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iiiiiPiPiiiiiifi



'nia



MEMOIRS



OF THE



LIFE OF AGRIFPINA,



THE



WIFE OF GERMANICUS.



Crutt\veU,Printer, St. James's-Street.Bath.

.^^^ , . ^ . J«».« I J . -^^-U - i N H



MEMOIRS



OF THE



LIFE OF AGRIPPINA,

THE

WIFE OF GERMANICUS.

BY

ELIZABETH HAMILTON,

AUTHOR OF " LETTERS ON THE ELEMENTARY
PRINCIPLES OF EDUCATION 3" &C. &C.



" Hiftory mav be laid to embody Truth, and prove from Fadfc;
*' the Realbnablenefs of Opinion.' ' JoHNSOJi.



IN THREE VOLS.— VOL. III.



BATH, PRINTED BY R, CRUTTWELL J

FOR
G. AND J. P-OBJNSOM, PATER-NOSTER-ROW, LONDON.

1S04.



{

C- '-O



i-m^



CONTENTS.



CHAPTER I.— P. 1.

.<4ffMrs at Rotne.—Acv.i'evmA. jnort'ifiedlythe RecsU
cf D« SiLANUS. — Nero prefented to the Senate,—
His Marriage 'with Julia the Daughter of Dru-
sus. — ^njAViVS procures the Promife ofanAUiance
Kvith the Imperial Fainily ; hit Disappoint7tie}if. —
Proceedings in the Senate. — Drusus strikes Seja-
Nus ; Agrippina's i77iprudent Exultation ; Se«
JANUS deterffiined on Revetige.

' CHAPTER IL— P. 34.

Situation of Agrippina. — Prosecution of tl)e Post
LuTORius Priscus. — Death of Junia, — Seja-
Nus and LiviLLA contrive the Murder o/Drusus.
Unfeeling Behaviour of Tiberius — He presents
the sons of Agrippina /<? the Senate,— Arrival of
her Friends from Gaul.

CHAP.






VI CONTENTS*

CHAPTER III.— P. 63.

S E J AN u s and Ag R I p p A compared. — Amhit'ious Vh'Wf
c/'Sejanus. — Treacherous Arts employed againji
Agrippina. — Zeal of the Pontiffs in I' avour of the
yowig CiESARS, refented iy Ti'&v.Kws.—Caivs
Si LI us unjtijlly prosecuted; his Death. — Banish-
ment (t/'Sosia; Agrippina's Grief. — Death of
one of the tnvin Sons o/Drusus. — ConduSl of Se-
jANUS upon that Event', continues to rise in Fa-
vour arid Dignity.

CHAPTER IV.— P. m-

MiscelLvieous Events and Observations. — Lh'illA
prevails on Sejanus to ask her in Marriage of th&
the Emperor; Tiberius refuses his Consent.-^
Incf'^iising TyYanny «?/"Tiberius ; his Discontent.
—^Afts o/'SejAnus. — Prosecution of the Historian
Ckemutius Cov^T)\js.-^Prorecution c/' Claudia
PufcCHRA; zeal 0/ Agrippina ; her Behaviour
to Tiberius.

CHAPTER v.— P. 130.

Julia, (the If if e of Nero) her Treachery. —Agrip-
pina's intervieiv ivith Ater', her Behaviour at
the Table 0/ Ti-BERivs.— The Emperor's Depar-
ture from Rome; his Life saved by Sejanus;
bis Jealousy o/Nero; cojiseqiient U?ihappinesi
of Agrippina. — Generous ConduH of Titius

Sabinus.

CHAP.



CONTENTS. \n

CHAPTE|l VI.— P. 171-

Kero and Drusus, the Soth of Kgkwvx^K ; their
Dissenthns. — Sabinus, the Friend of KGv.wvxti A,
betrayed and put to Death. — The younger Agrit-
piNA 7?iarried to Domitius Enobarbus.— Z)c'^/^
of the Empress LiviA.

CHAPTER VIL— P. 201.

Sejanus, his Pride, Arnhition, and Cruelty. — PrO'
secution of Varus, eluded by the Senate. — The
Children ij/Agrippina ; their Situation and Cha-
racters. — Increasing Rancour of Tiberius. —
Agrippina and "Neko accused before the Senate.—^
Consternation of the Setiators. — Behaviour of the
People.

CHAPTER VIII.— P. 237.

Publication of Speeches attributed to the Senators.-— -
Their effect upon Tiberius. — He threatens the
Senate; the Senate co7nplies. — Agrippina atid her
Son declared Ener?iies of the public. — Situation of
Agrippina. — Agrippina and Nero taken into
Custody ; carried to the Coast. — Malicious Joy of
Tiberius ; enraged at the Fortitude o/Agrippina.
— Nero sent to the Isle of Pontia. — ^Agrippina
barbarously treated ; sent to Pandatara. — Nero
murdered. — Pontius Pilate. — The Ceftturion. —
The Roman Soldiers , ivitnesses of the Death and
Resurrection o/" C h r i s r,

CHAP.



