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About this same time he commended to the Senate's favour, Nero, Germanicus's son, who was just entering on manhood, and asked them, not without smiles of ridicule from his audience, to exempt him from serving as one of the Twenty Commissioners, and let him be a candidate for the quæstorship five years earlier than the law allowed. His excuse was that a similar decree had been made for himself and his brother at the request of Augustus. But I cannot doubt that even then there were some who secretly laughed at such a petition, though the Cæsars were but in the beginning of their grandeur, and ancient usage was more constantly before men's eyes, while also the tie be- tween stepfather and stepson was weaker than that between grandfather and grandchild. The pontificate was likewise conferred on Nero, and on the day on which he first entered the forum, a gratuity was given to the city-populace, who greatly rejoiced at seeing a son of Germanicus now grown to manhood. Their joy was further increased by Nero's marriage to Julia, Drusus's daughter. This news was met with favourable comments, but it was heard with disgust that Sejanus was to be the father-in-law of the son of Claudius. The emperor was thought to have polluted the nobility of his house and to have yet further elevated Sejanus, whom they already suspected of overweening ambition.

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