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[127] But when the rumor that Caius was slain reached the theater, they were astonished at it, and could not believe it; even some that entertained his destruction with great pleasure, and were more desirous of its happening than almost any other faction that could come to them, were under such a fear, that they could not believe it. There were also those who greatly distrusted it, because they were unwilling that any such thing should come to Caius, nor could believe it, though it were ever so true, because they thought no man could possibly so much power as to kill Caius. These were the women, and the children, and the slaves, and some of the soldiery. This last sort had taken his pay, and in a manner tyrannized with him, and had abused the best of the citizens, in being subservient to his unjust commands, in order to gain honors and advantages to themselves; but for the women and the youth, they had been inveigled with shows, and the fighting of the gladiators, and certain distributions of flesh-meat among them, which things them pretense were designed for the pleasing of multitude, but in reality to satiate the barbarous cruelty and madness of Caius. The slaves also were sorry, because they were by Caius allowed to accuse and to despise their masters, and they could have recourse to his assistance when they had unjustly affronted them; for he was very easy in believing them against their masters, even when they the city, accused them falsely; and if they would discover what money their masters had, they might soon obtain both riches and liberty, as the rewards of their accusations, because the reward of these informers was the eighth 1 part of the criminal's substance. As to the nobles, although the report appeared credible to some of them, either because they knew of the plot beforehand, or because they wished it might be true; however, they concealed not only the joy they had at the relation of it, but that they had heard any thing at all about it. These last acted so out of the fear they had, that if the report proved false, they should be punished, for having so soon let men know their minds. But those that knew Caius was dead, because they were partners with the conspirators, they concealed all still more cautiously, as not knowing one another's minds; and fearing lest they should speak of it to some of those to whom the continuance of tyranny was advantageous; and if Caius should prove to be alive, they might be informed against, and punished. And another report went about, that although Caius had been wounded indeed, yet was not he dead, but alive still, and under the physician's hands. Nor was any one looked upon by another as faithful enough to be trusted, and to whom any one would open his mind; for he was either a friend to Caius, and therefore suspected to favor his tyranny, or he was one that hated him, who therefore might be suspected to deserve the less credit, because of his ill-will to him. Nay, it was said by some (and this indeed it was that deprived the nobility of their hopes, and made them sad) that Caius was in a condition to despise the dangers he had been in, and took no care of healing his wounds, but was gotten away into the market-place, and, bloody as he was, was making an harangue to the people. And these were the conjectural reports of those that were so unreasonable as to endeavor to raise tumults, which they turned different ways, according to the opinions of the bearers. Yet did they not leave their seats, for fear of being accused, if they should go out before the rest; for they should not be sentenced according to the real intention with which they went out, but according to the supposals of the accusers and of the judges.

1 The rewards proposed by the Roman laws to informers was sometimes an eigth partm as Spanheim assures us, from the criminal's goods, as here, and sometimes a fourth part.

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