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A few days after the departure of Cæcina, Vitellius
had hurried Fabius Valens to the seat of war, and was now seeking to hide his apprehensions from himself by indulgence. He made no military preparation; he did not seek to invigorate the soldiers by encouraging speeches or warlike exercises; he did not keep himself before the eyes of the people. Buried in the shades of his gardens, like those sluggish animals which, if you supply them with food, lie motionless and torpid, he had dismissed with the same forgetfulness the past, the present, and the future. While he thus lay wasting his powers in sloth among the woods of Aricia, he was startled by the treachery of Lucilius Bassus and the defection of the fleet at Ravenna. Then came the news about Cæcina, and he heard with a satisfaction mingled with distress, first, that he had revolted, and then, that he had been put in irons by the army. In that dull soul joy was more powerful than apprehension. In great exultation he returned to Rome, and before a crowded assembly of the people heaped praises on the dutiful obedience of the soldiers. He ordered Publius Sabinus, prefect of the Prætorian Guard, to be thrown into prison, because of his friendship with Cæcina, and substituted in his place Alfenius Varus.

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