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Domitian, in the meantime, caused a decree to pass the Senate, by which triumphal ornaments, the honour of a statue crowned with laurel, and all other marks of distinction usually substituted in the place of a real triumph were granted to Agricola. The Emperor had also the art to circulate a report, that the province of Syria, at that time vacant by the death of Atilius Rufus, an officer of consular rank, was intended for Agricola, in order to do him honour by an appointment always given to men of the highest eminence. However that may be, Agricola resigned the command (A. D. 85), and delivered to his successor, Sallustius Lucullus, a quiet and well ordered government. Lest his arrival at Rome should draw together too great a concourse, he concealed his approach from his friends, and entered the city privately in the dead of night. With the same secrecy, and in the night also, he went, as commanded, to present himself to the Emperor. Domitian received him with a cold salute, and, without uttering a word, left the conqueror of Britain to mix with the servile creatures of the court. To soften prejudices, Agricola resolved to shade the lustre of his name in the mild retreat of humble virtues. With this view he resigned himself to the calm enjoyments of domestic life. Plain in his apparel, easy of access, and never attended by more than one or two friends, he was remarkable for nothing but the simplicity of his appearance.
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