Under this great burden of anxiety, he had
an attack of illness, and went to Sinuessa
recruit his strength with its balmy climate and salubrious waters.
Thereupon, Agrippina, who had long decided on the crime and eagerly
AGRIPPINA POISONS CLAUDIUS
grasped at the opportunity
thus offered, and did not lack instruments, deliberated on the nature of the
poison to be used. The deed would be betrayed by one that was sudden and
instantaneous, while if she chose a slow and lingering poison, there was a
fear that Claudius, when near his end, might, on detecting the treachery,
return to his love for his son. She decided on some rare compound which
might derange his mind and delay death. A person skilled in such matters was
selected, Locusta by name, who had lately been condemned for poisoning, and
had long been retained as one of the tools of despotism. By this woman's art
the poison was prepared, and it was to be administered by an eunuch,
Halotus, who was accustomed to bring in and taste the dishes.