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Marcius, therefore, seeing that the senate was in suspense between its kindly feelings towards him and its fear of the people, asked the tribunes what the accusations against him were, and on what charge he would be tried if they led him before the people. They replied that the charge against him was usurpation, and that they would prove him guilty of planning a usurpation of the government. Thereupon he rose of his own accord and said he was going at once before the people to make his defence, and would deprecate no manner of trial, nor, should he be found guilty, any form of punishment; ‘Only,’ said he, ‘see that ye confine yourselves to the charge mentioned, and do not play false with the senate.’ The tribunes agreed to this, and on these terms the trial was held.

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