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[90] There was a sudden change on all hands. Instead of 2500 drachmas 5000 were given. Instead of two legions only, the entire eight were to be paid. Octavius was appointed to make the distribution instead of the ten commissioners, and he was allowed to be a candidate for the consulship while absent. Messengers were hastily despatched to tell him these things. Directly after they had left the city the Senate repented. It felt that it ought not to be so weakly terror-stricken, or accept a new tyranny without bloodshed, or accustom those seeking office to gain it by violence, or the soldiers to govern the country by the word of command. Rather should they arm themselves as far as possible and oppose the laws to the invaders, for there was some hope that, if the laws were opposed to them, not even they would bear arms against their country. If they should do so, it would be best to endure a siege until Decimus and Plancus should come to the rescue, and to defend themselves to the death rather than submit voluntarily to a slavery thenceforth without remedy. They recounted the high spirit and endurance in behalf of freedom of the Romans of old, who never yielded anything prejudicial to their liberty.

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