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Gaius Livius Has a Party

About sunset news was brought to Gaius Livius, who
Gaius Livius thrown off the scent.
had been with his friends in the Musaeum since early in the day, just when the drinking was at its height, that the Numidians were scouring the country. He therefore took measures for that and nothing more, calling some of his officers and bidding them take half the cavalry, and sally out to stop the progress of the enemy, who were devasting the country: but this only made him still more unsuspicious of the whole extent of the movement. Nicon, Tragiscus, and their confederates collected together at nightfall in the town and waited for the return of Livius and his friends. As these last rose from table somewhat early, because the banquet had begun before the usual time, the greater number of the conspirators retired to a certain spot and there remained; but some of the younger men went to meet Gaius, imitating by their disorderly procession and mutual jests a company returning from a carouse. As Livius and his company were even more flustered with drink, as soon as they met laughter and joking were readily excited on both sides. Finally, they turned and conducted Gaius to his house; where he went to bed full of wine, as might be expected after a party beginning so early in the day, without any anxiety or trouble in his thoughts, but full of cheerfulness and idle content. Then Nicon and Tragiscus rejoined their companions, and, dividing themselves into three companies, took up their positions at the most favourable points in the marketplace, to keep themselves fully acquainted with everything reported from outside the walls, or that happened within the city itself. They posted some also close to the house of Livius: being well aware that, if any suspicion of what was coming arose, it would be to him that the news would be first brought, and that from him every measure taken would originate. So when the noise of the returning guests, and every disturbance of the sort, had subsided, and the great bulk of the citizens was asleep; and now the night was advancing, and nothing had happened to dash their hopes, they collected together and proceeded to perform their part of the undertaking.

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