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 Marius escaped them and fled to Minturnæ without a companion or a servant. While he was resting in a secluded house the magistrates of the city, whose fears were excited by the proclamation of the Roman people, but who hesitated to be the murderers of a man who had been six times consul and had performed so many brilliant exploits, sent a Gaul who was living there to kill him with a sword. It is said that as the Gaul was approaching the pallet of Marius in the dusk he thought he saw the gleam and flash of fire darting from his eyes, and that Marius rose from his bed and shouted to him in a thundering voice, "Do you dare to kill Gaius Marius? " The Gaul turned and fled out of doors like a madman, exclaiming, "I cannot kill Gaius Marius." As the magistrates had come to their previous decision with reluctance, so now a kind of religious awe came over them as they remembered the prophecy uttered while he was a boy, that he should be consul seven times. It was said that while he was a boy seven young eaglets alighted on his breast, and that the soothsayers predicted that he would attain the highest office seven times.
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