes one who is both a senator and a Roman to say,) let us die. For how just will be the shame, how great will be the disgrace, how great the infamy to the republic, if Marcus Antonius can deliver his opinion in this assembly from the consular bench. For, to say nothing of the countless acts of wickedness committed by him while consul in the city, during which time he has squandered a vast amount of public money, restored exiles without any law, sold our revenues to all sorts of people, removed provinces from the empire of the Roman people, given men kingdoms for bribes, imposed laws on the city by violence, besieged the senate, and, at other times, excluded it from the senate-house by force of arms;—to say nothing, I say, of all this, do you not consider this, that he who has attacked Mutina, a most powerful colony of the Roman people—who has besieged a general of the Roman people, who is consul elect—who has laid waste the lands,—do you not consider, I say, how shameful and iniquitous a thing it would be for that man to be received into this order, by which he has been so repeatedly pronounced an enemy for these very reasons?
I have said enough of the shamefulness of such a proceeding; I will now speak next, as I proposed, of the danger of it; which, although it is not so important to avoid as shame, still offends the minds of the greater part of mankind even more.
VI. Will it then be possible for you to rely on the certainty of any peace, when you see Antonius, or rather the Antonii, in the city? Unless, indeed, you despise Lucius: I do not despise even Caius. But, as I think, Lucius will be the dominant spirit,—for he is the patron of the five-and-thirty tribes, whose votes he took away by his law, by which he divided the magistracies in conjunction with Caius Caesar. He is the patron of the centuries of the Roman knights, which also he thought fit to deprive of the suffrages: he is the patron of the men who have been military tribunes; he is the patron of the middle of Janus. O ye gods! who will be able to support this man's power? especially when he has brought all his dependants into the lands. Who ever was the patron of all the tribes? and of the Roman knights? and of the military tribunes? Do you think that the power of even the Gracchi was greater than that of this gladiator will be? whom I have called gladiator, not in the sense in which sometimes Marcus Antonius too is called gladiator, but as men call him who are speaking plain Latin. He has fought in Asia as a mirmillo. After having equipped his own companion and intimate friend in the armour of a Thracian, he slew the miserable man as he was flying; but he himself received a palpable wound, as the scar proves.
What will the man who murdered his friend in this way, when he has an opportunity, do to an enemy? and if he did such a thing as this for the fun of the thing, what do you think he will do when tempted by the hope of plunder? Will he not again meet wicked men in the decuries? will he not again tamper with those men who have received lands? will he not again seek those who have been banished? will he not, in short, be Marcus Antonius; to whom, on the occasion of every commotion, there will be a rush of all profligate citizens? Even if there be no one else except those who are with him now, and these who in this body now openly speak in his favour, will they be too small in number? especially when all the protection which we might have had from good men is lost, and when those men are prepared to obey his nod? But I am afraid, if at this time we fail to adopt wise counsels, that that party will in a short time appear too numerous for us. Nor have I any dislike to peace; only I do dread war disguised under the name of peace. Wherefore, if we wish to enjoy peace we must first wage war. If we shrink from war, peace we shall never have.
VII. But it becomes your prudence, O conscript fathers, to provide as far forward as possible for posterity. That is the object for which we were placed in this garrison, and as it were on this watch-tower; that by our vigilance and foresight we might keep the Roman people free from fear. It would be a shameful thing, especially in so clear a case as this, for it to be notorious that wisdom was wanting to the chief council of the whole world. We have such consuls, there is such eagerness on the part of the Roman people, we have such an unanimous feeling of all Italy in our favour, such generals, and such armies, that the republic cannot possibly suffer any disaster without the senate being in fault. I, for my part, will not be wanting. I will warn you, I will forewarn you, I will give you notice, I will call gods and men to witness what I do really believe. Nor will I display my good faith alone, which perhaps may seem to be enough, but which in a chief citizen is not enough; I will exert all my care, and prudence, and vigilance.
I have spoken about the danger. I will now proceed to prove to you that it is not possible for peace to be firmly cemented; for of the propositions which I promised to establish this is the last.
VIII. What peace can there be between Marcus Antonius and (in the first place) the senate? with what face will he be able to look upon you, and with what eyes will you, in turn, look upon him? Which of you does not hate him? which of you does not he hate? Come, are you the only people who hate him; and whom he hates? What? what do you think of those men who are besieging Mutina, who are levying troops in Gaul, who are threatening your fortunes? will they ever be friends to you, or you to them? Will he embrace the Roman knights? For, suppose their inclinations respecting, and their opinions of Antonius were very much concealed, when they stood in crowds on the steps of the temple of Concord, when they stimulated you to endeavour to recover your liberty, when they demanded arms, the robe of war, and war, and who, with the Roman people, invited me to meet in the assembly of the people, will these men ever become friends to Antonius? will Antonius ever maintain peace with them? For why should I speak of the whole Roman people? which, in a full and crowded forum, twice, with one heart and one voice, summoned me into the assembly, and plainly showed their excessive eagerness for the recovery of their liberty. So, desirable as it was before to have the Roman people for our comrade, we now have it for our leader.
What hope then is there that there ever can be peace between the Roman people and the men who are besieging Mutina and attacking a general and army of the Roman people? Will there be peace with the municipal towns, whose great zeal is shown by the decrees which they pass, by the soldiers whom they furnish, by the sums which they promise, so that in each town there is such a spirit as leaves no one room to wish for a senate of the Roman people? The men of Firmium deserve to be praised by a resolution of our order, who set the first example of promising money; we ought to return a complimentary answer to the Marrucini, who have passed a vote that all who evade military service are to be branded with infamy. These measures are adopted all over Italy. There is great peace between Antonius and these men, and between them and him! What greater discord can there possibly be? And in discord civil peace cannot by any possibility exist. To say nothing of the mob, look at Lucius Nasidius, a Roman knight, a man of the very highest accomplishments and honour, a citizen always eminent, whose watchfulness and exertions for the protection of my life I felt in my consulship; who not only exhorted his neighbours to become soldiers, but also assisted them from his own resources; will it be possible ever to reconcile Antonius to such a man as this, a man whom we ought to praise by a formal resolution of the senate? What? will it be possible to reconcile him to Caius Caesar, who prevented him from entering the city, or to Decimus Brutus, who has refused him entrance into Gaul? Moreover, will he reconcile himself to, or look mercifully on the province of Gaul, by which he has been excluded and rejected? You will see everything, O conscript fathers, if you do not take care, full of hatred and full of discord, from which civil wars arise. Do not then desire that which is impossible: and beware, I entreat you by the immortal gods, O conscript fathers, that out of hope of present peace you do not lose perpetual peace.
