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In the mean time be commits her to the care of Anicetus, whom he takes to be bis friend, and in whose age he thinks he may safely confide. Nero is not yet come to Baiæ: but Seneca, whom he sends before him, informs Agrippina of the accusation concerning Rubellius Plancus, and desires her to clear herself, wbich she does briefly: but demands to see her son, who, on his arrival, acquits her of all sus. picion, and restores her to honours. In the meanwhile, Anicetas, to whose care Poppæa bad been entrusted by Otho, contrives the following plot to ruin Agrippina : he betrays his trust to Otho, and brings Nero, as is were by chance, to the sight of the beautiful Poppæa; the Emperor is immediately struck with her charms, and she, by a feigned resistance, increases his passion: though, in reality, she is from the first dazzled with the prospect of empire, and forgets Otho : she therefore joins with Anicetus in his design of ruining Agrippina, soon perceiving that it will be for her interest. Otho, hearing that the Emperor had seen Poppæa, is much enraged; but not knowing that this interview was obtained through the treachery of Anicetus, is readily persuaded by him to see Agrippina in secret, and acquaint her with his fears that her son Nero would marry Poppæa. Agrippina, to support her own power and to wean the Emperor from the love of Poppæa, gives Otho encouragement, and promises to support him. Anicetus secretly introduces Nero to hear their discourse; who resolves immediately on his mother's deatb, and, by Anicetas'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 Anicetas; but he, pretending to remove Poppæa on board in the night, conveys her to Nero's apartment: she then encou
rages and determines Nero to banish Otho, and finish thi
ACT I. SCENE I.
[Speaks as to Anicetus entering
A thousand haughty hearts, unused to shake
He's gone: and much I hope these walls alone
And dost thou talk to me, to me, of danger,
'Tis like thou hast forgot, when yet a stranger
Of long-forgotten liberty: when I
Through various life I have pursued your steps,
I well remember too (for I was present),
AGRIPPINA. Thus ever grave and undisturb'd reflection Pours its cool dictates in the madding ear Of rage, and thinks to quench the fire it feels not. Say'st thou I must be cautious, must be silent, And tremble at the phantom I have raised ? Carry to him thy timid counsels. He Perchance may heed them: tell him too, that one Who had such liberal power to give, may still With equal power resume that gift, and raise A tempest that sball shake her own creation To its original atoms--tell me! say This mighty emperor, this dreaded hero, Has he bebeld the glittering front of war? Knows his soft ear the trumpet's thrilling voice, And outcry of the battle? Have his limbs Sweat under iron harness? Is he not The silken son of dalliance, nursed in ease And pleasure's flowery lap? Rubellius lives, ..