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It was currently reported in after times that while the emperor broke into contradictory exclamations, now inveighing against the infamies of his wife, and now returning in thought to the remembrance of his love and of his infant children, Vitellius said nothing but, "What audacity! what wickedness!" Narcissus indeed kept pressing him to clear up his ambiguities and let the truth be known, but still he could not prevail upon him to utter anything that was not vague and susceptible of any meaning which might be put on it, or upon Largus Cæcina, to do anything but follow his example. And now Messalina had presented herself, and was insisting that the emperor should listen to the mother of Octavia and Britannicus, when the accuser roared out at her the story of Silius and her marriage. At the same moment, to draw Cæsar's eyes away from her, he handed him some papers which detailed her debaucheries. Soon afterwards, as he was entering Rome, his children by Messalina were to have shown themselves, had not Narcissus ordered their removal. Vibidia he could not repel, when, with a vehemently indignant appeal, she demanded that a wife should not be given up to death without a hearing. So Narcissus replied that the emperor would hear her, and that she should have an oppor-
tunity of disproving the charge. Meanwhile the holy virgin was to go and discharge her sacred duties.

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