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With equal courage Lucius Vetus, his mother-in-law Sextia, and his daughter Pollutia submitted to death. They were hated by the emperor because they seemed a living reproach to him for the murder of Rubellius Plautus, son-in-law of Lucius Vetus. But the first opportunity of unmasking his savage wrath was furnished by Fortunatus, a freedman, who having embezzled his patron's property, deserted him to become his accuser. He had as his accomplice Claudius Demianus, whom Vetus, when proconsul of Asia, had imprisoned for his gross misdeeds, and whom Nero now released as a recompense for the accusation.

When the accused knew this and saw that he and his freedman were pitted against each other on an equal footing, he retired to his estate at Formiæ. There he was put under the secret surveillance of soldiers. With him was his daughter, who, to say nothing of the now imminent peril, had all the fury of a long grief ever since she had seen the murderers of her husband Plautus. She had clasped his bleeding neck, and still kept by her the blood-stained apparel, clinging in her widowhood to perpetual sorrow, and using only such nourishment as might suffice to avert starvation. Then at her father's bidding she went to Neapolis. And as she was forbidden to approach Nero, she would haunt his doors and implore him to hear an innocent man, and not surrender to a freedman one who had once been his colleague in the con- sulship, now pleading with the cries of a woman, now again forgetting her sex and lifting up her voice in a tone of menace, till the emperor showed himself unmoved alike by entreaty and reproach.

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