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To the death of Poppæa, which, though a public grief, was a delight to those who recalling the past thought of her shamelessness and cruelty, Nero added fresh and greater odium by forbidding Caius Cassius to attend the funeral. This was the first token of mischief. Nor was it long delayed. Silanus was coupled with Cassius, no crime being alleged, but that Cassius was eminent for his ancestral wealth and dignity of character, Silanus for the nobility of his birth and the quiet demeanour of his youth. The emperor accordingly sent the Senate a speech in which he argued that both ought to be removed from the State, and made it a reproach against Cassius that among his ancestors' busts he had specially revered that of Caius Cassius, which bore the inscription "to the Party-Leader." In fact, he had thereby sought to sow the seeds of civil war and revolt from the House of the Cæsars. And that he might not merely avail himself of the memory of a hated name to stir up strife, he had associated with him Lucius Silanus, a youth of noble birth and reckless spirit, to whom he might point as an instrument of revolution.

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