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manded Cherea, without any delar, to torture Quintilia, as he used to employ Cherea in such bloody matters, and those that required the torture, because he thought he would do it the more barbarously, in order to avoid that imputation of effeminacy which he had laid upon him. But Quintilia, when she was brought to the rack, trod upon the foot of one of her associates, and let him know, that he might be of good courage, and not be afraid of the consequence of her tortures; for that she would bear them with magnanimity. Cherea tortured this woman after a cruel manner : unwillingly, indeed, but because he could not help it. He then brought her, without being in the least moved at what she had suffered, into tie presence of Caius, and that in such a state as was sad to behold; and Caius, being somewhat affected with the sight of Quintilia, who had her body miserably disordered by the pains she had undergone, freed both her and Pompedius of the crime laid to her charge. He also gave her monev to make her honourable amends, and comfort her for that maiming of he: body which she had suffered ; and for her glorious patience under such unsufferable torments.
6. This matter sorely grieved Cherea, as having been the cause, as far as he could, or the instrument, of these miseries to men, which seemed worthy of consolation to Caius himself; on which account he said to Clement and to Papinius, (of whom Clement was general of the army, and Papinius was a tribune,) “ To be sure, Clement, we have no way failed in our guarding the emperor; for as to those that have conspiracies against his government, some have been slain by our care and pains, and some have been by us tortured, and this to such a degree, that he hath himself pitied them. How great then is our virtue in submitting to conduct his armies !” Clement held his peace, but showed the shame he was under in obeving Caius' orders, both by his eyes and his blushing countenance, while he thought it by no means right to accuse the emperor in express words, lest their own safety should be endangered thereby. Upon which Cherea took courage, and spoke to him without fear of the dangers that were before him, and discoursed largely of the sore calamities under which the city and the government then laboured, and said, “ We mav indeed pretend in words, that Caius is the person unto whom the cause of such miseries ought to be imputed; but, in the opinion of such as are able to judge uprightly, it is I, O Clement! and this Papinius, and before us thou thyself, who bring these tortures upon the Romans and upon all mankind. It is not done by our being subservient to the commands of Caius, but it is done by our own consent ; for whereas it is in our power to put an end to the life of this man, who hath so terribly injured the citizens and his subjects, we are his guard in mischief, and his executioners instead of his soldiers, and are the instruments of his cruelty. We bear the weapons not for our liberty, not for the Roman government, but only for his preservation, who hath enslaved both their bodies and their minds; and we are every day polluted with the blood that we shed, and the torments we inflict upon others; and this we do, till somebody becomes Caius' instrument in bringing the like miseries upon ourselves. Nor does he thus emplov us, because he hath a kindness for us, but rather because he hath a suspicion of us, as also because when abundance more have been killed, (for Caius will set no bounds to his wrath, since he aims to do all, not out of regard to justice, but to his own pleasure,) we shall also ourselves be exposed to his cruelty; whereas we ought to be the means of
confirming the security and liberty of all, and at the same time to resolve to free ourselves from dangers."
7. Hereupon Clement openly commended Cherea's intentions; but bade him “ hold his tongue ; for that in case his words should get out among many, and such things should be spread abroad as were fit to be concealed, the plot would come to be discovered before it was executed, and they should be brought to punishment: but that they should leave all to futurity, and the hope which then arose, that some fortunate event would come to their assistance : that, as for himself, his age would not permit him to make any attempt in that case. However, although perhaps I could suggest what may be safer than what thou, Cherea, hast contrived and said, yet how is it possible for any one to suggest what is more for thy reputation ?” So Clement went his way home, with deep reflections on what he had heard, and what he had himself said. Cherea was also under a concern, and went quickly to Cornelius Sabinus, who was himself one of the tribunes, and whom he otherwise knew to be a worthy man, and a lover of liberty, and on that account very uneasy at the present management of public affairs, he being desirous to come immediately to the execution of what had been determined, and thinking it right for him to propose it to the other, and afraid lest Clement should discover them, and besides looking upon delays and puttings off to be the next to desisting from the enterprise.
