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Old and infirm as he was, it was with any thing but eagerness that he listened to these suggestions. Some indeed assailed him with dark insinuations, implying that from motives of envy and rivalry he was seeking to retard the ele-
vation of his brother. It was true, that while both were in a private station, Flavius Sabinus, who was the elder, was the superior of Vespasian in influence and in wealth. He was believed indeed to have sustained the failing credit of his brother, while taking a mortgage of his house and lands; and hence, though the outward appearance of harmony was preserved, some secret grudge was feared. It is more charitable to suppose that the mild temper of the man shrank from bloodshed and slaughter, and that for this reason he had held frequent conferences with Vitellius to discuss the question of peace and the cessation of hostilities upon certain conditions. After many private interviews, they finally, so report said, ratified an agreement in the temple of Apollo. The words of their conversation had two witnesses in Cluvius Rufus and Silius Italicus. Their looks were noted by the more distant spectators; the expression of Vitellius was abject and mean, that of Sabinus not triumphant, but rather akin to pity.

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