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Several charges were next brought, as soon as the opportunity offered, against Cotta Messalinus, the author of every unusually cruel proposal, and consequently, regarded with inveterate hatred. He had spoken, it was said, of Caius Cæsar, as if it were a question whether he was a man, and of an entertainment at which he was present on Augusta's birthday with the priests, as a funeral banquet. In remonstrating too against the influence of Marcus Lepidus and Lucius Arruntius, with whom he had disputes on many matters, he had added the remark, "They will have the Senate's support; I shall have that of my darling Tiberius." But the leading men of the State failed to convict him on all the charges. When they pressed the case, he appealed to the emperor. Soon afterwards, a letter arrived, in which Tiberius traced the origin of the friendship between himself and Cotta, enumerated his frequent services, and then requested that words perversely misrepresented and the freedom of table talk might not be construed into a crime.

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