27For we are not sending to Hannibal to desire him to retire from before Saguntum; to whom the senate formerly sent Publius Valerius Flaccus and Quintus Bæbius Tampilus; who, if Hannibal did not comply, were ordered to proceed to Carthage. Whither do we order our ambassadors to proceed, if Antonius does not comply? Are we sending an embassy to our own citizen, to beg him not to attack a general and a colony of the Roman people? Is it so? Is it becoming to us to beg this by means of ambassadors? What is the difference, in the name of the immortal gods, whether he attacks this city itself, or whether he attacks an outpost of this city, a colony of the Roman people, established for the sake of its being a bulwark and protection to us? The siege of Saguntum was the cause of the second Punic war, which Hannibal carried on against our ancestors. It was quite right to send ambassadors to him. They were sent to a Carthaginian, they were sent on behalf of those who were the enemies of Hannibal, and our allies. What is there resembling that case here? We are sending to one of our own citizens to beg him not to blockade a general of the Roman army, not to attack our army and our colony,—in short, not to be an enemy of ours. Come; suppose he obeys, shall we either be inclined, or shall we be able by any possibility, to treat him as one of our citizens?