VIll CONTENTS.

CHAPTER IX P. 284.

^MTLiA Lepida, the Wife of the younger T^^.v%xss,
seduced by Sejanus; she falsely accuses her
Husband. — ^Drusus cast info Prison. — The EmpC'
ror begins to be jealous of Sejanus ; plots his De-
strttction. — Sejanus hetrayed^ and put to Death;
cruelty of the Magistrates to his Children. — His~
tory of the Murder of I>Kvsv^ revealed by Api-
cata. — Execution of Livilla and her Associates^
— ^Tiberius increases in Wickedness and Misery. —
Occurrences at Rome. — Death ^Drusus. — Death
c/"Agrijpina. — Conclusion..



•K'. . ;aM; ' . . -i 1 a 3 1\



CHAPTER I.

fdffajrs at A^owe.— Agrippina mortified
by the Recall of D. Silanus. — Nero

, .(presented to the Senate. — His Marriage

. j^i/A Julia the DaMghier of Dnusvs. —
Sejamus procures the Promise of an
Alliance with the imperial Family ; his
Disappointment. — Proceedings in the Se-
nate. — ^Drusus strikes Sejanus.-—
Agrippina's imprudent Exultation, - ^

. Sejanus determined on Revenge,



A. D. 20, 21.



THE difgrace of Lepida produced a
fenfation of deep regret in the an-
cient families of Rome, who faw with
concern, that, by a multiplicity of finifler
events, the (Irength and glory of every
illuftrious houfe had been diminillied. The
VOL. III. B people..



people, befiJes the affectionate interefl
which they individually took in the con-
cerns of their particular patrons, retained
lb much veneration towards the defcend-
ants of the patriot heroes who had beea
the fonnders of their country's greatnefs,
that the misfortunes of an ancient houfe
were'ftill regarded as a fpecies of public
calamity. Nor was it till the nobles had
on their part taken infinite pains, by their
follies and their vices, to extinguilh thefe
long- cheri died fentiments of attachment and
refpect, that they ceafed to be felt by the
populace. So forcibly did they at prefent
operate, that the misfortunes of the Calpur-
nian and ^milian families,* who had each
in the lad year been diflionoured by the
public difgrace of a diftinguifhed member,
were fpoken of as ominous to Rome. The
fate of Pifo was indeed unpitied ; but it
was remarked with indignation, that it was



* Pifo was of the Calpurnian, and Lepida of the
jKmilian family.

not



[ 3 ]

not for crimes againfl the ftate, but for
oiFences againft individuals, that the greater
number had been condemned to fuffer. It
was not for viohuing the lavys of morality,
but for wounding the pride of Auguftus
in the fedudion of his daughter, that the
only remaining fon of Antony had been
led to the fcaffold. At the prefent moment,
Decius Silanus was wandering in diftant
exile for a fimilar offence. If fuch punifli-
ments were to be inflifted merely to gratify
the malice or caprice of thofe in power,
there would foon be an end of the patri-
cian race.

Of the once numerous family of Agrippa,
two only now remained ; and of thefe one
had been for many years loft to fociety!
Whyftiould (he not be permitted to return?
Had not her punifhment been already
more than proportionate to her crimes?

Such were the murmurs of ihe^people:
murmurs in which thofe of fuperior rank
.were well inclined to join. Agrippina

liftened



• [ 4 ]

liftened with peculiar intereft to tliofe fen-
timents of compaiTion which had been in-
spired by the funation of her unhappy
fifter, concerning whofe reftoration flic
never before had dared to entertain a ray
of hope. She knew that Tiberius w^s
no ftranger to the general voice, and began
to think it poflible, that in order to wipe
out the odium which had been incurred
by the profecution of Lepida, he might fo
far relent as to permit of Julia's return
to Rome.

Tiberius was indeed perfe611y well ac-
quainted with all that paffed, and deter-
mined to fliew, by one gracious deed, that
he was not altogether incapable of cle-
, mency. But alas ! it was not to Julia that his
clemency was likely to extend ! His hatred
of the mother had not been fo far extin-
guifhed by her death, as to incline him to
Ihew mercy to her ill-fated child. The
man who had been the caufe of her dif-
grace, wa?, in his opinion, a fitter chjcSs:

of



C -5 ]

of his kindnefs. By refloring Decius Si-
lauus, he ihould not only gratify the Ju-
nian family in all its numerous branches,
and confer an obligation on Marcus Sih-
^us, who was brother to Decius, and a
diftinguiflied fpeaker in the fenate; but
would wound the feelings of Agrippina,
who could not but be fenfibly mortified at
feein? the feducer of her fifler reftored to
his family, while the weaker partner of
his guilt was doomed to fuffer the rigours
of hopelefs banifliment. It was this laft
confideration which probably reconciled
the mind of Tiberius to the performance
of an a£l: of generofity. Silanus was re-
called, and Agrippina felt, from this glaring
proof of the emperor's partiality, all the
pain and indignation which his utmoft
malice could have willied.

