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Though he made no scruple to assume and exercise immediately the imperial authority, by giving orders that he should be attended by the guards, who were the security and badge of the supreme power; yet he affected, by a most impudent piece of acting, to refuse it for a long time; one while sharply reprehending his friends who entreated him to accept it, as little knowing what a monster the government was; another while keeping in suspense the senate, when they implored him and threw themselves at his feet, by ambiguous answers, and a crafty kind of dissimulation; insomuch that some were out of patience, and one cried out, during the confusion, "Either let him accept it, or decline it at once;" and a second told him to his face, "Others are slow to perform what they promise, but you are slow to promise what you actually perform." At last, as if forced to it, and complaining of the miserable and burdensome service imposed upon him, he accepted the government; not, however, without giving hopes of his resigning it some time or other. The exact words he used were these: "Until the time shall come, when ye may think it reasonable to give some rest to my old age."

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