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The affair being thus concluded, a full account of it was immediately transmitted to the consul by messengers. Great anxiety, and great joy, affected him at the same moment. He rejoiced that, by the discovery of the conspiracy, the state was freed from danger; but he was doubtful how he ought to act, when citizens of such eminence were detected in treason so atrocious. He saw that their punishment would be a weight upon himself, and their escape the destruction of the Commonwealth. Having, however, formed his resolution, he ordered Lentulus, Cethegus, Statilius, Gabinius, and one Quintus Cæparius of Terracina, who was preparing to go to Apulia to raise the slaves, to be summoned before him. The others came without delay; but Cæparius, having left his house a little before, and heard of the discovery of the conspiracy, had fled from the city. The consul himself conducted Lentulus, as he was prætor, holding him by the hand, and ordered the others to be brought into the Temple of Concord, under a guard. Here he assembled the senate, and in a very full attendance of that body, introduced Volturcius with the deputies. Hither also he ordered Valerius Flaccus, the prætor, to bring the box with the letters1 which he had taken from the deputies.

1 XLVI. The box with the letters] “Scrinium cum literis.Litteræ may be rendered either letter or letters. There is no mention made previously of more letters than that of Lentulus to Catiline, c. 44. But as it is not likely that the deputies carried a box to convey only one letter, I have followed other translators by putting the word in the plural. The oath of the conspirators, too, which was a written document, was probably in the box.

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