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He twice entertained thoughts of restoring the republic;1 first, immediately after he had crushed Antony, remembering that he had often charged him with being the obstacle to its restoration. The second time was in consequence of a long illness, when he sent for the magistrates and the senate to his own house, and delivered them a particular account of the state of the empire. But reflecting at the same time that it would be both hazardous to himself to return to the condition of a private person, and might be dangerous to the public to have the government placed again under the control of the people, he resolved to keep it in his own hands, whether with the better event or intention, is hard to say. His good intentions he often affirmed in private discourse, and also published an edict, in which it was declared in the following terms: "May it be permitted me to have the happiness of establishing the commonwealth on a safe and sound basis, and thus enjoy the reward of which I am ambitious, that of being celebrated for moulding it into the form best adapted to present circumstances; so that, on my leaving the world, I may carry with me the hope that the foundations which I have laid for its future government, will stand firm and stable."
1 Augustus appears to have been in earnest on these occasions, at least, in his desire to retire into private life and release himself from the cares of government, if we may believe Seneca.-De Brev. Vit. c. 5. Of his two intimate advisers, Agrippa gave this counsel, while Mecaenas was for continuing his career of ambition --Eutrop. 1. 53.
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