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Brutus and Cassius, praetors, to M. Antonius, consul. If we had not been convinced of your honour and kind feeling to ourselves, we should not have written this letter to you. And this being the state of your mind, you will, we feel sure, receive it with all possible favour. Our correspondents inform us that a crowd of veterans has already collected at Rome, and that there will be a much greater one there by the 1st of June. 1 If we entertained any doubt or fear of you, we should be untrue to ourselves. But since we have put ourselves in your hands, and under your advice have dismissed our friends from the country towns, and done so by a circular letter as well as by an edict, we have a claim to be admitted to your confidence, especially in a matter which touches ourselves.

Wherefore we beg you to let us know what your feeling towards us is: whether you think that we shall be safe in the midst of such a crowd of veteran soldiers, who, we hear, even think of replacing the altar. 2 That is a thing which we think that hardly anyone can wish or approve, who desires our safety and honour. The result shews clearly that our aim from the first was peace, and that we have had no other object than the liberty of all. No one can beguile us except yourself, and that is a course of conduct quite alien to your virtue and honour. But no one else has the means of deceiving us: for it is you alone that we have trusted and intend to trust. Our friends are disturbed by a very great alarm on our account. For though they have every confidence in your good faith, they yet cannot help reflecting that the crowd of veteran soldiers can be more easily moved by others in any particular direction, than they can be held back by you. We ask you to write back and explain everything. For the suggestion that notice has been given to the veterans to appear, because you intended to bring in a law about their pensions in June, is wholly inadequate and meaningless. For whom do you think likely to hinder it, since in regard to ourselves we have made up our minds to do nothing whatever? We ought not to be thought by anyone too greedy of life, since nothing can happen to us without general disaster and confusion.

1 See pp. 48, 90, for Antony's picked guard.

2 The altar and column erected by the pseudo-Marius in the forum on the spot where Caesar's body had been burnt. Dolabella had removed it. See pp.33, 35, 40.

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