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Rumours of his cruelty and avarice had reached the city before his arrival; such as that he had punished some cities of Spain and Gaul, for not joining him readily, by the imposition of heavy taxes, and some by levelling their walls; and had put to death the governors and procurators with their wives and children: likewise that a golden crown, of fifteen pounds weight, taken out of the temple of Jupiter, with which he was presented by the people of Tarracona, he had melted down, and had exacted from them three ounces which were wanting in the weight. This report of him was confirmed and increased, as soon as he entered the town. For some seamen who had been taken from the fleet, and enlisted among the troops by Nero, he obliged to return to their former condition; but they refusing to comply, and obstinately clinging to the more honourable service under their eagles and standards, he not only dispersed them by a body of horse, but likewise decimated them. He also disbanded a cohort of Germans, which had been formed by the preceding emperors, for their body guard, and upon many occasions found very faithful; and sent them back into their own country, without giving them any gratuity, pretending that they were more inclined to favour the advancement of Cneius Dolabella, near whose gardens they encamped, than his own. The following ridiculous stories were also related of him; but whether with or without foundation, I know not; such as, that when a more sumptuous entertainment than usual was served up, he fetched a deep groan; that when one of the stewards presented him with an account of his expenses, he reached fim a dish of legumes from his table as a reward for his care and diligence; and when Canus, the piper, had played much to his satisfaction, he presented him, with his own hand, five denarii taken out of his pocket.

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