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and, by Anicetus's means, to destroy her by drowning. A solemn feast, in honour of their reconciliation, is to be made; after which she being to go by sea to Bauli, the ship is so contrived as to sink or crush her; she escapes by accident, and returns to Baiæ. In this interval Otho has an interview with Poppæa: and, being duped a second time by Anicetus and her, determines to fly with her into Greece, by means of a vessel which is to be furnished by Anicetus; but he, pretending to remove Poppea on board in the night, conveys her to Nero's apartment: she then encourages and determines Nero to banish Otho, and finish the horrid deed he had attempted on his mother. Anicetus undertakes to execute his resolves; and, under pretence of a plot upon the Emperor's life, is sent with a guard to murder Agrippina, who is still at Baie in imminent fear, and irresolute how to conduct herself. The account of her death, and the Emperor's horror and fruitless remorse, finishes the drama." MASON.
'Tis well, begone! your errand is perform'd. [Speaks as to Anicetus entering. The message needs no comment. Tell your master,
His mother shall obey him. Say, you saw her Yielding due reverence to his high command:
Alone, unguarded, and without a lictor,
What if you add, how she turn'd pale and trembled;
You think, you spied a tear stand in her eye, And would have dropp'd, but that her pride restrain'd it?
(Go! you can paint it well) 'twill profit you, And please the stripling. Yet 'twould dash his joy To hear the spirit of Britannicus
Yet walks on earth: at least there are who know
He's gone: and much I hope these walls alone
And dost thou talk to me, to me,
This painted Jove, and taught his novice hand To aim the forked bolt; while he stood trembling, Scared at the sound, and dazzled with its bright
'Tis like thou hast forgot, when yet a stranger To adoration, to the grateful steam Of flattery's incense, and obsequious vows From voluntary realms, a puny boy, Deck'd with no other lustre than the blood Of Agrippina's race, he lived unknown To fame, or fortune; haply eyed at distance Some edileship, ambitious of the power To judge of weights and measures; scarcely dared
On expectation's strongest wing to soar
Oped his young eye to bear the blaze of greatness; Show'd him where empire tower'd, and bade
The noble quarry. Gods! then was the time
Through various life I have pursued your steps, Have seen your soul, and wonder'd at its daring:
Hence rise my fears. Nor am I yet to learn
I well remember too (for I was present)
As unrequited wrongs. The willing homage
The very power he has to be ungrateful.
Thus ever grave and undisturb'd reflection
Say'st thou I must be cautious, must be silent,
Drowsier than theirs, who boast the genuine
Of our imperial house.
Did I not wish to check this dangerous passion,
Of bleak Germania's snows. Four, not less brave, That in Armenia quell the Parthian force