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[73] When Decimus was delivered from the siege he began to be afraid of Octavius, whom, after the removal of the two consuls, he feared as an enemy. So he broke down the bridge over the river before daybreak and sent certain persons to Octavius in a boat, as if to return thanks for rescuing him, and asked that Octavius would come to the opposite bank of the river to hold a conversation with him in the presence of the citizens as witnesses, because he could convince Octavius, he said, that an evil spirit had deceived him and led him into the conspiracy against C├Žsar with the others. Octavius answered the messengers in a tone of anger, declining the thanks that Decimus gave him, saying: " I am here not to rescue Decimus, but to fight Antony, with whom I may properly come to terms sometime, but nature forbids that I should even look at Decimus or hold any conversation with him. Let him have safety, however, as long as the authorities at Rome please." When Decimus heard this he stood on the river bank and, calling Octavius by name, read with a loud voice the letters of the Senate giving him command of the Gallic province, and forbade Octavius to cross the river without consular authority, into the government belonging to another, and not to follow Antony further, because he (Decimus) would suffice for the pursuit of the latter. Octavius knew that he was prompted to this audacious course by the Senate, and although able to seize him by giving an order, he spared him for the present and withdrew to Pansa at Bononia, where he wrote a full report to the Senate, and Pansa did likewise.1

1 From the letters of Decimus Brutus to Cicero, we learn that this entire section 73 is at variance with the facts. Immediately after Antony's flight Decimus urged Octavius to cross the Apennines, in order to intercept Ventidius, who was leading three legions to Antony's assistance, in which case, he says, "I should have driven Antony to such straits that he would have succumbed to want rather than the sword. But I cannot command Octavius, nor can he command his own army, which is doubly unfortunate." (Ad Fam. xi. 10.) In another letter written from Pollentia, Decimus gives an account in detail of his movements after Antony's flight. " I was not able to pursue immediately," he says, "because I had neither cavalry nor pack animals. I did not know that Hirtius was dead. I could not trust Octavius, until I had met and conversed with him. So that day passed. Early the next day I was summoned by Pansa to Bononia. While I was on the road thither news was brought to me that he was dead. So I returned to my little band, for so I can truly call it, reduced as it is to extremity by the want of everything. Thus Antony got two days the start of me." (Ad Fam. xi. 13.)

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