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He then enriched his most powerful friends with liberal presents. Some there were who reproached men of austere professions with having on such an occasion divided houses and estates among themselves, like so much spoil. It was the belief of others that a pressure had been put on them
AGRIPPINA IN ECLIPSE
by the emperor, who, conscious as he was of guilt, hoped for merciful consideration if he could secure the most important men by wholesale bribery. But his mother's rage no lavish bounty could allay. She would clasp Octavia to her arms, and have many a secret interview with her friends; with more than her natural rapacity, she clutched at money everywhere, seemingly for a reserve, and courteously received tribunes and centurions. She honoured the names and virtues of the nobles who still were left, seeking apparently a party and a leader. Of this Nero became aware, and he ordered the departure of the military guard now kept for the emperor's mother, as it had formerly been for the imperial consort, along with some German troops, added as a further honour. He also gave her a separate establishment, that throngs of visitors might no longer wait on her, and removed her to what had been Antonia's house; and whenever he went there himself, he was surrounded by a crowd of centurions, and used to leave her after a hurried kiss.

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