What now is the object of this oration? For we do not yet know what the ambassadors have done. But still we ought to be awake, erect, prepared, armed in our minds, so as not to be deceived by any civil or supplicatory language, or by any pretence of justice. He must have complied with all the prohibitions and all the commands which we have sent him, before he can demand anything. He must have desisted from attacking Brutus and his army, and from plundering the cities and lands of the province of Gaul; he must have permitted the ambassadors to go to Brutus, and led his army back on this side of the Rubicon, and yet not come within two hundred miles of this city. He must have submitted himself to the power of the senate and of the Roman people. If he does this, then we shall have an opportunity of deliberating without any decision being forced upon us either way. If he does not obey the senate, then it will not be the senate that declares war against him, but he who will have declared it against the senate.
But I warn you, O conscript fathers, the liberty of the Roman people, which is entrusted to you, is at stake. The life and fortune of every virtuous man is at stake, against which Antonius has long been directing his insatiable covetousness, united to his savage cruelty. Your authority is at stake, which you will wholly lose if you do not maintain it now. Beware how you let that foul and deadly beast escape now that you have got him confined and chained. You too, Pansa, I warn, (although you do not need counsel, for you have plenty of wisdom yourself: but still, even the most skilful pilots receive often warnings from the passengers in terrible storms,) not to allow this vast and noble preparation which you have made to fall away to nothing. You have such an opportunity as no one ever had. It is in your power so to avail yourself of this wise firmness of the senate, of this zeal of the equestrian order, of this ardour of the Roman people, as to release the Roman people from fear and danger for ever. As to the matters to which your motion before the senate refers, I agree with Publius Servilius.
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THE EIGHTH ORATION OF M T CICERO AGAINST MARCUS ANTONIUS CALLED ALSO THE EIGHTH PHILIPPIC
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After the embassy to Antonius had left Rome the consuls zealously exerted themselves in preparing for war, in case he should reject the demands of the ambassador. Hirtius, though in bad health, left Rome first, at the head of an army containing, among others, the Martial and the fourth legions, intending to join Octavius and hoping with his assistance to prevent his gaining any advantage over Brutus till Pansa could join them. And he gained some advantages over Antonius at once.
About the beginning of February the two remaining ambassadors (for Servius Sulpicius had died just as they arrived at Antonius's camp) returned, bringing word that Antonius would comply with none of the commands of the senate, nor allow them to proceed to Decimus Brutus, and bringing also (contrary to their duty) demands from him, of which the principal were, that his troops were to be rewarded, all the acts of himself and Dolabella to be ratified as also all that he had done respecting Caesar's papers, that no account was to be required of him of the money; in the temple of Ops and that he should have the further Gaul with an army of six legions.
Pansa summoned the senate to receive the report of the ambassador, when Cicero made a severe speech, proposing very vigorous measures against Antonius, which, however, Galenus and his party were still numerous enough to mitigate very greatly; and even Pansa voted against him and in favour of the milder measures though they could not prevail against Cicero to have a second embassy sent to Antonius, and though Cicero carried his point of ordering the citizens to assume the sagum, or robe of war which he also (waving his privilege as a man of consular rank) wore himself. The next day the senate met again, to draw upon form the decrees on which they had resolved the day before, when Cicero addressed the following speech to them, expostulating with them for their wavering the day before.
I. Matters were carried on yesterday, O Caius Pansa, in a more irregular manner than the beginning of your consulship required. You did not appear to me to make sufficient resistance to those men, to whom you are not in the habit of yielding. For while the virtue of the senate was such as it usually is, and while all men saw that there was war in reality, and some thought that the name ought to be kept back, on the division, your inclination inclined to lenity. The course which we proposed therefore was defeated, at your instigation, on account of the harshness of the word war. That urged by Lucius Caesar, a most honourable man, prevailed, which, taking away that one harsh expression, was gentler in its language than in its real intention. Although he, indeed, before he delivered his opinion at all, pleaded his relationship to Antonius in excuse for it. He had done the same in my consulship, in respect of his sister's husband, as he did now in respect of his sister's son, so that he was moved by the grief of his sister, and at the same time he wished to provide for the safety of the republic.
And yet Caesar himself in some degree recommended you, O conscript fathers, not to agree with him, when he said that he should have expressed quite different sentiments, worthy both of himself and of the republic, if he had not been hampered by his relationship to Antonius. He, then, is his uncle, are you his uncles too, you who voted with him?
But on what did the dispute turn? Some men, in delivering their opinion, did not choose to insert the word "war". They preferred calling it "tumult," being ignorant not only of the state of affairs, but also of the meaning of words. For there can be a "war" without a "tumult," but there cannot be a "tumult" without a "war." For what is a "tumult," but such a violent disturbance that an unusual alarm is engendered by it? from which indeed the name "tumult" is derived. Therefore, our ancestors spoke of the Italian "tumult," which was a domestic one, of the Gallic "tumult," which was on the frontier of Italy, but they never spoke of any other. And that a "tumult" is a more serious thing than a "war" may be seen from this, that during a war exemptions from military service are valid, but in a tumult they are not. So that it is the fact, as I have said, that war can exist without a tumult, but a tumult cannot exist without a war. In truth, as there is no medium between war and peace, it is quite plain that a tumult, if it be not a sort of war, must be a sort of peace; and what more absurd can be said or imagined? However, we have said too much about a word; let us rather look to the facts, O conscript fathers, the appreciation of which, I know, is at times injured by too much attention being paid to words.
II. We are unwilling that this should appear to be a war. What is the object, then, of our giving authority to the municipal towns and colonies to exclude Antonius? of our authorizing soldiers to be enlisted without any force, without the terror of any fine, of their own inclination and eagerness? of permitting them to promise money for the assistance of the republic? For if the name of war be taken away, the zeal of the municipal towns will be taken away too. And the unanimous feeling of the Roman people which at present pours itself into our cause, if we cool upon it, must inevitably be damped.
