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[59] When Minucianus saw the vehemency with which Cherea delivered himself, he gladly embraced him, and encouraged him in his bold attempt, commending him, and embracing him; so he let him go with his good wishes; and some affirm that he thereby confirmed Minuclanus in the prosecution of what had been agreed among them; for as Cherea entered into the court, the report runs, that a voice came from among the multitude to encourage him, which bid him finish what he was about, and take the opportunity that Providence afforded; and that Cherea at first suspected that some one of the conspirators had betrayed him, and he was caught, but at length perceived that it was by way of exhortation. Whether somebody 1 that was conscious of what he was about, gave a signal for his encouragement, or whether it was God himself, who looks upon the actions of men, that encouraged him to go on boldly in his design, is uncertain. The plot was now communicated to a great many, and they were all in their armor; some of the conspirators being senators, and some of the equestrian order, and as many of the soldiery as were made acquainted with it; for there was not one of them who would not reckon it a part of his happiness to kill Caius; and on that account they were all very zealous in the affair, by what means soever any one could come at it, that he might not be behindhand in these virtuous designs, but might be ready with all his alacrity or power, both by words and actions, to complete this slaughter of a tyrant. And besides these, Callistus also, who was a freed-man of Caius, and was the only man that had arrived at the greatest degree of power under him, - such a power, indeed, as was in a manner equal to the power of the tyrant himself, by the dread that all men had of him, and by the great riches he had acquired; for he took bribes most plenteously, and committed injuries without bounds, and was more extravagant in the use of his power in unjust proceedings than any other. He also knew the disposition of Caius to be implacable, and never to be turned from what he had resolved on. He had withal many other reasons why he thought himself in danger, and the vastness of his wealth was not one of the least of them; on which account he privately ingratiated himself with Claudius, and transferred his courtship to him, out of this hope, that in case, upon the removal of Caius, the government should come to him, his interest in such changes should lay a foundation for his preserving his dignity under him, since he laid in beforehand a stock of merit, and did Claudius good offices in his promotion. He had also the boldness to pretend that he had been persuaded to make away with Claudius, by poisoning him, but had still invented ten thousand excuses for delaying to do it. But it seems probable to me that Callistus only counterfeited this, in order to ingratiate himself with Claudius; for if Caius had been in earnest resolved to take off Claudius, he would not have admitted of Callistus's excuses; nor would Callistus, if he had been enjoined to do such an act as was desired by Caius, have put it off; nor if he had disobeyed those injunctions of his master, had he escaped immediate punishment; while Claudius was preserved from the madness of Caius by a certain Divine providence, and Callistus pretended to such a piece of merit as he no way deserved.

1 Just such a voice as this is related to be came, and from an unknown original also, to the famous Polycarp, as he was going to martyrdom, bidding him "play the man;" as the church of Smyrna assures us in their account of that his martyrdom, sect. 9.

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