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136

(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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136 ROMAN DAYS.
combat with the soldiers, who ran him through with their
swords. Banished, too, were the Stoics Musonius Rufus
and Helvidius Priscus, besides several philosophers.
Musonius was at that time Stoa’s most prominent man.
Stobaeus the Macedonian has in his collections, kept one
of his apophthegms :
" Do thou good with effort ; the
effort shall flee, the good endure; do thou evil with
pleasure, the evil shall endure, the pleasure flee."
The command to die, came to virtue itself, as Tacitus
says—to Trasea Petus. He was the worst thorn in the
flesh of the court ; for in the distant camps as well as in
Rome, everyone read the city journal, to see what Trasea
had not done, in what degrees of the senate he had not
taken part : the value of them was judged accordingly.
This was an irreverent way to read this reverend sheet,
but the fault was not its own, but Trasea’s. To this, was
added another crime, discovered by the court Epicureans ;
namely, " that the formal and serious manner of Trasea
and his friends, was meant to reprove Nero and his friends
for their frivolity." They even informed the emperor
that the people set up the parallel : Cato is to Caesar,
as Trasea to Nero. When Petus received the sentence
of death, many of the distinguished men and women of
Rome were assembled at his house. He quietly dismissed
the sorrowing circle of friends, and opened his veins.
When the blood began to flow, he said to the quaestor
who had brought the death-sentence :
" Look, young
man, and may the gods give, that what thou seest be not
a presage to thee ! But thou art born in a time when it
may be useful to harden the soul by the sight of strength
of mind." He turned then to Demetrius, who had re-
mained, and continued with him the interrupted talk upon
the reasons for man’s hope of immortality.

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