But why need I say more? Decimus Brutus is attacked. Is not that war? Mutina is besieged. Is not even that war? Gaul is laid waste. What peace can be more assured than this? Who can think of calling that war? We have sent forth a consul, a most gallant man, with an army, who, though he was in a weak state from a long and serious illness, still thought he ought not to make any excuse when he was summoned to the protection of the republic. Caius Caesar, indeed, did not wait for our decrees; especially as that conduct of his was not unsuited to his age. He undertook war against Antonius of his own accord; for there was not yet time to pass a decree; and he saw that, if he let slip the opportunity of waging war, when the republic was crushed it would be impossible to pass any decrees at all. They and their arms, then, are now at peace. He is not an enemy whose garrison Hirtius has driven from Claterna; he is not an enemy who is in arms resisting a consul, and attacking a consul elect; and those are not the words of an enemy, nor is that warlike language, which Pansa read just now out of his colleague's letters: "I drove out the garrison." "I got possession of Claterna." "The cavalry were routed." "A battle was fought." "A good many men were slain." What peace can be greater than this? Levies of troops are ordered throughout all Italy; all exemptions from service are suspended; the robe of war is to be assumed to-morrow, the consul has said that he shall come down to the senate house with an armed guard.
Is not this war? Ay, it is such a war as has never been. For in all other wars, and most especially in civil wars, it was a difference as to the political state of the republic which gave rise to the contest. Sylla contended against Sulpicius about the force of laws which Sylla said had been passed by violence. Cinna warred against Octavius because of the votes of the new citizens. Again, Sylla was at variance with Cinna and Marius, in order to prevent unworthy men from attaining power, and to avenge the cruel death of most illustrious men. The causes of all these wars arose from the zeal of different parties, for what they considered the interest of the republic. Of the last civil war I cannot bear to speak. I do not understand the cause of it, I detest the result.
III. This is the fifth civil war, (and all of them have fallen upon our times,) the first which has not only not brought dissensions and discord among the citizens, but which has been signalised by extraordinary unanimity and incredible concord. All of them have the same wish, all defend the same objects, all are inspired with the same sentiments. When I say all, I except those whom no one thinks worthy of being citizens at all. What, then, is the cause of war, and what is the object aimed at? We are defending the temples of the immortal gods, we are defending the walls of the city, we are defending the homes and habitations of the Roman people, the household gods, the altars, the hearths and the sepulchres of our forefathers, we are defending our laws, our courts of justice, our freedom, our wives, our children, and our country. On the other hand, Marcus Antonius labours and fights in order to throw into confusion and overturn all these things, and hopes to have reason to think the plunder of the republic sufficient cause for the war, while he squanders part of our fortunes, and distributes the rest among his parricidal followers.
While, then, the motives for war are so different, a most miserable circumstance is what that fellow promises to his band of robbers. In the first place our houses, for he declares that he will divide the city among them, and after that he will lead them out at whatever gate and settle them on whatever lands they please. All the Caphons, all the Saxas, and the other plagues which attend Antonius, are marking out for themselves in their own minds most beautiful houses, and gardens, and villas, at Tusculum and Alba; and those clownish men—if indeed they are men, and not rather brute beasts—are borne on in their empty hopes as far as the waters and Puteoli. So Antonius has something to promise to his followers. What can we do? Have we anything of the sort? May the gods grant us a better fate! for our express object is to prevent any one at all from hereafter making similar promises. I say this against my will, still I must say it;—the auction sanctioned by Caesar, O conscript fathers, gives many wicked men both hope and audacity. For they saw some men become suddenly rich from having been beggars. Therefore, those men who are hanging over our property, and to whom Antonius promises everything, are always longing to see an auction. What can we do? What do we promise our soldiers? Things much better and more honourable. For promises to be earned by wicked actions are pernicious both to those who expect them, and to those who promise them. We promise to our soldiers freedom, rights, laws, justice, the empire of the world, dignity, peace, tranquillity. The promises then of Antonius are bloody, polluted, wicked, odious to gods and men, neither lasting nor salutary; ours, on the other hand, are honourable, upright, glorious, full of happiness, and full of piety.
IV. Here also Quintus Fufius, a brave and energetic man, and a friend of mine, reminds me of the advantages of peace. As if, if it were necessary to praise peace, I could not do it myself quite as well as he. For is it once only that I have defended peace? Have I not at all times laboured for tranquillity? which is desirable for all good men, but especially for me. For what course could my industry pursue without forensic causes, without laws, without courts of justice? and these things can have no existence when civil peace is taken away. But I want to know what you mean, O Calenus? Do you call slavery peace? Our ancestors used to take up arms not merely to secure their freedom, but also to acquire empire; you think that we ought to throw away our arms, in order to become slaves. What juster cause is there for waging war than the wish to repel slavery? in which, even if one's master be not tyrannical, yet it is a most miserable thing that he should be able to be so if he chooses. In truth, other causes are just, this is a necessary one. Unless, perhaps, you think that this does not apply to you, because you expect that you will be a partner in the dominion of Antonius. And there you make a two-fold mistake: first of all, in preferring your own to the general interest; and in the next place, in thinking that there is anything either stable or pleasant in kingly power. Even if it has before now been advantageous to you, it will not always be so. Moreover, you used to complain of that former master, who was a man; what do you think you will do when your master is a beast? And you say that you are a man who have always been desirous of peace, and have always wished for the preservation of all the citizens. Very honest language; that is, if you mean all citizens who are virtuous, and useful, and serviceable to the republic; but if you wish those who are by nature citizens, but by inclination enemies, to be saved, what difference is there between you and them? Your father, indeed, with whom I as a youth was acquainted, when he was an old man, —a man of rigid virtue and wisdom,—used to give the greatest praise of all citizens who had ever lived to Publius Nasica, who slew Tiberius Gracchus. By his valour, and wisdom, and magnanimity he thought that the republic had been saved. What am I to say? Have we received any other doctrine from our fathers? Therefore, that citizen—if you had lived in those times—would not have been approved of by you, because he did not wish all the citizens to be safe. "Because Lucius Opimius the consul has made a speech concerning the republic, the senators have thus decided on that matter, that Opimius the consul shall defend the republic." The senate adopted these measures in words, Opimius followed them up by his arms. Should you then, if you had lived in those times, have thought him a hasty or a cruel citizen? or should you have thought Quintus Metellus one, whose four sons were all men of consular rank? or Publius Lentulus the chief of the senate, and many other admirable men, who, with Lucius Opimius the consul, took arms, and pursued Gracchus to the Aventine? and in the battle which ensued, Lentulus received a severe wound, Gracchus was plain, and so was Marcus Fulvius, a man of consular rank, and his two youthful sons. Those men, therefore, are to be blamed; for they did not wish all the citizens to be safe.
