You are very right, certainly, to call him a poisoner, by whom you see that your present disastrous condition has been brought about. "In order that Cassius and Brutus may become as powerful as possible." Would you suppose that he is speaking of Censorinus, or of Ventidius, or of the Antonii themselves.
Do you then find fault with me? or should I rather praise the Antonii, the disgrace and infamy not only of their own families, but of the Roman name? or should I speak in favour of Censorenus, an enemy in time of war, an assassin in time of peace? or should I collect all the other ruined men of that band of robbers?
My mind shudders at the recollection, O conscript fathers, and shrinks from relating the cruelties which Lucius Antonius perpetrated on the children and wives of the citizens of Parma. For whatever infamy the Antonii have willingly undergone in their own persons to their own infamy, they triumph in the fact of having inflicted on others by violence.
In the first place, these two colleagues of the Antonii and Dolabella, Nucula and Lento the dividers of all Italy according to that law which the senate pronounced to have been earned by violence, one of whom has been a writer of farces, and the other an actor of tragedies.
What did the one do like an enemy, that the other has not done, or is not doing, or planning, and thinking of? What was there in the whole of the journey of the Antonii; except depopulation, devastation, slaughter, and rapine?
Oh that regularly ratified and solemn treaty which we made with the Antonii! Surely if Marcus shall attempt to violate it, the conscientious piety of Lucius will call him back from such wickedness. If there is any room allowed these men in this city, there will be no room for the city itself.
On the second fly-leaf are these words in an Italian fifteenth-century hand: "Libro de Jo. Chalceopylus, Constantinopolitanus," and at the bottom of the page, "Antonii Seripandi ex Henrici Casolle amici optimi munere." Wanley says that this MS. was supposed to have been carried from the old imperial library at Constantinople to the monastery of Bobi near Naples.
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.
This is the celebrated Antonii Van Dale, "De Ethnicorum Oraculis Dissertationes," which was published at Amsterdam at least as early as the year 1682; that is, one hundred and sixty years ago. And upon the same subject there has been no subsequent book which maintains an equal rank.
Milano, 1670. GIAMMATTEO TOSCANO: Peplus Italiæ. GIROLAMO TIRABOSCHI: Storia della Letteratura Italiana. Modena, 1772. R.P. NICERON: Mémoires pour servir a l'histoire des hommes illustres dans la République des Lettres, Paris, 1745. GIOVANNI MAZZUCHELLI: Gli Scrittori d'Italia. Brescia, 1753-1763. NICOLAI ANTONII: Bibliotheca Hispana nova sive Hispanorum Scriptorum. Madrid, 1783.