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[129] Having lighted this kind of a firebrand among them, not in reference to Cæsar, but to themselves, Antony relapsed into silence. They rose immediately en masse, and with loud clamor protested against new elections or submitting their claims to the people. They preferred to keep a firm hold on what they possessed. Some were opposed to new elections because they were not of lawful age, or for some other unavowed reason, and among these was the consul Dolabella himself, who could not legally stand for an election to that office as he was only twenty-five years old. Although he had pretended yesterday that he had a share in the conspiracy, a sudden change came over him, and now he reviled the majority for seeking to confer honor on murderers and dishonoring their own magistrates under the pretext of securing the safety of the former. Some encouraged Dolabella himself and the other magistrates to believe that they would obtain for them the same positions from the people's gratitude without any change of officers, but simply by the more legal method of election in place of monarchical appointment, and that it would be an additional honor to them to hold the same places under the monarchy and the republic. While these speakers were still talking some of the prætors, in order to ensnare the opposing faction, laid aside their robes of office as if they were about to exchange them for a more legal title to their places, in common with the others; but the others did not fall into the trap. They knew that these men could not control the future election.

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