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 " When Cæsar was suddenly slain in the senate-house fear fell upon me most of all by reason of my friendship for him and my ignorance of the facts, as I knew not the particulars of the conspiracy nor against whom it was designed. The people were terror-stricken. The murderers with their gladiators took possession of the Capitol and shut themselves up in it. The Senate was on their side, just as it now is more openly, and was about to vote rewards to them as tyrannicides. If Cæsar were declared a tyrant then might we all have perished as the friends of a tyrant. In the midst of such confusion, anxiety, and fear, when it would not have been surprising if I had been at a loss what to do, you will find, if you examine, that where courage was needed I was boldest and where artifice was required I was most crafty. The first thing to be done, because it embraced everything else, was to prevent the voting of rewards to the conspirators. This I accomplished against the strong opposition of the Senate and of the murderers, with unfailing courage and in the face of danger, because I then believed that we of Cæsar's party could be safe only in case Cæsar were not declared a tyrant. But when I saw our enemies, and the Senate itself, plunged in the same fear (lest, if Cæsar were not decreed a tyrant, they themselves should be convicted of murder), and making their fight, for this reason, I yielded and granted amnesty instead of rewards to the murderers, in order to gain what I wanted in exchange. What did I want and how important was it? That Cæsar's name should not be blotted out was the dearest wish of all to me, that his property should not be confiscated, that the adoption on which this young man prides himself should not be annulled, that the will should not be declared invalid, that his body should have a royal funeral, that the immortal honors previously decreed to him should be fulfilled, that all his acts should be confirmed, and that his son, and we his friends, both generals and soldiers, should remain in perfect safety and enjoy a life of honor instead of ignominy.
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