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Hitherto Nero had sought a veil for his abominations and wickedness. He was particularly suspicious of Cornelius Sulla, whose apathetic temper he interpreted as really the reverse, inferring that he was, in fact, an artful dissembler. Graptus, one of the emperor's freedmen, whose age and experience had made him thoroughly acquainted with the imperial household from the time of Tiberius, quickened these apprehensions by the following falsehood. The Mulvian bridge was then a famous haunt of nightly profligacy, and Nero used to go there that he might take his pleasures more freely outside the city. So Graptus, taking advantage of an idle panic into which the royal attendants had chanced to have been thrown on their return by one of those youthful frolics which were then everywhere practised, invented a story that a treacherous attack had been planned on the emperor, should he go back by the Flaminian road, and that through the favour of destiny he had escaped it, as he went home by a different way to Sallust's gardens. Sulla, he said, was the author of this plot. Not one, however, of Sulla's slaves or clients was recognised, and his character, despicable as it was and incapable of a daring act, was utterly at variance with the charge. Still, just as if he had been found guilty, he was ordered to leave his country, and confine himself within the walls of Massilia.