V. Let us come to instances nearer our own time. The senate entrusted the defence of the republic to Caius Marius and Lucius Valerius, the consuls; Lucius Saturninus, a tribune of the people, and Caius Glaucia the praetor, were slain. On that day, all the Scauri, and Metelli, and Claudii, and Catuli, and Scaevolae, and Crassi took arms. Do you think either those consuls or those other most illustrious men deserving of blame? I myself wished Catiline to perish. Did you who wish every one to be safe, wish Catiline to be safe? There is this difference, O Calenus, between my opinion and yours. I wish no citizen to commit such crimes as deserve to be punished with death. You think that, even if he has committed them, still he ought to be saved. If there is anything in our own body which is injurious to the rest of the body, we allow that to be burnt and cut out, in order that a limb may be lost in preference to the whole body. And so in the body of the republic, whatever is rotten must be cut off in order that the whole may be saved. Harsh language! This is much more harsh, "Let the worthless, and wicked and impious be saved, let the innocent, the honourable, the virtuous, the whole republic be destroyed." In the case of one individual, O Quintus Fufius, I confess that you saw more than I did. I thought Publius Clodius a mischievous, wicked, lustful, impious, audacious, criminal citizen. You, on the other hand, called him religious, temperate, innocent, modest; a citizen to be preserved and desired. In this one particular I admit that you had great discernment, and that I made a great mistake. For as for your saying that I am in the habit of arguing against you with ill-temper, that is not the case. I confess that I argue with vehemence, but not with ill-temper. I am not in the habit of getting angry with my friends every now and then, not even if they deserve it. Therefore, I can differ from you without using any insulting language, though not without feeling the greatest grief of mind. For is the dissension between you and me a trifling one, or on a trifling subject? Is it merely a case of my favouring this man, and you that man? Yes; I indeed favour Decimus Brutus, you favour Marcus Antonius; I wish a colony of the Roman people to be preserved, you are anxious that it should be stormed and destroyed.
VI. Can you deny this, when you interpose every sort of delay calculated to weaken Brutus, and to improve the position of Antonius? For how long will you keep on saying that you are desirous of peace? Matters are progressing rapidly; the works have been carried on; severe battles are taking place. We sent three chief men of the city to interpose. Antonius has despised, rejected, and repudiated them. And still you continue a persevering defender of Antonius. And Calenus, indeed, in order that he may appear a more conscientious senator, says that he ought not to be a friend to him; since, though Antonius was under great obligations to him, he still had acted against him. See how great is his affection for his country. Though he is angry with the individual, still he defends Antonius for the sake of his country.
When you are so bitter, O Quintus Fufius, against the people of Marseilles, I cannot listen to you with calmness. For how long are you going to attack Marseilles? Does not even a triumph put an end to the war? in which was carried an image of that city, without whose assistance our forefathers never triumphed over the Transalpine nations. Then, indeed, did the Roman people groan. Although they had their own private griefs because of their own affairs, still there was no citizen who thought the miseries of this most loyal city unconnected with himself. Caesar himself, who had been the most angry of all men with them, still, on account of the unusually high character and loyalty of that city, was every day relaxing something of his displeasure. And is there no extent of calamity by which so faithful a city can satiate you? Again, perhaps, you will say that I am losing my temper. But I am speaking without passion, as I always do, though not without great indignation. I think that no man can be an enemy to that city, who is a friend to this one. What your object is, O Calenus, I cannot imagine. Formerly we were unable to deter you from devoting yourself to the gratification of the people; now we are unable to prevail on you to show any regard for their interests. I have argued long enough with Fufius, saying everything without hatred, but nothing without indignation. But I suppose that a man who can bear the complaint of his son in law with indifference, will bear that of his friend with great equanimity.
VII. I come now to the rest of the men of consular rank of whom there is no one, (I say this on my own responsibility,) who is not connected with me in some way or other by kindnesses conferred or received, some in a great, some in a moderate degree, but everyone to some extent or other. What a disgraceful day was yesterday to us! to us consulars, I mean. Are we to send ambassadors again? What? would he make a truce? Before the very face and eyes of the ambassadors he battered Mutina with his engines. He displayed his works and his defences to the ambassadors. The siege was not allowed one moment's breathing time, not even while the ambassadors should be present. Send ambassadors to this man! What for? in order to have great fears for their return? In truth, though on the previous occasion I had voted against the ambassadors being decreed, still I consoled myself with this reflection, that, when they had returned from Antonius despised and rejected, and had reported to the senate not merely that he had not withdrawn from Gaul, as we had voted that he should, but that he had not even retired from before Mutma, and that they had not been allowed to proceed on to Decimus Brutus, all men would be inflamed with hatred and stimulated by indignation, so that we should reinforce Decimus Brutus with arms, and horses, and men. But we have become even more languid since we have become acquainted with, not only the audacity and wickedness of Antonius, but also with his indolence and pride. Would that Lucius Caesar were in health, that Servius Sulpicius were alive. This cause would be pleaded much better by these men, than it is now by me single handed. What I am going to say I say with grief, rather than by way of insult. We have been deserted—we have, I say, been deserted, O conscript fathers, by our chiefs. But, as I have often said before, all those who in a time of such danger have proper and courageous sentiments shall be men of consular rank. The ambassadors ought to have brought us back courage, they have brought us back fear. Not, indeed, that they have caused me any fear—let them have as high an opinion as they please of the man to whom they were sent; from whom they have even brought back commands to us.
VIII. O ye immortal gods! where are the habits and virtues of our forefathers? Caius Popillius, in the time of our ancestors, when he had been sent as ambassador to Antiochus the king, and had given him notice, in the words of the senate, to depart from Alexandria, which he was besieging, on the kings seeking to delay giving his answer, drew a line round him where he was standing with his rod, and stated that he should report him to the senate if he did not answer him as to what he intended to do before he moved out of that line which surrounded him. He did well for he had brought with him the countenance of the senate and the authority of the Roman people, and if a man does not obey that, we are not to receive commands from him in return, but he is to be utterly rejected. Am I to receive commands from a man who despises the commands of the senate? Or am I to think that he has anything in common with the senate, who besieges a general of the Roman people in spite of the prohibition of the senate? But what commands they are! With what arrogance, with what stupidity, with what insolence are they conceived! But what made him charge our ambassadors with them when he was sending Cotyla to us, the ornament and bulwark of his friends, a man of aedilitian rank? if, indeed, he really was an aedile at the time when the public slaves flogged him with thongs at a banquet by command of Antonius.
