Accordingly, the consuls fled, without even making the sacrifices usual before departure; most of the senators also fled, after seizing, in a sort of robbery, whatever came to hand of their own possessions, as though it were the property of others. Some, too, who before this had vehemently espoused the cause of Caesar, were now frightened out of their wits, and were carried along, when there was no need of it, by the sweep of the great tide.
But most pitiful was the sight of the city, now that so great a tempest was bearing down upon her, carried along like a ship abandoned of her helmsmen to dash against whatever lay in her path. Still, although their removal was so pitiful a thing, for the sake of Pompey men considered exile to be their country, and abandoned Rome with the feeling that it was Caesar's camp.1
For even Labienus, one of Caesar's greatest friends, who had been his legate and had fought most zealously with him in all his Gallic wars, now ran away from him and came to Pompey.
But Caesar sent to Labienus his money and his baggage; against Domitius, however, who was holding Corfinium with thirty cohorts under his command, he marched, and pitched his camp near by. Domitius, despairing of his enterprise, asked his physician, who was a slave, for a poison; and taking what was given him, drank it, intending to die.
But after a little, hearing that Caesar showed most wonderful clemency towards his prisoners, he bewailed his fate, and blamed the rashness of his purpose. Then his physician bade him be of good cheer, since what he had drunk was a sleeping-potion and not deadly; whereupon Domitius rose up overjoyed and went to Caesar, the pledge of whose right hand he received, only to desert him and go back to Pompey. When tidings of these things came to Rome, men were made more cheerful, and some of the fugitives turned back.