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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 causes them, in the guise of goddesses of mercy, to be
escorted in a solemn torchlight procession to the temple,
which the people had consecrated to them, by the side
of the Areopagus.
Nero, too, knew that he was under the same judg-
ment ; and he trembled to meet the eyes of men. But
alas ! With them, no expiation seemed necessary.
The truth that lies in the paradox, " The people’s voice,
God’s voice," seems to have been challenged sometimes
after a fearful manner, in history. So in the Roman
’^plebiscite " of the year 59, and so in the French, of the
year 1852 ; which latter, from this point of view, and
without regard to the means by which it was brought to
pass, was probably the most frightful event of modern
history. Senators, soldiers, the rulers and judges of the
Campanian cities, strove to outstrip each other to the
emperor, to give him courage with their congratulations.
Nevertheless, he quailed before the thought of going
back to Rome. Of course his friends assured him that
" the devotion of the people had risen through Agrip-
pina’s death ;
" but never could he even have dreamed of
the spectacle that awaited him. The senate, in robes of
office, comes out to meet him ; from tribunes erected
along the chief streets, women and children shout with
joy ; citizens throng around his car, thank-offerings burn
in the temple—and so, in triumph, the matricide proceeds
on his upward way to the Capitol. The senate assembles
in the curia and declares, in the name of Rome, that
Agrippina’s death was a boon to the state.
A single one of the fathers blushed to share in this
declaration. This was Trasea Fetus, the Stoic. He thus
verified what Tigellinus had said, that the Stoics were a
party dangerous to the community.

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