But what modest commands they are! We must be non-hearted men, O conscript fathers, to deny anything to this man! "I give up both provinces," says he, "I disband my army, I am willing to become a private individual." For these are his very words. He seems to be coming to himself. "I am willing to forget everything, to be reconciled to everybody." But what does he add? "If you give booty and land to my six legions, to my cavalry, and to my praetorian cohort." He even demands rewards for those men for whom, if he were to demand pardon, he would be thought the most impudent of men. He adds further, "Those men to whom the lands have been given which he himself and Dolabella distributed, are to retain them." This is the Campanian and Leontine district, both which our ancestors considered a certain resource in times of scarcity.
IX. He is protecting the interests of his buffoons and gamesters and pimps. He is protecting Capho's and Sasu's interests too, pugnacious and muscular centurions, whom he placed among his troops of male and female buffoons. Besides all this, he demands "that the decrees of himself and his colleague concerning Caesar's writings and memoranda are to stand." Why is he so anxious that every one should have what he has bought, if he who sold it all has the price which he received for it? "And that his accounts of the money in the temple of Ops are not to be meddled with." That is to say, that those seven hundred millions of sesterces are not to be recovered from him. "That the septemviri are to be exempt from blame or from prosecution for what they have done." It was Nucula, I imagine, who put him in mind of that, he was afraid, perhaps, of losing so many clients. He also wishes to make stipulations in favour of "those men who are with him who may have done anything against the laws." He is here taking care of Mustela and Tiro, he is not anxious about himself. For what has he done? has he ever touched the public money, or murdered a man, or had armed men about him? But what reason has he for taking so much trouble about them? For he demands, "that his own judiciary law be not abrogated." And if he obtains that, what is there that he can fear? can he be afraid that any one of his friends may be convicted by Cydas, or Lysiades, or Curius? However, he does not press us with many more demands. "I give up," says he, "Gallia Togata; I demand Gallia Comata"—he evidently wishes to be quite at his ease—'with six legions, and those made up to their full complement out of the army of Decimus Brutus,—not only out of the troops whom he has enlisted himself; "and he is to keep possession of it as long as Marcus Brutus and Carus Cassius, as consuls, or as proconsuls, keep possession of their provinces." In the comitia held by him, his brother Carus (for it is his year) has already been repulsed. "And I myself," says he, "am to retain possession of my province five years." But that is expressly forbidden by the law of Caesar, and you defend the acts of Caesar.
X. Were you, O Lucius Piso, and you, O Lucius Philippus, you chiefs of the city, able, I will not say to endure in your minds but even to listen with your ears to these commands of his? But, I suspect there was some alarm at work, nor, while in his power, could you feel as ambassadors, or as men of consular rank, nor could you maintain our own dignity, or that of the republic. And nevertheless, somehow or other, owing to some philosophy, I suppose, you did what I could not have done,—you returned without any very angry feelings. Marcus Antonius paid you no respect, though you were most illustrious men, ambassadors of the Roman people. As for us, what concessions did not we make to Cotyla the ambassador of Marcus Antonius? though it was against the law for even the gates of the city to be opened to him, yet even this temple was opened to him. He was allowed to enter the senate, here yesterday he was taking down our opinions and every word we said in his note books, and men who had been preferred to the highest honours sold themselves to him in utter disregard of their own dignity.
O ye immortal gods! how great an enterprise is it to uphold the character of a leader in the republic, for it requires one to be influenced not merely by the thoughts but also by the eyes of the citizens. To take to one's house the ambassador of an enemy, to admit him to one's chamber, even to confer apart with him, is the act of a man who thinks nothing of his dignity, and too much of his danger. But what is danger? For if one is engaged in a contest where everything is at stake, either liberty is assured to one if victorious, or death if defeated, the former of which alternatives is desirable, and the latter some time or other inevitable. But a base flight from death is worse than any imaginable death. For I will never be induced to believe that there are men who envy the consistency or diligence of others, and who are indignant at the unceasing desire to assist the republic being approved by the senate and people of Rome. That is what we were all bound to do, and that was not only in the time of our ancestors, but even lately, the highest praise of men of consular rank, to be vigilant, to be anxious, to be always either thinking, or doing, or saying something to promote the interests of the republic.
I, O conscript fathers, recollect that Quintus Scaevola the augur, in the Marsic war, when he was a man of extreme old age, and quite broken down in constitution, every day, as soon as it was daylight, used to give every one an opportunity of consulting him, nor, throughout all that war, did any one ever see him in bed, and, though old and weak, he was the first man to come into the senate house. I wish, above all things, that those who ought to do so would imitate his industry, and, next to that, I wish that they would not envy the exertions of another.
XI. In truth, O conscript fathers, now we have begun to entertain hopes of liberty again, after a period of six years, during which we have been deprived of it, having endured slavery longer than prudent and industrious prisoners usually do, what watchfulness, what anxiety, what exertions ought we to shrink from, for the sake of delivering the Roman people? In truth, O conscript fathers, though men who have had the honours conferred on them that we have, usually wear their gowns, while the rest of the city is in the robe of war, still I decided that at such a momentous crisis, and when the whole republic was in so disturbed a state, we would not differ in our dress from you and the rest of the citizens. For we men of consular rank are not in this war conducting ourselves in such a manner that the Roman people will be likely to look with equanimity on the ensigns of our honour, when some of us are so cowardly as to have cast away all recollection of the kindnesses which they have received from the Roman people, some are so disaffected to the republic that they openly allege that they favour this enemy, and easily bear having our ambassadors despised and insulted by Antonius, while they wish to support the ambassador sent by Antonius. For they said that he ought not to be prevented from returning to Antonius, and they proposed an amendment to my proposition of not receiving him. Well, I will submit to them. Let Varius return to his general, but on condition that he never returns to Rome. And as to the others, if they abandon their errors and return to their duty to the republic, I think they may be pardoned and left unpunished.
