1. . . . Litteris1 [a Fabio] C. Caesaris consulibus redditis aegre ab his impetratum est summa tribunorum plebis contentione ut in senatu recitarentur. Vt vero ex litteris ad senatum referretur impetrari non potuit. 2Referunt consules de re publica infinite.2 L. Lentulus consul senatui rei publicae se non defuturum pollicetur si audacter ac fortiter sententias dicere velint; 3sin Caesarem respiciant atque eius gratiam sequantur, ut superioribus fecerint temporibus, se sibi consilium capturum neque senatus auctoritati obtemperaturum; habere se quoque ad Caesaris gratiam atque amicitiam receptum. 4In eandem sententiam loquitur Scipio: Pompeio esse in animo rei publicae non deesse si senatus sequatur; si cunctetur atque agat lenius, nequiquam eius auxilium si postea velit senatum imploraturum.
2. Haec Scipionis oratio, quod senatus in urbe habebatur Pompeiusque aderat, ex ipsius ore Pompei mitti videbatur.
1. . . . When Caesar’s letter was delivered to the consuls, their consent for it to be read out in the senate was obtained with difficulty, indeed after a huge struggle by some tribunes. But consent could not be obtained for a motion on the letter’s contents. 2The consuls’ motion initiated a general debate about public affairs. One consul, Lucius Lentulus, promised that he would not fail the republic if senators were willing to announce bold and forceful proposals. 3“But if you look to Caesar and chase after his gratitude, as you have done on previous occasions, I will consult my own interests, not comply with the senate’s authority; I too can take refuge in Caesar’s gratitude and friendship.” 4Scipio made the same point, that Pompey did not intend to fail the republic if he had the senate behind him. “But if you hesitate, and are too mild when you do act, the senate will call for his help—if you want it later—in vain.”
2. These words were Scipio’s but, because the senate was meeting in the city and Pompey was nearby, they seemed to issue from the mouth of Pompey himself.1 2Some speakers had made milder proposals. For example,