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While these occurrences were passing in the senate, and while rewards were being voted, an approbation of their evidence, to the Allobrogian deputies and to Titus Volturcius, the freedmen, and some of the other dependents of Lentulus, were urging the artisans and slaves, in various directions throughout the city,1 to attempt his rescue; some, too, applied to the ringleaders of the mob, who were always ready to disturb the state for pay. Cethegus, at the same time, was soliciting, through his agents, his slaves2 and freedmen, men trained to deeds of audacity, to collect themselves into an armed body, and force a way into his place of confinement.

The consul, when he heard that these things were in agitation, having distributed armed bodies of men, as the circumstances and occasion demanded, called a meeting of the senate, and desired to know " what they wished to be done concerning those who had been committed to custody." A full senate, however, had but a short time before3 declared them traitors to their country. On this occasion, Decimus Junius Silanus, who, as consul elect, was first asked his opinion, moved4 that capital punishment should be inflicted, not only on those who were in confinement, but also on Lucius Cassius, Publius Furius, Publius Umbrenus, and Quintus Annius, if they should be apprehended; but afterward, being influenced by the speech of Caius Cæsar, he said that he would go over to the opinion of Tiberius Nero,5 had proposed that the guards should be increased, and that the senate should deliberate further on the matter. Cæsar, when it came to his turn, being asked his opinion by the consul, spoke to the following effect:

1 L. In various directions throughout the city] “Variis itineribus--in vicis.” Going hither and thither through the streets.

2 Slaves] “Familiam."Servos suos, qui propriè familia." Cortius. Familia is a number of famuli.

3 A full senate, however, had but a short time before, etc.] The senate had already decreed that they were enemies to their country; Cicero now calls a meeting to ascertain what sentence should be passed on them.

4 On this occasion--moved] “Tunc--decreverat.” The tunc (or as most editors have it, tum) must be referred to the second meeting of the senate, for it does not appear that any proposal concerning the punishment of the prisoners was made at the first meeting. There would be no doubt on this point, were it not for the pluperfect tense, decreverat. I have translated it as the perfect. We must suppose that Sallust had his thoughts on Cæsar's speech, which was to follow, and signifies that all this business had been done before Cæsar addressed the house. Kritzius thinks that the pluperfect was referred by Sallust, not to Cæsar's speech; but to the decree of the senate which was finally made; but this is surely a less satisfactory method of settling the matter. Sallust often uses the pluperfect, where his reader would expect the perfect; see, for instance, concusserat, at the beginning of c. 24.

5 That he would go over to the opinion of Tiberius Nero] “Pedibus in sententian Tib. Neronis--iturum.” Any question submitted to the senate was decided by the majority of votes, which was ascertained either by numeratio, a counting of the votes, or by discessio, when those who were of one opinion, at the direction of the presiding magistrate, passed over to one side of the house, and those who were of the contrary opinion, to the other. See Aul. Gell. xiv. 7; Suet. Tib. 31; Adam's Rom. Ant.; Dr. Smith's Dictionary, Art. Senatus.

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