Therefore, I give my vote, "That of those men who are with Marcus Antonius, those who abandon his army, and come over either to Caius Pansa or Aulus Hirtius the consuls; or to Decimus Brutus, imperator and consul elect, or to Caius Caesar, propraetor, before the first of March next, shall not be liable to prosecution for having been with Antonius. That, if any one of those men who are now with Antonius shall do anything which appears entitled to honour or to reward, Caius Pansa and Aulus Hirtius the consuls, one or both of them, shall, if they think fit, make a motion to the senate respecting that man's honour or reward, at the earliest opportunity. That, if, after this resolution of the senate, any one shall go to Antonius except Lucius Varius, the senate will consider that that man has acted as an enemy to the republic."
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THE NINTH ORATION OF M.T. CICERO AGAINST MARCUS ANTONIUS. CALLED ALSO THE NINTH PHILIPPIO.
Servius Sulpicius, as has been already said, had died on his embassy to Marcus Antonius, before Mutina; and the day after the delivery of the preceding speech, Pansa again called the senate together to deliberate on the honours to be paid to his memory. He himself proposed a public funeral, a sepulchre, and a statue. Servilius opposed the statue, as due only to those who had been slain by violence while in discharge of their duties as ambassadors. Cicero delivered the following oration in support of Pansa's proposition, which was carried.
I. I wish, O conscript fathers, that the immortal gods had granted to us to return thanks to Servius Sulpicius while alive, rather than thus to devise honours for him now that he is dead. Nor have I any doubt, but that if that man had been able himself to give us his report of the proceedings of his embassy, his return would have been acceptable to you and salutary to the republic. Not that either Lucius Piso or Lucius Philippus have been deficient in either zeal or care in the performance of so important a duty and so grave a commission; but, as Servius Sulpicius was superior in age to them, and in wisdom to every one, he, being suddenly taken from the business, left the whole embassy crippled and enfeebled.
But if deserved honours have been paid to any ambassador after death, there is no one by whom they can be found to have been ever more fully deserved than by Servius Sulpicius. The rest of those men who have died while engaged on an embassy, have gone forth, subject indeed to the usual uncertainties of life, but without any especial danger or fear of death. Servius Sulpicius set out with some hope indeed of reaching Antonius, but with none of returning. But though he was so very ill that if any exertion were added to his bad state of health, he would have no hope of himself, still he did not refuse to try, even while at his last gasp, to be of some service to the republic. Therefore neither the severity of the winter, nor the snow, nor the length of the journey, nor the badness of the roads, nor his daily increasing illness, delayed him. And when he had arrived where he might meet and confer with the man to whom he had been sent, he departed this life in the midst of his care and consideration as to how he might best discharge the duty which he had undertaken.
As therefore, O Caius Pansa, you have done well in other respects, so you have acted admirably in exhorting us this day to pay honour to Servius Sulpicius, and in yourself making an eloquent oration in his praise. And after the speech which we have heard from you, I should have been content to say nothing beyond barely giving my vote, if I did not think it necessary to reply to Publius Servilius, who has declared his opinion that this honour of a statue ought to be granted to no one who has not been actually slain with a sword while performing the duties of his embassy. But I, O conscript fathers, consider that this was the feeling of our ancestors, that they considered that it was the cause of death, and not the manner of it, which was a proper subject for inquiry. In fact, they thought fit that a monument should be erected to any man whose death was caused by an embassy, in order to tempt men in perilous wars to be the more bold in undertaking the office of an ambassador. What we ought to do, therefore, is, not to scrutinise the precedents afforded by our ancestors, but to explain their intentions from which the precedents themselves arose.
II. Lar Tolumnius, the king of Veii, slew four ambassadors of the Roman people, at Fidenae, whose statues were standing in the rostra till within my recollection. The honour was well deserved. For our ancestors gave those men who had encountered death in the cause of the republic an imperishable memory in exchange for this transitory life. We see in the rostra the statue of Cnaeus Octavius, an illustrious and great man, the first man who brought the consulship into that family, which afterwards abounded in illustrious men. There was no one then who envied him, because he was a new man; there was no one who did not honour his virtue. But yet the embassy of Octavius was one in which there was no suspicion of danger. For having been sent by the senate to investigate the dispositions of kings and of free nations, and especially to forbid the grandson of king Antiochus, the one who had carried on war against our forefathers, to maintain fleets and to keep elephants, he was slain at Laodicea, in the gymnasium, by a man of the name of Leptines. On this a statue was given to him by our ancestors as a recompense for his life, which might ennoble his progeny for many years, and which is now the only memorial left of so illustrious a family. But in his case, and in that of Tullus Cluvius, and Lucius Roseius, and Spurius Antius, and Caius Fulcinius, who were slain by the king of Veii, it was not the blood that was shed at their death, but the death itself which was encountered in the service of the republic, which was the cause of their being thus honoured.
III. Therefore, O conscript fathers, if it had been chance which had caused the death of Servius Sulpicius, I should sorrow indeed over such a loss to the republic, but I should consider him deserving of the honour, not of a monument, but of a public mourning. But, as it is, who is there who doubts that it was the embassy itself which caused his death? For he took death away with him; though, if he had remained among us, his own care, and the attention of his most excellent son and his most faithful wife, might have warded it off. But he, as he saw that, if he did not obey your authority, he should not be acting like himself; but that if he did obey, then that duty, undertaken, for the welfare of the republic, would be the end of his life; preferred dying at a most critical period of the republic, to appearing to have done less service to the republic than he might have done.
He had an opportunity of recruiting his strength and taking care of himself in many cities through which his journey lay. He was met by the liberal invitation of many entertainers as his dignity deserved, and the men too who were sent with him exhorted him to take rest, and to think of his own health. But he, refusing all delay, hastening on eager to perform your commands, persevered in this his constant purpose, in spite of the hindrances of his illness And as Antonius was above all things disturbed by his arrival, because the commands which were laid upon him by your orders had been drawn up by the authority and wisdom of Servius Sulpicius, he showed plainly how he hated the senate by the evident joy which he displaced at the death of the adviser of the senate.
