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Night was far advanced and Nero was still sitting over his cups, when Paris entered, who was generally wont at such times to heighten the emperor's enjoyments, but who now wore a gloomy expression. He went through the whole evidence in order, and so frightened his hearer as to make him resolve not only on the destruction of his mother and of Plautus, but also on the removal of Burrus from the command of the guards, as a man who had been promoted by Agrippina's interest, and was now showing his gratitude. We have it on the authority of Fabius Rusticus that a note was written to Cæcina Tuscus, intrusting to him the charge of the prætorian cohorts, but that through Seneca's influence that distinguished post was retained for Burrus. According to Plinius and Cluvius, no doubt was felt about the commander's loyalty. Fabius certainly inclines to the praise of Seneca, through whose friendship he rose to honour. Proposing as I do to follow the consentient testimony of historians, I shall give the differences in their narratives under the writers' names. Nero, in his bewilderment and impatience to destroy his mother, could not be put off till Burrus answered for her death, should she be convicted of the crime, but "any one," he said, "much more a parent, must be allowed a defence. Accusers there were none forthcoming; they had before them only the word of a single person from an enemy's house, and this the night with its darkness and prolonged festivity and everything savouring of recklessness and folly, was enough to refute."

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