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 As Octavius was journeying to Rome he became dangerously ill at Brundusium, and a rumor gained currency that he was dead. On his recovery he returned to the city and showed to Antony's friends the letters Antony had written. The Antonians directed Calenus to give Octavius the two legions, and wrote to Sextius in Africa to turn that province over to him. This was the course of the Antonians while, as it appeared that Lepidus had not been guilty of any serious wrong, Octavius transferred Africa to him in exchange for his former provinces. He also sold the remainder of the property confiscated under the conscriptions. The task of assigning the soldiers to their colonies and dividing the land was one of exceeding difficulty. The soldiers demanded the cities which had been selected for them before the war as prizes for their valor. The cities demanded that the whole of Italy should share the burden, or that the cities should cast lots with the other cities, and that those who gave the land should be paid the value of it; but there was no money. They came to Rome in crowds, young and old, women and children, to the forum and the temples, uttering lamentations, saying that they had done no wrong for which they, Italians, should be driven from their fields and their hearthstones, like people conquered in war. The Romans mourned and wept with them, especially when they reflected that the war had been waged, and the rewards of victory given, not in behalf of the commonwealth, but against themselves and for a change of the form of government; that the colonies were established so that democracy should never again lift its head, -- colonies composed of hirelings settled there by the rulers to be in readiness for whatever purpose they might be wanted.
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