Leptines then did not kill Octavius, nor did the king of Veii slay those whom I have just named, more clearly than Antonius killed Servius Sulpicius. Surely he brought the man death, who was the cause of his death. Wherefore, I think it of consequence, in order that posterity may recollect it, that there should be a record of what the judgment of the senate was concerning this war. For the statue itself will be a witness that the war was so serious an one, that the death of an ambassador in it gained the honour of an imperishable memorial.
IV. But if, O conscript fathers, you would only recollect the excuses alleged by Servius Sulpicius why he should not be appointed to this embassy, then no doubt will be left on your minds that we ought to repair by the honour paid to the dead the injury which we did to him while living. For it is you, O conscript fathers (it is a grave charge to make, but it must be uttered,) it is you, I say, who have deprived Servius Sulpicius of life. For when you saw him pleading his illness as an excuse more by the truth of the fact than by any laboured plea of words, you were not indeed cruel, (for what can be more impossible for this order to be guilty of than that,) but as you hoped that there was nothing that could not be accomplished by his authority and wisdom, you opposed his excuse with great earnestness, and compelled the man, who had always thought your decisions of the greatest weight, to abandon his own opinion. But when there was added the exhortation of Pansa, the consul, delivered with more weight than the ears of Servius Sulpicius had learnt to resist, then at last he led me and his own son aside, and said that he was bound to prefer your authority to his own life. And we, admiring his virtue, did not dare to oppose his determination. His son was moved with extraordinary piety and affection, and my own grief did not fall far short of his agitation, but each of us was compelled to yield to his greatness of mind, and to the dignity of his language, when he, indeed, amid the loud praises and congratulations of you all, promised to do whatever you wished, and not to avoid the danger which might be inclined by the adoption of the opinion of which he himself had been the author. And we the next day escorted him early in the morning as he hastened forth to execute your commands. And he, in truth, when departing, spoke with me in such a manner that his language seemed like an omen of his fate.
V. Restore then, O conscript fathers, life to him from whom you have taken it. For the life of the dead consists in the recollection cherished of them by the living. Take ye care that he, whom you without intending it sent to his death, shall from you receive immortality. And if you by your decree erect a statue to him in the rostia, no forgetfulness of posterity will ever obscure the memory of his embassy. For the remainder of the life of Servius Sulpicius will be recommended to the eternal recollection of all men by many and splendid memorials. The praise of all mortals will for ever celebrate his wisdom, his firmness, his loyalty, his admirable vigilance and prudence in upholding the interests of the public. Nor will that admirable, and incredible, and almost godlike skill of his in interpreting the laws and explaining the principles of equity be buried in silence. If all the men of all ages, who have ever had any acquaintance with the law in this city, were got together into one place, they would not deserve to be compared to Servius Sulpicius. Nor was he more skilful in explaining the law than in laying down the principles of justice. Those maxims which were derived from laws and from the common law, he constantly referred to the original principles of kindness and equity. Nor was he more fond of arranging the conduct of law-suits than of preventing disputes altogether. Therefore he is not in want of this memorial which a statue will provide; he has other and better ones. For this statue will be only a witness of his honourable death; those actions will be the memorial of his glorious life. So that this will be rather a monument of the gratitude of the senate, than of the glory of the man.
The affection of the son, too, will appear to have great influence in moving us to honour the father; for although, being overwhelmed with grief, he is not present, still you ought to be animated with the same feelings as if he were present. But he is in such distress, that no father ever sorrowed more over the loss of an only son than he grieves for the death of his father. Indeed, I think that it concerns also the fame of Servius Sulpicius the son, that he should appear to have paid all due respect to his father. Although Servius Sulpicius could leave no nobler monument behind him than his son, the image of his own manners, and virtues, and wisdom, and piety, and genius; whose grief can either be alleviated by this honour paid to his father by you, or by no consolation at all.
VI. But when I recollect the many conversations which in the days of our intimacy on earth I have had with Servius Sulpicius, it appears to me, that if there be any feeling in the dead, a brazen statue, and that too a pedestrian one, will be more acceptable to him than a gilt equestrian one, such as was first erected to Lucius Sylla. For Servius was wonderfully attached to the moderation of our forefathers, and was accustomed to reprove the insolence of this age. As if, therefore, I were able to consult himself as to what he would wish, so I give my vote for a pedestrian statue of brass, as if I were speaking by his authority and inclination; which by the honour of the memorial will diminish and mitigate the great grief and regret of his fellow-citizens. And it is certain that this my opinion, O conscript fathers, will be approved of by the opinion of Publius Servilius, who has given his vote that a sepulchre be publicly decreed to Servius Sulpicius, but has voted against the statue. For if the death of an ambassador happening without bloodshed and violence requires no honour, why does he vote for the honour of a public funeral, which is the greatest honour that can be paid to a dead man! If he grants that to Servius Sulpicius which was not given to Cnaeus Octavius, why does he think that we ought not to give to the former what was given to the latter? Our ancestors, indeed, decreed statues to many men; public sepulchres to few. But statues perish by weather, by violence, by lapse of time; but the sanctity of the sepulchres is in the soil itself, which can neither be moved nor destroyed by any violence; and while other things are extinguished, so sepulchres become holier by age.
Let, then, that man be distinguished by that honour also, a man to whom no honour can be given which is not deserved. Let us be grateful in paying respect in death to him to whom we can now show no other gratitude. And by that same step let the audacity of Marcus Antonius, waging a nefarious war, be branded with infamy. For when these honours have been paid to Servius Sulpicius, the evidence of his embassy having been insulted and rejected by Antonius will remain for everlasting.
