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[72] When Antony had suffered this second defeat, he took counsel with his friends directly after the battle. They advised him to adhere to his first resolution, to continue the siege of Mutina and not to go out and fight, saying that the losses had been about equal on both sides, Hirtius having been killed and Pansa wounded; that he (Antony) was superior in cavalry and that Mutina was reduced to extremity by famine and must soon succumb. Such was the advise of his friends, and it was truly for the best. But Antony, now misled by a god, was fearful lest Octavius should make another attempt to break into Mutina like that of yesterday, or even try to enclose him (Antony), as Octavius had the greater force of laborers, " in which case," said he, " our cavalry will be useless and Lepidus and Plancus will despise me as a vanquished man. If we withdraw from Mutina, Ventidius will presently join us with three legions from Picenum, and Lepidus and Plancus will be emboldened to ally themselves with us." So he spoke, although he was not a timid man in the presence of danger; and breaking camp forthwith he made his way toward the Alps.1

1 It is plain from what has gone before that Antony aimed at the supreme power which Cæsar had held, and that Octavius was, in his eyes, an impertinence and an inconvenience. It is evident also that Octavius aimed not to destroy Antony, but to cripple and humble him, and so convince him that he (Octavius) was a person to be reckoned with. A perception of this truth was forced upon Antony before he was dislodged from Mutina, for he wrote a letter to Hirtius and Octavius appealing to them as Cæsarians, and pretending that he was solely concerned in taking vengeance on Decimus as one of the murderers. Hirtius sent it to Cicero, who read it, with a running comment, in the Senate (Phil. xiii. 10-21). It shows that Antony was not destitute of literary ability. A translation of it will be found in the appendix to Book III.

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