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That same consulship witnessed a horrible instance of misery and brutality. A father as defendant, a son as prosecutor, (Vibius Serenus was the name of both) were brought before the Senate; the father, dragged from exile in filth and squalor now stood in irons, while the son pleaded for his guilt. With studious elegance of dress and cheerful looks, the youth, at once accuser and witness, alleged a plot against the emperor and that men had been sent to Gaul to excite rebellion, further adding that Cæcilius Cornutus, an ex-prætor, had furnished money. Cornutus, weary of anxiety and feeling that peril was equivalent to ruin, hastened to destroy himself. But the accused with fearless spirit, looked his son in the face, shook his chains, and appealed to the vengeance of the gods, with a prayer that they would restore him to his exile, where he might live far away from such practices, and that, as for his son, punishment might sooner or later overtake him. He protested too that Cornutus was innocent and that his terror was groundless, as would easily be perceived, if other names were given up; for he never would have plotted the emperor's murder and a revolution with only one confederate.