VII. On which account I give my vote for a decree in this form: 'As Servius Sulpicius Rufus, the son of Quintus, of the Lemonian tribe, at a most critical period of the republic, and being ill with a very serious and dangerous disease, preferred the authority of the senate and the safety of the republic to his own life, and struggled against the violence and severity of his illness, in order to arrive at the camp of Antonius, to which the senate had sent him; and as he when he had almost arrived at the camp, being overwhelmed by the violence of the disease, has lost his life in discharging a most important office of the republic; and as his death has been in strict correspondence to a life passed with the greatest integrity and honour, during which he, Servius Sulpicius, has often been of great service to the republic, both as a private individual and in the discharge of various magistracies; and as he, being such a man, has encountered death on behalf of the republic while employed on an embassy;—the senate decrees that a brazen pedestrian statue of Servius Sulpicius be erected in the rostra in compliance with the resolution of this order, and that his children and posterity shall have a place round this statue of five feet in every direction, from which to behold the games and gladiatorial combats, because he died in the cause of the republic; and that this reason be inscribed on the pedestal of the statue; and that Carus Pansa and Aulus Hirtius the consuls, one or both of them, if it seem good to them, shall command the quaestors of the city to let out a contract for making that pedestal and that statue, and erecting them in the rostra; and that whatever price they contract for, they shall take care the amount is given and paid to the contractor, and as in old times the senate has exerted its authority with respect to the obsequies of, and honours paid to brave men, it now decrees that he shall be carried to the tomb on the day of his funeral with the greatest possible solemnity. And as Servius Sulpicius Rufus, the son of Quintus of the Lemonian tribe, has deserved so well of the republic as to be entitled to be complimented with all those distinctions, the senate is of opinion, and thinks it for the advantage of the republic, that the consule aedile should suspend the edict which usually prevails with respect to funerals in the case of the funeral of Servius Sulpicius Rufus, the son of Quintus of the Lemonian tribe, and that Carus Pansa, the consul, shall assign him a place for a tomb in the Esquiline plain, or in whatever place shall seem good to him extending thirty feet in every direction, where Servius Sulpicius may be buried, and that that shall be his tomb, and that of his children and posterity, as having been a tomb most deservedly given to them by the public authority.
THE TENTH ORATION OF M.T. CICERO AGAINST MARCUS ANTONIUS. CALLED ALSO THE TENTH PHILIPPIC.
Soon after the delivery of the last speech, despatches were received from Brutus by the consuls, giving an account of his success against Carus Antonius in Macedonia, stating that he had secured Macedonia, Illyricum, and Greece with the armies in those countries, that Carus Antonius had retired to Apollonia with seven cohorts, that a legion under Lucius Piso had surrendered to young Cicero, who was commanding his cavalry, that Dolabella's cavalry had deserted to him, and that Vatinius had surrendered Dyrrachium and its garrison to him. He likewise praised Quintus Hortensius, the proconsul of Macedonia, as having assisted him in gaining over the Grecian provinces and the armies in those districts.
As soon as Pansa received the despatches, he summoned the senate to have them read, and in a set speech greatly extolled Brutus, and moved a vote of thanks to him but Calenus, who followed him, declared his opinion, that as Brutus had acted without any public commission or authority he should be required to give up his army to the proper governors of the provinces, or to whoever the senate should appoint to receive it. After he had sat down, Cicero rose, and delivered the following speech.
I. We all, O Pansa, ought both to feel and to show the greatest gratitude to you, who—though we did not expect that you would hold any senate to day,—the moment that you received the letters of Marcus Brutus, that most excellent citizen, did not interpose even the slightest delay to our enjoying the most excessive delight and mutual congratulation at the earliest opportunity. And not only ought this action of yours to be grateful to us all, but also the speech which you addressed to us after the letters had been read. For you showed plainly, that that was true which I have always felt to be so, that no one envied the virtue of another who was confident of his own. Therefore I, who have been connected with Brutus by many mutual good offices and by the greatest intimacy, need not say so much concerning him for the part that I had marked out for myself your speech has anticipated me in. But, O conscript fathers, the opinion delivered by the man who was asked for his vote before me, has imposed upon me the necessity of saying rather more than I otherwise should have said, and I differ from him so repeatedly at present, that I am afraid (what certainly ought not to be the case) that our continual disagreement may appear to diminish our friendship.
What can be the meaning of this argument of yours, O Calenus? what can be your intention? How is it that you have never once since the first of January been of the same opinion with him who asks you your opinion first? How is it that the senate has never yet been so full as to enable you to find one single person to agree with your sentiments? Why are you always defending men who in no point resemble you? why, when both your life and your fortune invite you to tranquillity and dignity, do you approve of those measures, and defend those measures, and declare those sentiments, which are adverse both to the general tranquillity and to your own individual dignity?
II. For to say nothing of former speeches of yours, at all events I cannot pass over in silence this which excites my most especial wonder. What war is there between you and the Bruti? Why do you alone attack those men whom we are all bound almost to worship? Why are you not indignant at one of them being besieged, and why do you—as far as your vote goes—strip the other of those troops which by his own exertions and by his own danger he has got together by himself, without any one to assist him, for the protection of the republic, not for himself? What is your meaning in this? What are your intentions? Is it possible that you should not approve of the Bruti, and should approve of Antonius? that you should hate those men whom every one else considers most dear? and that you should love with the greatest constancy those whom every one else hates most bitterly? You have a most ample fortune, you are in the highest rank of honour, your son, as I both hear and hope is born to glory,—a youth whom I favour not only for the sake of the republic, but for your sake also. I ask, therefore, would you rather have him like Brutus or like Antonius? and I will let you choose whichever of the three Antonii you please. God forbid! you will say. Why, then, do you not favour those men and praise those men whom you wish your own son to resemble? For by so doing you will be both consulting the interests of the republic, and proposing him an example for his imitation.
But in this instance, I hope, O Quintus Fufius, to be allowed to expostulate with you, as a senator who greatly differs from you, without any prejudice to our friendship. For you spoke in this matter, and that too from a written paper, for I should think you had made a slip from want of some appropriate expression, if I were not acquainted with your ability in speaking. You said "that the letters of Brutus appeared properly and regularly expressed." What else is this than praising Brutus's secretary, not Brutus? You both ought to have great experience in the affairs of the republic, and you have. When did you ever see a decree framed in this manner? or in what resolution of the senate passed on such occasions, (and they are innumerable,) did you ever hear of its being decreed that the letters had been well drawn up? And that expression did not—as is often the case with other men—fall from you by chance, but you brought it with you written down, deliberated on, and carefully meditated on.
III. If any one could take from you this habit of disparaging good men on almost every occasion, then what qualities would not be left to you which every one would desire for himself? Do, then, recollect yourself, do at last soften and quiet that disposition of yours, do take the advice of good men, with many of whom you are intimate, do converse with that wisest of men, your own son in-law, oftener than with yourself, and then you will obtain the name of a man of the very highest character. Do you think it a matter of no consequence, (it is a matter in which I, out of the friendship which I feel you, constantly grieve in your stead,) that this should be commonly said out of doors, and should be a common topic of conversation among the Roman people, that the man who delivered his opinion first did not find a single person to agree with him? And that I think will be the case to day.