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[137] When Brutus and Cassius learned what had been done they sent messengers to the plebeians, whom they invited to come up to them at the Capitol. Presently a large number came together and Brutus addressed them as follows: " Here, citizens, we meet you, we who yesterday met together with you in the forum. We have come hither, not as taking refuge in a sanctuary (for we have done nothing wrong), nor in a citadel (for as regards our own affairs we intrust ourselves to you), but the sudden and unexpected attack made upon Cinna compelled us to do so. I know that our enemies accuse us of perjury and say that we render a lasting peace difficult. What we have to reply to these accusations we will say in your presence, citizens, with whose help we shall do what remains to be done for the restoration of democratic government. After Gaius Cæsar advanced from Gaul with hostile arms against his country, and Pompey, the most popular man among you, suffered as he did, and after him a great number of other good citizens, who had been driven into Africa and Spain, had perished, Cæsar was naturally apprehensive, although his power was firmly intrenched, and we granted him amnesty at his request and confirmed it by oath. If he had required us to swear not only to condone the past, but to be willing slaves for the future, what would our present accusers have done? For my part I think that, being Romans, they would have chosen to die many times rather than take an oath of voluntary servitude.

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