8. But as all was agreeable to Sabinus, who had himself, equally with Cherea, the same design, but had been silent for want of a person to whom he could safely communicate that design, so having now met with one, who not only promised to conceal what he heard, but who had already opened his mind to him, he was much more encouraged, and desired of Cherea, that no delay might be made therein. Accordingly, they went to Minucianus, who was as virtuous a man, and as zealous to do glorious actions, as themselves, and suspected by Caius on occasion of the slaughter of Lepidus; for Minucianus and Lepidus were intimate friends, and both in fear of the dangers that they were under ; for Caius was terrible to all the great men, as appearing ready to act a mad part towards each of them in particular, and towards all of them in general ; and these men were afraid of one another, while they were yet uneasy at the posture of affairs, but avoided to declare their mind and their hatred against Caius to one another, out of fear of the dangers they might be in thereby, although they perceived by other means their mutual hatred against Caius, and on that account were not averse to mutual kindness one towards another.
9. When Minucianus and Cherea had met together, and saluted one another, (as they had been used on former conversations to give the upper hand to Minucianus, both on account of his eminent dignity, for he was the noblest of all the citizens, and highly commended by all men, especially when he made speeches to them,) Minucianus began first, and asked Cherea, what was the watch-word he had received that day from Caius ? for the affront which was offered Cherea in giving the watch-words, was famous over the city. But Cherea made no delay, so long as to reply to that question, out of the joy he had that Minucianus would have such confidence in him as to discourse with him. “ But do thou,” said he, “give me the watch-word of Liberty. And I return thee my thanks, that thou hast so greatly encouraged me to exert myself after an extraordinary manner; nor do I stand in need of many words to encourage me, since buth thou and I are of the same mind, and partakers of the same resolu
tions, and this before we have conferred together. I have indeed but one sword girt on, but this one will serve us both. Come on, therefore, let us set about the work. Do thou go first, if thou hast a mind, and bid me follow thee; or else I will go first, and thou shalt assist me, and we will assist one another, and trust one another. Nor is there a necessity for even one sword to such as have a mind disposed to such works, by which mind the sword uses to be successful. I am zealous about this action, nor am I solicitous what I may myself undergo; for I am not at leisure to consider the dangers that may come upon myself, so deeply am I troubled at the slavery our once free country is now under, and at the contempt cast upon our excellent laws, and at the destruction which hangs over all men, by the means of Caius. I wish that I may be judged by thee, and that thou mayest esteem me worthy of credit in these matters, seeing we are both of the same opinion, and there is herein no difference between us.”
10. When Minucianus saw the vehemency with which Cherea delivered himself, he gladly embraced him, and encouraged him in his bold attempt, commending him, and embracing him ; so he let him go with his good wishes; and some affirm, that he thereby confirmed Minucianus in the prosecution of what had been agreed among them ; for, as Cherea entered into the court, the report runs, that a voice came from among the multitude to encourage him, which bade bim finish what he was about, and take the opportunity that providence afforded : and that Cherea at first suspected that some one of the conspirators had betrayed him, and he was caught, but at length perceived that it was by way of exhortation. Whether somebody.* that was conscious of what he was about, gave a signal fur his encouragement, or whether it were God himself, who looks upon the actions of men, that encouraged him to go on boldly in bis design, is uncertain. The plot was now communicated to a great many, and they were all in their armour ; some of the conspirators being senators, and some of the equestrian order, and as many of the soldiery as were made acquainted with it, for there was not one of them who would not reckon it a part of his happiness to kill Caius, and on that account they were all very zealous in the affair, by what means soever any one could come at it, that he might not be behindhand in these virtuous designs, but might be ready with all his alacrity or power, both by words and actions, to complete this slaughter of a tyrant. And besides these, Callistus also, who was a freed-man of Caius, and was the only man that had arrived at the greatest degree of power under him ; such a power, indeed, as was in a manner equal to the power of the tyrant himself, by the dread that all men had of him, and by the great riches he had acquired; for he took bribes most plenteously, and committed injuries without bounds, and was more extravagant in the use of his power in unjust proceedings than any other; he also knew the disposition of Caius to be im. placable, and never to be turned from what he had resolved on. He had withai many other reasons why he thought himself in danger, and the vastness of his wealth was not one of the least of them : on which account he privately ingratiated himself with Claudius, and transferred his court. ship to him, out of this hope, that in case, upon the removal of Caius, the
Just such a voice, as this is related to be, came, and from an unknown original also, to the famous Polycarp, as he was going to martyrdom, bidding bim “play the man," 1.5 the church of Smyrna assures us in their accounts of that his martyrdom, $ 9.
government should come to him, his interest in such changes should lay a foundation for his preserving his dignity under him, since he laid in beforehand a stock of merit, and did Claudius good offices in his promotion. He had also the boldness to pretend, that he had been persuaded to make away Claudius, by poisoning him, but had still invented ten thousand excuses for delaying to do it. But it seems probable to me, that Callistus only counterfeited this, in order to ingratiate himself with Claudius, for if Caius had been in earnest resolved to take off Claudius, he would not have admitted of Callistus's excuses, nor would Callistus, if he had been enjoined to do such an act as was desired by Caius, have put it off, nor, if he had disobeyed those injunctions of his master, had he escaped imme. diate punishment : while Claudius was preserved from the madness of Caius by a certain divine providence, and Callistus pretended to such a piece of merit as he no way deserved.
