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While, therefore, the rest were in alarm and hesitation, Caius Cornelius, a Roman knight, who offered his services, and Lucius Vargunteius, a senator, in company with him, agreed to go with an armed force, on that very night, and with but little delay,1 to the house of Cicero, under pretense of paying their respects to him, and to kill him unawares, and unprepared for defense, in his own residence. But Curius, when he heard of the imminent danger that threatened the consul, immediately gave him notice, by the agency of Fulvia, of the treachery which was contemplated. The assassins, in consequence, were refused admission, and found that they had undertaken such an attempt only to be disappointed.

In the mean time, Manlius was in Etruria, stirring up the populace, who, both from poverty, and from resentment for their injuries (for, under the tyranny of Sylla, they had lost their lands and other property), were eager for a revolution. He also attached to himself all sorts of marauders, who were numerous in those parts, and some of Sylla's colonists, whose dissipation and extravagance had exhausted their enormous plunder.

1 XXVIII. On that very night, and with but little delay] “ nocte, paulo post.” They resolved on going soon after the meeting broke up, so that they might reach Cicero's house early in the morning, which was the usual time for waiting on great men. Ingentem foribus domus alta superbis mane salutantûm totis vomit ædibus undam. Virg. Georg., ii. 461.

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