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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 MARBLE. 1 33
was pointed out, and confessed. To Nero’s question,
how he could forget his oath of loyalty, he answered, " I
hated thee—and yet thou hadst no truer soldier, so
long as thou wast worthy of love : I began to hate thee
when thou becamest the murderer of thy mother and
thy wife, when thou becamest coachman, comedian
and incendiary." When Flavus, at the place of ex-
ecution, saw the grave that was to receive him, and
found that it was not so deep and wide as the law pre-
scribed, he observed, " Not even in this do they keep the
ordinances of war;" and when the executioner exhorted
him to reach out his neck boldly, he said, " Couldst thou
strike as boldly !
"
Piso forestalled his sentence of death, by opening his
veins. Lateranus was put to death on the place of exe-
cution for slaves. The city was filled with corpses : the
innocent died with the guilty. Caesarian Epicureanism now
found a fitting opportunity to make Stoicism innocuous,
although it was not to be proven that more than one Stoic
had taken part in the conspiracy—Lucan, the poet. They
were a handful of men, Stoa’s Roman friends ; but the
memory of freedom was guarded within their circle, and
even the most miserable of the scum of that time could
not deny that they were the marrow of the Roman world,
and the only anchorage for a better future. The first blow
was at Seneca : Nero’s hand was guided in this by Pop-
paea and Tigellinus. Seneca’s wife wished to die with
him, and the aged pair opened their veins together. As
the blood ran too slowly, Seneca took poison ; and when
this, too, did not work, he stepped into a bath, and died
in its vapor. His last words were a thanksgiving to Ju-
piter, the releaser. His partner’s life was saved against
her will.

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