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 While Lepidus was employing such devices the hirelings, who knew that he was ambitious, praised him and offered him Cæsar's place as pontifex maximus. He was delighted. "Mention this to me later," he said, "if you consider me worthy of it," whereupon the mercenaries, encouraged by their offer of the priesthood, insisted still more strongly on peace. "Although it is contrary to religion and law," he said, "I will do what you wish." So saying he returned to the Senate, where Dolabella had consumed all the intervening time in unseemly talk about his own office. Antony, who was waiting to see what the people would do, looked at Dolabella with derision, for the two were at variance with each other. After enjoying the spectacle sufficiently and perceiving that the people would not do anything rashly, he decided, under compulsion, to extend protection to the murderers (concealing the necessity, however, and pretending to act in this way as a matter of the greatest favor), and at the same time to have Cæsar's acts ratified and his plans carried into effect by common agreement. Accordingly he commanded silence again and spoke as follows:--
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