[4] Placuit sollertia, tempore etiam iuta, quando Quinquatruum festos dies apud Baias frequentabat. illuc matrem elicit, ferendas parentium iracundias et placandum animum dictitans, quo rumorem reconciliationis efficeret acciperetque Agrippina, facili feminarum credulitate ad gaudia. venientem dehinc obvius in litora (nam Antio adventabat) excepit manu et complexu ducitque Baulos. id villae nomen est, quae promunturium Misenum inter et Baianum lacum flexo mari adluitur. stabat inter alias navis ornatior, tamquam id quoque honori matris daretur: quippe sueverat triremi et classiariorum remigio vehi. ac tum invitata ad epulas erat, ut occultando facinori nox adhiberetur. satis constitit extitisse proditorem, et Agrippinam auditis insidiis, an crederet ambiguam, gestamine sellae Baias pervectam. ibi blandimentum sublevavit metum: comiter excepta superque ipsum collocata. iam pluribus sermonibus, modo familiaritate iuvenili Nero et rursus adductus, quasi seria consociaret, tracto in longum convictu, prosequitur abeuntem, artius oculis et pectori haerens, sive explenda simulatione, seu pe[ri]turae matris supremus adspectus uamvis ferum animum retinebat.

 

Nero liked the device, favoured as it also was by the particular time, for he was celebrating Minerva's five days' festival at Baiæ. Thither he enticed his mother by repeated assurances that children ought to bear with the irritability of parents and to soothe their tempers, wishing thus to spread a rumour of reconciliation and to secure Agrippina's acceptance through the feminine credulity, which easily believes what gives joy. As she approached, he went to the shore to meet her (she was coming from Antium), welcomed her with outstretched hand and embrace, and conducted her to Bauli. This was the name of a country house, washed by a bay of the sea, between the promontory of Misenum and the lake of Baiæ. Here was a vessel distinguished from others by its equipment, seemingly meant, among other things, to do honour to his mother; for she had been accustomed to sail in a trireme, with a crew of marines. And now she was invited to a banquet, that night might serve to conceal the crime. It was well known that somebody had been found to betray it, that Agrippina had heard of the plot, and in doubt whether she was to believe it, was conveyed to Baiæ in her litter. There some soothing words allayed her fear; she was graciously received, and seated at table above the emperor. Nero prolonged the banquet with various conversation, passing from a youth's playful familiarity to an air of constraint, which seemed to indicate serious thought, and then, after protracted festivity, escorted her on her departure, clinging with kisses to her eyes and bosom, either to crown his hypocrisy or because the last sight of a mother on the even of destruction caused a lingering even in that brutal heart.

[5] Noctem sideribus inlustrem et placido mari quietam quasi convincendum ad scelus dii praebuere. nec multum erat progressa navis, duobus e numero familiarium Agrippinam comitantibus, ex quis Crepereius Gallus haud procul gubernaculis adstabat, Acerronia super pedes cubitantis reclinis paenitentiam filii et recuperatam matris gratiam per gaudium memorabat, cum dato signo ruere tectum loci multo plumbo grave, pressusque Crepereius et statim exanimatus est: Agrippina et Acerronia eminentibus lecti parietibus ac forte validioribus, quam ut oneri cederent, protectae sunt. nec dissolutio navigii sequebatur, turbatis omnibus et quod plerique ignari etiam conscios impediebant. visum dehinc remigibus unum in latus inclinare atque ita navem submergere; sed neque ipsis promptus in rem subitam consensus, et alii contra nitentes dedere facultatem lenioris in mare iactus. verum Acerronia, imprudentia dum se Agrippinam esse utque subveniretur matri principis clamitat, contis et remis et quae fors obtulerat navalibus telis conficitur. Agrippina silens eoque minus agnita (unum tamen vulnus umero excepit) nando, deinde occursu lenunculorum Lucrinum in lacum vecta villae suae infertur.

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