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[2] The soldiers had taken their stand about the pyre in arms, with chaplets on their heads, and Marius himself, having put on his purple-bordered robe and girt it about him, as the custom was, had taken a lighted torch, held it up towards heaven with both hands, and was just about to set fire to the pyre, when some friends were seen riding swiftly towards him, and there was deep silence and expectancy on the part of all.

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