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[4] Sacrifice is offered to her annually in the house of the consul by his wife or his mother, in the presence of the Vestal Virgins. Cicero, then, having gone into his friend's house, began to deliberate with himself—and he had only very few companions—what he should do with the men.1 For he shrank from inflicting the extreme penalty, and the one befitting such great crimes, and he hesitated to do it because of the kindliness of his nature, and at the same time that he might not appear to make an excessive use of his power and to trample ruthlessly upon men who were of the highest birth and had powerful friends in the city; and if he treated them with less severity, he was afraid of the peril into which they would bring the state.

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