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[145] Antony resumed his reading and recited the oaths by which all were pledged to guard Cæsar and Cæsar's body with all their strength, and all were devoted to perdition who should not avenge him against any conspiracy. Here, lifting up his voice and extending his hand toward the Capitol, he exclaimed, "Jupiter, guardian of this city, and ye other gods, I stand ready to avenge him as I have sworn and vowed, but since those who are of equal rank with me have considered the decree of amnesty beneficial, I pray that it may prove so." A commotion arose among the senators in consequence of this exclamation, which seemed to have special reference to them. So Antony quieted them again and recanted, saying, "It seems to me, fellow-citizens, that this deed is not the work of human beings, but of some evil spirit. It becomes us to consider the present rather than the past, since the greatest danger approaches, if it is not already here, lest we be drawn into our former civil commotions and lose whatever remains of noble birth in the city. Let us then conduct this sacred one to the abode of the blest, chanting our accustomed hymn of lamentation for him."

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