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[84] When Cherea had spoken thus, he zealously set about the work, and inspired courage into the rest to go on with it, and they were all eager to fall to it without further delay. So he was at the palace in the morning, with his equestrian sword girt on him; for it was the custom that the tribunes should ask for the watchword with their swords on, and this was the day on which Cherea was, by custom, to receive the watchword; and the multitude were already come to the palace, to be soon enough for seeing the shows, and that in great crowds, and one tumultuously crushing another, while Caius was delighted with this eagerness of the multitude; for which reason there was no order observed in the seating men, nor was any peculiar place appointed for the senators, or for the equestrian order; but they sat at random, men and women together, and free-men were mixed with the slaves. So Caius came out in a solemn manner, and offered sacrifice to Augustus Caesar, in whose honor indeed these shows were celebrated. Now it happened, upon the fall of a certain priest, that the garment of Asprenas, a senator, was filled with blood, which made Caius laugh, although this was an evident omen to Asprenas, for he was slain at the same time with Caius. It is also related that Caius was that day, contrary to his usual custom, so very affable and good-natured in his conversation, that every one of those that were present were astonished at it. After the sacrifice was over, Caius betook himself to see the shows, and sat down for that purpose, as did also the principal of his friends sit near him. Now the parts of the theater were so fastened together, as it used to be every year, in the manner following: It had two doors, the one door led to the open air, the other was for going into, or going out of, the cloisters, that those within the theater might not be thereby disturbed; but out of one gallery there went an inward passage, parted into partitions also, which led into another gallery, to give room to the combatants and to the musicians to go out as occasion served. When the multitude were set down, and Cherea, with the other tribunes, were set down also, and the right corner of the theater was allotted to Caesar, one Vatinius, a senator, commander of the praetorian band, asked of Cluvius, one that sat by him, and was of consular dignity also, whether he had heard any thing of news, or not? but took care that nobody should hear what he said; and when Cluvius replied, that he had heard no news, "Know then," said Vatinius, "that the game of the slaughter of tyrants is to be played this dav." But Cluvius replied "O brave comrade hold thy peace, lest some other of the Achaians hear thy tale." And as there was abundance of autumnal fruit thrown among the spectators, and a great number of birds, that were of great value to such as possessed them, on account of their rareness, Caius was pleased with the birds fighting for the fruits, and with the violence wherewith the spectators seized upon them: and here he perceived two prodigies that happened there; for an actor was introduced, by whom a leader of robbers was crucified, and the pantomime brought in a play called Cinyras, wherein he himself was to be slain, as well as his daughter Myrrha, and wherein a great deal of fictitious blood was shed, both about him that was crucified, and also about Cinyras. It was also confessed that this was the same day wherein Pausanias, a friend of Philip, the son of Amyntas, who was king of Macedonia, slew him, as he was entering into the theater. And now Caius was in doubt whether he should tarry to the end of the shows, because it was the last day, or whether he should not go first to the bath, and to dinner, and then return and sit down as before. Hereupon Minucianus, who sat over Caius, and was afraid that the opportunity should fail them, got up, because he saw Cherea was already gone out, and made haste out, to confirm him in his resolution; but Caius took hold of his garment, in an obliging way, and said to him, "O brave man! whither art thou going?" Whereupon, out of reverence to Caesar, as it seemed, he sat down again; but his fear prevailed over him, and in a little time he got up again, and then Caius did no way oppose his going out, as thinking that he went out to perform some necessities of nature. And Asprenas, who was one of the confederates, persuaded Caius to go out to the bath, and to dinner, and then to come in again, as desirous that what had been resolved on might be brought to a conclusion immediately.

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