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 When he arrived at the city his mother and Philippus and the others who were interested in him were anxious about the estrangement of the Senate from Cæsar, and the decree that his murderers should not be punished, and the contempt shown him by Antony, who was then all-powerful, and had neither gone to meet Cæsar's son when he was coming nor sent anybody to him. Octavius quieted their fears, saying that he would call on Antony, as the younger man on the older and the private citizen on the consul, and that he would show proper respect for the Senate. As for the decree, he said that it had been passed because nobody had prosecuted the murderers; whenever anybody should have courage to prosecute, the people and the Senate would lend their aid to him as one enforcing the law, the gods would do so for the justice of his cause, and perhaps Antony himself would help. If he (Octavius) should reject the inheritance and the adoption, he would be false to Cæsar and would wrong the people who had a share in the will. As he was finishing his remarks he burst out that he ought not only to incur danger, but even to die, after he had been preferred before all others in this way by Cæsar, if he would show himself worthy of one who had himself braved every danger. Then turning to his mother, he repeated the words of Achilles to Thetis, which were then fresh in his mind: -- “"Then quickly let me die since fate denied That I should aid my friend against the foes That slew him."” Iliad, xviii. 98, Bryant's translation.1 After saying this he added that these words of Achilles, and especially the deed that followed, had of all things given him immortal renown; and he invoked Cæsar not as a friend, but a father; not as a fellow-soldier, but a commander-in-chief; not as one who had fallen by the law of war, but as the victim of sacrilegious murder in the senate-house.
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