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The emperor in his letter on the first of January, after offering the usual prayers for the new year, referred to Sabinus, whom he reproached with having corrupted some of his freedmen and having attempted his life, and he claimed vengeance in no obscure language. It was decreed without hesitation, and the condemned man was dragged off, exclaiming as loudly as he could, with head covered and throat tightly bound, "that this was inaugurating the year; these were the victims slain to Sejanus." Wherever he turned his eyes, wherever his words fell, there was flight and solitude; the streets and public places were forsaken. A few retraced their steps and again showed themselves, shuddering at the mere fact that they had betrayed alarm. "What day," they asked, "will be without some execution, when amid sacrifices and prayers, a time when it is usual to refrain even from a profane word, the chain and halter are introduced? Tiberius has not incurred such odium blindly; this is a studied device to make us believe that there is no reason why the new magistrates should not open the dungeons as well as the temple and the altars." Thereupon there came a letter of thanks to them for having punished a bitter foe to the State, and the emperor further added that he had an anxious life, that he apprehended treachery from enemies, but he mentioned no one by name. Still there was no question that this was aimed at Nero and Agrippina.