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112

(1887) [MARC] Author: Viktor Rydberg Translator: Alfred Corning Clark With: Hans Anton Westesson Lindehn
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112 ROMAN DAYS.
praetor, in a large and distinguished company recited
lampoons he had composed upon the emperor. Freedom
of the tongue, we cannot say of speech, had hitherto
been unbounded ; and though all were aware that the
matter a few hours afterwards would be known by Caesar,
Antistius thought himself safe, and would have been so,
had not Cossutanius Capito, worthy son-in-law to Tigel-
linus, denounced him before the senate for high treason.
Then, the suit must take its course. The law decreed
the penalty of death, but Trasea Petus voted for ban-
ishment, and that was the decision of the senate.
The same year, Burrus died, and the aged Seneca re-
tired—whether weary of life at court, and affairs of state,
or through the intrigues of Poppaea and the Epicurean
favorites, it would be hard to say. The emperor thanked
his teacher for the support he had given him, upon the
slippery path of his early years, and tenderly bade him
farewell. From that moment, Nero was wholly and en-
tirely under the influence of Poppaea and Tigellinus.
The latter was appointed chief captain of the praetorians
in the place of Burrus.
For Poppaea Sabina, the point now was to remove the
last obstacle to the satisfaction of her ambition, Nero’s
blameless and unfortunate wife Octavia ; and she and
her accomplice Tigellinus did it, by means the most
shameful. It is possible that Nero believed the false ac-
cusation of adultery, that was trumped up against Octa-
via. In any case he wished to believe, that he might
have the bond with her broken ; and the indirect part he
took in the abominable persecution that ended in the
murder of his wife, shows us a slave of passion in all his
abjectness. His way now went rapidly down to destruc-
tion. The remaining six years of his life —he was at that

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