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Having by means of this woman, insinuated himself into all the emperor's secrets, he, upon the day designed for the murder of his mother, entertained them both at a very splendid feast, to prevent suspicion. Poppaea Sabina, for whom Nero entertained such a violent passion that he had taken her from her husband 1 and entrusted her to him, he received, and went through the form of marrying her. And not satisfied with obtaining her favour, he loved her so extravagantly, that he could not with patience bear Nero for his rival. It is certainly believed that he not only refused admittance to those who were sent by Nero to fetch her, but that, on one occasion, he shut him out, and kept him standing before the door, mixing prayers and menaces in vain, and demanding back again what was entrusted to his keeping. His pretended marriage, therefore, being dissolved, he was sent lieutenant into Lusitania. This treatment of him was thought sufficiently severe, because harsher proceedings might have brought the whole farce to light, which notwithstanding, at last came out, and was published to the world in the following distich: “Cur Otho mentitus sit, quaeritis, exul honore?
Uxoris moechus cseperat esse suae.
” “You ask why Otho's banish'd? Know, the cause
Comes not within the verge of vulgar laws,
Against all rules of fashionable life,
The rogue had dared to sleep with his own wife.
” He governed the province in quality of quaestor for ten years, with singular moderation and justice.
1 See NERO, C. XXXV.
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