Rome
How Titus Pullo Brought Down The Republic

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How Titus Pullo Brought Down The Republic

Elsewhere, Pullo is traversing the whorehouses, all of which kindly allow you to look into their windows in order to get a gander at their merchandise. It is here that we learn that Roman whores aren't big on the missionary position. This show really is terribly educational. I hope they're showing it in schools. At any rate, Pullo picks his whorehouse and goes and vigorously has his way with a kind lady of the night. Grunting, he pours wine all over her. If I had a dollar....

Poor Marc Antony. He's still being anointed, or appointed, or whatever. Finally, the priest announces that he is officially "Tribune of Plebs." Marc Antony sighs. "About time," he says. "I need a drink." Truly, a man after my own heart.

So it seems that Julii Cooper is hosting some kind of political meeting at her house. As Cicero blusters in, he apologizes for intruding so late, but Julii waves off the apology, telling him she adores it! "The secrecy! The intrigue! It's most thrilling." Cato stomps in next, grousing that this meeting was supposed to be "invisible." Julii assures him coyly that she cannot see him. Next, a knock at the door. Enter Marc Antony. "General Antony," Julii twitters, and begins to tell him where everyone else is gathered. But she is interrupted thus: "Dear GOD, your beauty is painful," Marc Antony groans. "You are the crucifix of Venus. Let me die in your arms." He kisses her hand. I will marry the next man who greets me like this. Julii kind of giggles, as you would in such circumstances, but Cato -- the sourpuss -- interrupts the lovefest by calling for "General Antony" from the other room. "Tribune Antony, if you please," Marc Antony corrects him. Cato then berates him for wearing his soldier's gear. Marc Antony very charmingly tells the old man that it completely slipped his mind that he was still wearing his general's togs, and begs his forgiveness. He then sails over to Julii and asks her to take his tunic and burn it. One of the Senators assures him that's not necessary, and suggests that they retire to another room: "Let's stop all this blathering and get down to business." Cato, of course, takes offense at "blathering," but Julii manages to corral them into the courtyard. "Such vim! I feel like Helen of Troy," she says.

So Pompey and Cato and Cicero sit down with Marc Antony in the courtyard. Octavian eavesdrops as Marc Antony tells the Senators that Caesar is willing to compromise, and wants, above all, to be reasonable. See, when his term as governor of Gaul is over, he's willing to accept command of a single legion province. "So he will have legal immunity. So none of you rascals can go dragging him through the courts," Marc Antony explains. Pompey snarfles that they're there to discuss the terms of Caesar's resignation, not the terms under which he won't flip his shit, although he doesn't say so in so many words. "He could have avoided prosecution by accepting a few years' banishment," Pompey adds. Marc Antony laughs in his face. "For what?" he asks. Cato, naturally, gets all huffy and begins listing Caesar's crimes against the Republic: tyranny, illegal warfare, theft, having a weirdly large head, blah blah blah. "And what shall be your punishment, Pompey, for betraying a friend?" Marc Antony asks. "For deserting the cause of your people? For allying yourself with these so-called noblemen? What punishment for you?" Pompey gets all flustered. "Impudent whelp!" he yelps. Good comeback. "[Caesar's] term of office ends in two weeks," Cicero says, bringing them back around to the subject at hand. "We say six months," Marc Antony retorts. At this, Pompey goes off the deep end, yapping about Caesar and how dare he try to dictate terms, blee blee blah blag. Marc Antony just calmly points that Caesar has many men willing to stand with him, if need be. Someone points out that all those guys are on the far side of the alps. "Winter does not last forever. Spring comes. Snows melt," Marc Antony drawls. "That's a threat!" Pompey squeaks. "I assure you, it is no threat," Marc Antony says. "Snows. Always. Melt." After a beat, Pompey asks what will happen if Caesar doesn't get this province, and Marc Antony shrugs and explains that Caesar will take any measure required to protect his own interests, and what he believes to be in the interest of the Republic. Pompey chews up some scenery so as to fully express how totally irrational he thinks Caesar is being. "If that is his last word, we shall go!" he squeaks. "Then we have no more business," Marc Antony says smoothly.

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