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He was besides guilty of many barbarous actions, under the pretence of strictness and reformation of manners, but more to gratify his own savage disposition. Some verses were published, which displayed the present calamities of his reign, and anticipated the future.1Asper et immitis, breviter vis omnia dicam?
Dispeream si te mater amare potest.
Non es eques, quare? non sunt tibi millia centum?
Omnia si quaras, et Rhodos exsilium est.
Aurea mutasti Saturni saecula, Caesar:
Incolumi nam te, ferrea semper erunt.
Fastidit vinum, quia jam sitit iste cruorem:
Tam bibit hunc avide, quam bibit ante merum.
Adspice felicem sibi, non tibi, Romule, Sullam:
Et Marium, si vis, adspice, sed reducem.
Nec non Antoni civilia bella moventis
Nec semel infectas adspice cada manus,
Et dic, Roma perit: regnabit sanguine multo,
Ad regnum quisquis venit ab exsilio.
” “Obdurate wretch! too fierce, too fell to move
The least kind yearnings of a mother's love!
No knight thou art, as having no estate;
Long suffered'st thou in Rhodes an exile's fate,
No more the happy Golden Age we see;
The Iron's come, and sure to last with thee.
Instead of wine he thirsted for before,
He wallows now in floods of human gore.
Reflect, ye Romans, on the dreadful times,
Made such by Marius, and by Sylla's crimes.
Reflect how Antony's ambitious rage
Twice scar'd with horror a distracted age.
And say, Alas! Rome's blood in streams will flow,
When banish'd miscreants rule this world below.
” At first he would have it understood, that these satirical verses were drawn forth by the resentment of those who were impatient under the discipline of reformation, rather than that they spoke,their real sentiments; and he would frequently say, "Let them hate me, so long as they do but approve my conduct."2 At length, however, his behaviour showed that he was sensible they were too well founded.

1 The verses were probably anonymous.

2Oderint dum probent”: Caligula used a similar expression; “Oderint dum metuant.

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