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 Virginius, an orator of distinction, told his slaves that if they should kill him for a small and uncertain reward they would be filled with remorse and terror afterward, while if they should save him they would enjoy an excellent reputation and good hopes, and, later, a much larger and more certain reward. So they fled, taking him with them in the guise of a fellow-slave, and when he was recognized on the road they fought against the soldiers. Being captured by the latter, he told them that they had no reason for killing him except for money, and that they would get a more honorable reward and a larger one by going with him to the sea-shore, "where," said he, "my wife has arranged to bring a ship with money." They followed his suggestion and went with him to the sea-shore. His wife had come to the rendezvous according to agreement, but as Virginius had been delayed, she thought that he had already sailed to Pompeius. So she had embarked, leaving a slave at the rendezvous, however, to tell him if he should come. When the slave saw Virginius he ran up as though to his master, and pointed out to him the ship which had just started, and told him about his wife and the money and why he (the slave) had been left behind. The soldiers now believed all that they heard, and when Virginius asked them to wait till his wife could be called back, or to go with him after her to obtain the money, they embarked in a small boat and conveyed him to Sicily, rowing with all their might. There they received what had been promised them, and they did not go back, but remained in his service until peace was declared. A ship captain received Rebilus in his vessel in order to convey him to Sicily and then demanded money, threatening to betray him if he did not get it. Rebilus followed the example of Themistocles when he fled. He threatened in turn that he would tell how the captain was helping a proscript to escape for money. The captain was afraid, and he carried Rebilus over to Pompeius.1
1 When Themistocles fled from Athens to the King of Persia the ship in which he was conveyed was driven by a storm to an encampment of Athenians who were besieging Naxos. His identity was not known to anybody on the ship. "He now alarmed the captain by telling who he was and why he was fleeing, and said that, unless the captain should rescue him, he would tell that he was conveying him away for a bribe. He added that their safety could be secured if nobody was allowed to leave the ship until the voyage was finished," etc. (Thucydides, i. 137.)
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