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(1887) [MARC] Author: Viktor Rydberg Translator: Alfred Corning Clark With: Hans Anton Westesson Lindehn
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THE ROMAN EMPERORS IN MARBI E. 1 1
1
But not even the readiness with which the Roman
senate and people took the blood-guilt of Nero upon
their shoulders, was able to restore equanimity to his
soul. From the year 59, we find in most that he plans
and undertakes, something overstrained and feverish.
His pleasures become more unbridled ; irresistible and
insatiable is his thirst (from childhood a part of his na-
ture, hitherto repressed but not tamed,) to intoxicate
himself on the stage or in the arena with the people’s
applause. But we still perceive within him a battle be-
tween a better self and a worse. It is clear that for
some time after the murder of his mother, he wished to
conciliate—not public opinion, which seemed to be on
his side, not the gods of Olympus, whom he denied and
ridiculed, but—the divinity that made itself known in his
own turbulent heart. During the next two years, he
tried faithfully to fulfill the duties of a prince ; and these
can be added to the golden years that Trajan praised.
The government of the realm went its even pace, good
laws were enacted, the emperor was friendly, and as a
judge, gentle and merciful. In the year 61, he became
dangerously ill, and indicated, as he expected death, the
noble Memmius Regulus as worthiest to stand at the
helm of state. Still, in the year 62, could that man of
whom it was said that he had never swerved from the
path of right and never flattered, Trasea Petus, in the
senate call Nero an admirable prince.
But that same year, for the first time during his reign,
were heard the words high treason. The sanguinary
epigrams against the new Orestes, which were read, of
mornings, on the pedestals of statues and walls of the
basilicas, Nero had left unheeded. But it now happened
that Antistius, former tribune of the people,, afterwards

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