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42. Such, then, were Cicero's domestic affairs. But in the design that was forming against Caesar he took no part, although he was one of the closest companions of Brutus and was thought to be distressed at the present and to long for the old state of affairs more than anybody else. But the conspirators feared his natural disposition as being deficient in daring, and his time of life, in which courage fails the strongest natures. [2] And so, when the deed had been accomplished by the partisans of Brutus and Cassius,1 and the friends of Caesar were combining against the perpetrators of it, and it was feared that the city would again be plunged into civil wars, Antony, as consul, convened the senate and said a few words about concord, while Cicero, after a lengthy speech appropriate to the occasion, persuaded the senate to imitate the Athenians2 and decree an amnesty for the attack upon Caesar, and to assign provinces to Cassius and Brutus. [3] But none of these things came to pass. For when the people, who of themselves were strongly moved to pity, saw Caesar's body carried through the forum, and when Antony showed them the garments drenched with blood and pierced everywhere with the swords, they went mad with rage and sought for the murderers in the forum, and ran to their houses with fire-brands in order to set them ablaze. For this danger the conspirators were prepared beforehand and so escaped it,3 but expecting others many and great, they forsook the city.

1 On the Ides of March, 44 B.C.

2 These declared a general amnesty after the overthrow of the Thirty Tyrants by Thrasybulus in 403 B.C.

3 Cf. Plutarch's Brutus, chapter xx.

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