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(1887) [MARC] Author: Viktor Rydberg Translator: Alfred Corning Clark With: Hans Anton Westesson Lindehn
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Full resolution (JPEG) - On this page / på denna sida - The Roman Emperors in Marble - 5. Nero

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and a party in resistance was formed, whose growls were
greeted with storms of approbation by those who followed
the court taste. Such as reproached the emperor, received
these questions in reply :
" Are not the prizes of victory of
the orators and poets likely to spur genius to emulation ?
Does not the divine prophet Apollo stand with the orna-
ments of singer and cithern-player in the temples of Rome,
as well as of Greece ? Is not the art of driving the four-
horse biga a kingly art, practised by the old time princes,
celebrated in the songs of the poets, and dedicated to
the gods?" That the malcontents were forced to say
yes to these questions, did not cool their wrath.
If the young emperor had dreamed for himself a life
of happiness, he was soon to be taken from his error. It
is beyond doubt that he ascended the throne in the hope
of one day leaving to posterity the memory of a philan-
thropic prince ; and his feelings can therefore be ima-
gined, when, hardly adorned with the diadem, he heard
that death sentences had already been executed in his
name, and that many more were in prospect if he did
not quickly intervene. It was Agrippina, his mother,
who wished to consecrate his reign by a massacre of her
enemies. She was checked and forced to give up the ful-
filment of her design ; but from that hour, silently or
openly, a bitter strife went on between her on one side,
Seneca and Burrus on the other, for influence over Nero ;
and beautiful as she still was, she is said not to have
shunned the most shameful means to assure that influ-
ence to herself. With knowledge of the sophistry of
human feelings, it seems probable that she fancied she
had the welfare of her son, and nothing else, before her
eyes. For Lucius Domitius as a boy, she had cherished

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