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[131] When Antony had in this way worked upon both parties by turns, those who wanted to have vengeance on the murderers asked Lepidus to execute it. As Lepidus was about to speak those who were standing at a distance asked him to go down to the forum where all could hear him equally well. So he went directly there, thinking that the crowd was now changing its mind, and when he had taken his place on the rostra he groaned and wept in plain sight for some time. Then recovering himself, he said, "Yesterday I stood with Cæsar here, where now I am com- pelled to ask what you wish me to do about his murder." Many cried out "Avenge Cæsar." The hirelings shouted on the other side, "Peace for the republic." To the latter he replied, "Agreed, but what kind of a peace do you mean? By what sort of oaths shall it be confirmed? We all swore the national oaths to Cæsar and we have trampled on them -- we who are considered the most distinguished of the oath-takers." Then, turning to those who called for vengeance, he said, "Cæsar, that truly sacred and revered man, has gone from us, but we hesitate to deprive the republic of those who still remain. Our conscript fathers," he added, "are considering these matters, and this is the opinion of most of them." They shouted again, "Avenge him yourself." "I would like to," he replied, "and it is right that I should do it even alone, but it is not fitting that you and I should wish to do it alone, or alone set ourselves up against them."

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