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At first Callistus, of whom I have already spoken in connection with the assassination of Caius Cæsar, Narcissus, who had contrived the death of Appius, and Pallas, who was then in the height of favour, debated whether they might not by secret threats turn Messalina from her passion for Silius, while they concealed all else. Then fearing that they would be themselves involved in ruin, they abandoned the idea, Pallas out of cowardice, and Callistus, from his experience of a former court, remembering that prudent rather than vigorous counsels insure the maintenance of power. Narcissus persevered, only so far changing his plan as not to make her aware beforehand by a single word what was the charge or who was the accuser. Then he eagerly watched his opportunity, and, as the emperor lingered long at Ostia, he sought two of the mistresses to whose society Claudius was especially partial, and, by gifts, by promises, by dwelling on power increased by the wife's fall, he induced them to undertake the work of the informer.