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13. For Nymphidius, as soon as Gellianus had come back to him, whom he had sent to be a sort of spy upon Galba, heard that Cornelius Laco had been appointed prefect of the praetorian guard, and that Vinius was all powerful with Galba, while Gellianus had never stood near him or seen him in private, but had been looked upon with suspicion and distrust by everyone. [2] Nymphidius was therefore much disturbed, and calling together the officers of the army, told them that Galba himself was a well-meaning and moderate old man, but did not follow his own counsels in the least, and was badly directed by Vinius and Laco. Therefore, before these men had succeeded in secretly acquiring the power which Tigellinus had held, a deputation should be sent to the emperor from the camp, to inform him that if he would put away from his company of friends only these two men, he would be more acceptable and welcome to all on his arrival. [3] But this speech of Nymphidius did not convince his hearers; nay, they thought it a strange and unnatural thing to dictate to an aged emperor, as if he had been a youth just tasting power, what friends he was to have or not to have. Nymphidius therefore took another course, and wrote to Galba messages intended to alarm him-now, that there was much hidden distemper and unrest in the city, now, that Clodius Macer was holding back the grain supplies in Africa; again, that the legions in Germany were mutinous, and that like news came concerning the forces in Syria and Judaca. [4] But since Galba gave no heed to him whatever and put no confidence in his reports, he determined not to wait before making his attempt. And yet Clodius Celsus of Antioch, a man of good sense, who was well-disposed and faithful to him, tried to dissuade him, saying that in his opinion not a single precinct in Rome would give Nymphidius the title of Caesar. But many ridiculed Galba, and especially Mithridates of Pontus, who scoffed about his bald head and wrinkled face, and said that now the Romans thought him a great personage, but when they saw him they would regard all the days in which he had borne the title of Caesar as a disgrace to them.

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