But at Rome, in the mean time, Lentulus, with the other leaders of the conspiracy, having secured what they thought a large force, had arranged, that as soon as Catiline should reach the neighborhood of Fæsulæ, Lucius Bestia, a tribune of the people, having called an assembly, should complain of the proceedings of Cicero, and lay the odium of this most oppressive war on the excellent consul ;1
and that the rest of the conspirators, taking this as a signal, should, on the following night, proceed to execute their respective parts.
These parts are said to have been thus distributed. Statilius and Gabinius, with a large force, were to set on fire twelve. places of the city, convenient for their purpose,2
at the same time; in order that, during the consequent tumult,3
an easier access might be obtained to the consul, and to the others whose destruction was intended; Cethegus was to beset the gate of Cicero, and attack him personally with violence; others were to single out other victims; while the sons of certain families, mostly of the nobility, were to kill their fathers; and, when all were in consternation at the massacre and conflagration, they were to sally forth to join Catiline.
While they were thus forming and settling their plans, Cethegus was incessantly complaining of the want of spirit in his associates; observing, that they wasted excellent opportunities through hesitation and delay;4
that, in such an enterprise, there was need, not of deliberation, but of action; and that he himself, if a few would support him, would storm the senatehouse while the others remained inactive. Being naturally bold, sanguine, and prompt to act, he thought that success depended on rapidity of execution.