113The Roman people will take them from you, will wrest them from your hands; I wish that they may do so while we are still safe. But however you treat us, as long as you adopt those counsels, it is impossible for you, believe me, to last long. In truth, that wife of yours, who is so far removed from covetousness, and whom I mention without intending any slight to her, has been too long owing her third payment to the state. The Roman people has men to whom it can entrust the helm of the state; and wherever they are, there is all the defence of the republic, or rather, there is the republic itself; which as yet has only avenged, but has not reestablished itself. Truly and surely has the republic most high-born youths ready to defend it,—though they may for a time keep in the background from a desire for tranquillity, still they can be recalled by the republic at any time.
The name of peace is sweet, the thing itself is most salutary. But between peace and slavery there is a wide difference. Peace is liberty in tranquillity; slavery is the worst of all evils,—to be repelled, if need be, not only by war, but even by death.