11. However, the execution of Cherea's designs was put off from day to day, by the sloth of many therein concerned; for as to Cherea himself, he would not willingly make any delay in that execution, thinking every time a fit time for it; for frequent opportunities offered themselves; as when Caius went up to the capital to sacrifice for his daughter, or when he stood upon his royal palace, and threw gold and silver pieces of money among the people, he might be pushed down headlong, because the top of the palace, that looks towards the market-place, was very high; and also when he celebrated the mysteries, which he had appointed at that time ; for he was then no way secluded from the people, but solicitous to do every thing carefully and decently, and was free from all suspicion that he should be then assaulted by any body ; and although the gods should afford him no divine assistance to en ble him to take away his life, yet had he strength himself sufficient to despatch Caius, even without a sword; thus was Cherea angry at his fellow-conspirators, for fear they should suffer a proper opportunity to pass by; and they were themselves sensible that he had just cause to be angry at them, and that his eagerness was for their advantage; yet did they desire he would have a little longer patience, lest, upon any disappointment they might meet with, they should put the city into disorder, and an inquisition should be made after the conspiracy, and should render the courage of those that were to attack Caius without success, while he would then secure himself more carefully than ever against them; that it would therefore be the best to set about the work when the shows were exhibited in the palace. These shows were acted in honour of that Cæsar* who first of all changed the popular government, and transferred it to himself; galleries being fixed before the palace, where the Romans that were patricians became spectators, together with their children and their wives, and Cæsar himself was to be also a spectator; and they reckoned, among those many ten thousands, who would there be crowded into a narrow compass, they should have a favourable opportunity to make their attempt upon him as he came in; because his guards that should protect him, if any of them should have a mind to do it, would not here be able to give him any assistance.
12. Cherea consented to this delay, and when the shows were exhibited, it was resolved to do the work the first day. But fortune, which allowed
• Here Josephus supposes that it was Augustus, and not Julius Cæsar, wbo firet changed the Roman commonwealth into a monarchy; for these shows were in honour vi Augustus, as we shall learn in the next section but one.
a farther delay to his slaughter, was too hard for their foregoing resolutions, and, as three days of the regular times for these shows were now over, they had much ado to get the business done on the last day. Then Cherea called the conspirators together, and spake thus to them : “ So much time passed away without effect is a reproach to us, as delaying to go through such a virtuous design as we are engaged in; but more fatal will this delay prove, if we be discovered and the design be frustrated; for Caius will then become more cruel in his unjust proceedings. Do not we see how long we deprive all our friends of their liberty, and give Caius Teave still to tyrannize over them ? while we ought to have procured them security for the future, and by laying a foundation for the happiness of others, gain to ourselves great admiration and honour for all time to come.” Now, while the conspirators had nothing tolerable to say by way of contradiction, and yet did not quite relish what they were doing, but stood silent and astonished, he said farther, “O my brave comrades ! why do we make such delays? Do not you see that this is the last day of these shows, and that Caius is about to go to sea ? for he is preparing to sail to Alexandria in order to see Egypt. Is it therefore for your honour to let a man go out of your hands who is a reproach to mankind, and to permit him to go after a pompous manner, triumphing both at land and sea ? shall not we be justly ashamed of ourselves, if we give leave to some Egyptian or other, who shall think his injuries insufferable to freemen, to kill him? As for myself, I will no longer bear your slow proceedings, but will expose myself to the dangers of the enterprise this very day, and bear cheerfully whatsoever shall be the consequence of the attempt ; nor, let them he ever so great, will I put them off any longer : for, to a wise and courageous mau, what can be more miserable than that, while I am alive, any one else shouid kill Caius, and deprive me of the honour of so virtuous an action.”
13. 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 farther 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 watch-word with their swords on, and this was the day on which Cherea was, by custom, to receive the watch-word; and the multitude were already come to the palace, to be soon enouglı 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 unen, 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 fixed with the slaves. So Caius came out in a solemn manner, and offered sacrifice to Augustus Cæsar, in whose honour 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 theatre 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