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He accordingly commissioned one Publius Umbrenus to apply to certain deputies of the Allobroges,1 and to lead them, if he could, to a participation in the war; supposing that as they were nationally and individually involved in debt, and as the Gauls were naturally warlike, they might easily be drawn into such an enterprise. Umbrenus, as he had traded in Gaul, was known to most of the chief men there, and personally acquainted with them; and consequently, without loss of time, as soon as he noticed the deputies in the Forum, he asked them, after making a few inquiries about the state of their country, and affecting to commiserate its fallen condition, " what termination they expected to such calamities?" When he found that they complained of the rapacity of the magistrates, inveighed against the senate for not affording them relief, and looked to death as the only remedy for their sufferings, "Yet I," said he, "if you will but act as men, will show you a method by which you may escape these pressing difficulties." When he had said this, the Allobroges, animated with the highest hopes, besought Umbrenus to take compassion on them; saying that there was nothing so disagreeable or difficult, which they would not most gladly perform, if it would but free their country from debt. He then conducted them to the house of Decimus Brutus, which was close to the Forum, and, on account of Sempronia, not unsuitable to his purpose, as Brutus was then absent from Rome.2 In order, too, to give greater weight to his representations, he sent for Gabinius, and, in his presence, explained the objects of the conspiracy, and mentioned the names of the confederates, as well as those of many other persons, of every sort, who were guiltless of it, for the purpose of inspiring the embassadors with greater confidence. At length, when they had promised their assistance, he let them depart.

1 XL. Certain deputies of the Allobroges] “Legatos Allobrogum.” Plutarch, in his Life of Cicero, says that there were then at Rome two deputies from this Gallic nation, sent to complain of oppression on the part of the Roman governors.

2 As Brutus was then absent from Rome] “Nam tum Brutus ab Româ aberat.” From this remark, say Zanchius and Omnibonus, it is evident that Brutus was not privy to the conspiracy. “"What sort of woman Sempronia was, has been told in c. 25. Some have thought that she was the wife of Decimus Brutus; but since Sallust speaks of her as being in the decay of her beauty at the time of the conspiracy, and since Brutus, as may be seen in Cæsar (B. G. vii., sub fin.), was then very young, it is probable that she had only an illicit connection with him, but had gained such an ascendency over his affections, by her arts of seduction, as to induce him to make her his mistress, and to allow her to reside in his house."” Beauzée. I have, however, followed those who think that Brutus was the husband of Sempronia. Sallust (c. 24), speaking of the woman, of whom Sempronia was one, says that Catiline credebat posse--viros earum vel adjungere sibi, vel interficere. The truth, on such a point, is of little importance.

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