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 While Octavius was speaking in this fashion Antony was astonished at his freedom of speech and his boldness, which seemed much beyond the bounds of propriety and of his years. He was offended by the words because they were wanting in the respect due to him, and still more by the demand for money, and, accordingly, he replied in the severe terms following: "Young man, if Cæsar left you the government, together with the inheritance and his name, it is proper for you to ask and for me to give the reasons for my public acts. But if the Roman people never surrendered the government to anybody to dispose of in succession, not even when they had kings, whom they expelled and swore never to have any more (this was the very charge that the murderers brought against your father, saying that they killed him because he was no longer leading but reigning), then there is no need of my answering you as to my public acts. For the same reason I release you from any indebtedness to me in the way of gratitude for those acts. They were performed not as a favor to you, but to the people, except in one particular, which was of the greatest importance to Cæsar and to yourself. For if, to secure my own safety and to shield myself from enmity, I had allowed honors to be voted to the murderers as tyrannicides, Cæsar would have been declared a tyrant, to whom neither glory, nor any kind of honor, nor confirmation of his acts would have been possible; who could make no valid will, have no son, nor any burial of his body, even as a private citizen. The laws provide that the bodies of tyrants shall be cast out unburied, their memory stigmatized, and their property confiscated.
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