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[81] Sulla now had plenty of soldiers and a sufficient number of friends of the higher orders, whom he used as lieutenants. He and Metellus, who were both proconsuls, marched in advance, for it seems that Sulla, who had been appointed proconsul against Mithridates, had at no time laid down his command, although he had been voted a public enemy at the instance of Cinna. Now Sulla moved against his enemies with a most intense yet concealed hatred. The people in the city, who had formed a pretty fair judgment of the character of the man, and who remembered his former attack and capture of the city, and who took into account the decrees they had proclaimed against him, and who had witnessed the destruction of his house, the confiscation of his property, the killing of his friends, and the narrow escape of his family, were in a state of terror. Conceiving that there was no middle ground between victory and utter destruction, they united with the consuls to resist Sulla, but with trepidation. They despatched messengers throughout Italy to collect soldiers, provisions, and money, and, as in cases of extreme peril, they omitted nothing that zeal and earnestness could suggest.

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