Philippics, 12.27

Cicero  translated by C. D. Yonge

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27I can recollect conferences with most bitter enemies, and with citizens in a state of the most bitter disagreement.

Cnæus Pompeius, the son of Sextus, being consul, in my presence, when I was serving my first campaign in his army, had a conference with Publius Vettius Scato, the general of the Marsians, between the camps. And I recollect that Sextus Pompeius, the brother of the consul, a very learned and wise man, came thither from Rome to the conference. And when Scato had saluted him, “What,” said he, “am I to call you?”—“Call me,” said he, “one who is by inclination a friend, by necessity an enemy.” That conference was conducted with fairness; there was no fear, no suspicion; even their mutual hatred was not great; for the allies were not seeking to take our city from us, but to be themselves admitted to share the privileges of it. Sylla and Scipio, one attended by the flower of the nobility, the other by the allies, had a conference between Cales and Teanum, respecting the authority of the senate, the suffrages of the people, and the privileges of citizenship; and agreed upon conditions and stipulations. Good faith was not strictly observed at that conference; but still there was no violence used, and no danger incurred.

XII. But can we be equally safe among Antonius’s piratical crew? We cannot; or, even if the rest can, I do not believe that I can.

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