The character of Julia had never been
fuch as to render her extremely interefling,
even to her friends. Her vicious inclina-
|ious had, even in early life, been unre-

flrained



[ 6 ]

ftrained by any fenfe of fliame or feeling
of propriety. Had (he, therefore, been fub-
jefted merely to fufFer the mortification of
retirement, all would have acquiefced in
the juftice of the decree which prevented
her return to fociety. But by the rigour
of puniftiment, the ends of juflice were
defeated, CompafTion for the fufferer
made people willing to palliate or over-
look her crimes. The friends and flatter-
ers of Agrippina, when they fpoke of her
fifter, recalled to her remembrance the
graces of her perfon, the fprightly gaiety
of her difpofiiion, and all the charms (he
poffelTcd in the days of infant innocence.
Her fufferings were confidered as the cruel
decree of inevitable deftiny, and lamented
with fuch pathos as left no room to
imagine that they were refult of her own
mifcondu6l.

The children of Agrippina, in learning
to pity the misfortunes of their aunt, ine-
vitably received imprejGTions that were far

froni



i: 7 ]

from being favourable to virtue. The
feeling of horror w.h'ich ought to have
been excited by the idea of guilt, was tranf-
ferred to the puniflier of the guilty, and
was thus mingled with refentment and re-
venge. Young as the daughters of Ger-
manicus now were, alTociations fo pernici-
ous might be produftive of the mofl fatal
confequences; and as the elder in parti-
cular evidently poiTefled that quicknefs of
parts, which fo often proves the mofl dan-
gerous gi^t which nature can beftoW, her
mind ought to have been guarded from
error with more than common vigilance.

Refle61ions like thefe did not probably
occur to Agrippina, v/hofe views of hap-
pinefs for her children were bounded within
the narrow limits of the prefent life. In
cultivating their underftanding, and giving
them all the graces and accomplidiments
which could adorn their exalted flation,
fhe performed her utmoft duty. She con-
jempkted with pride the future confe-
quences



[ 8 3

qucnces of the attention fhe beflowed on
their improvement. But of all her children,
it was her eldefl fon on whom fhe placed
her fondefl: hopes.

In the beauty of his countenance, the
fymmetry and gracefulnefs of his perfon,
and in the IHil more endedring qualities of
his mind, he bore (o (Iriking a refemblance
to his father, that the widowed mother
might be pardoned for regarding him with
peculiar tendernefs. The firfl: a6iion by
which Tiberius had ever produced one
pleafmg emotion in her heart, was his in-
trodu6lion of this interefting youth to the
fenate. The ceremony was performed in
a manner that gave univerfal fatisfaftion.
Tiberius, in prefenting the young Nero to
the fathers, recommended him to their
favour and proteflion, and concluded his
fpeech by requefting that they would ho-
nour the fon of Germanicus by their per-
miffion to (land candidate for the office of
ffoeftor, to which he was not by law entitled

to



[ 9 ]

IQ; afplre till the twenty-fourth year of his
age. The permiffion was grantrd by acr
clamation: nor did the fenate flop at this
firfl: favour; they at the fame time voted
a feat in the pontiiical college, an honour
which conferred upon the young prince
many important privileges.*

The fon of Germanicus found no lefs
favour from the people. He was received
the in Forum wiih the loudeft expreffions
of regard; nor did the emperor, if then
jealous of the attachment flievvn to Nero,
at that time betray his refentment. He
on the contrary appeared fo pleafed as to
grant a largefs to the people, which was
remarkable, as one of the few a<51:s of bounty
that they experienced in his reign.

Agrippina rejoiced in the opening prof-
pefts of her darling fon, and endeavoured
;o find in the hopes which they iiifpired
a folace for all her former forrows. His
marriage with the daughter of Drufus was

- — ' ' I — I . , 1-1 - - — -— yT , ,i l , I - ^^ , ^. . T Ll-T—

. f Note A. {[iQ



[ 10 ]

the event that next engaged her maternal
folicitade. She fliw in it the ftrcngthening
of his intereft, and the fecurity of his fu-
ture peace. From JuHa's extreme youth
fhe had reafon to expe^l docility; and the
lihal piety of Nero would, {lie was affured,
fufFer no diminution from any change of
circumflances.

The nuptials of the young pair were
celebrated with great fplendour, and were
marked by an event, which, as it added to
the honours of their family, was deemed a
happy omen of their future fortunes. On
the firft of January,* Tiberius and his fon
Drufus entered on their joint confulfliip.
This double occafion of rejoicing added fo
much to the ufual feftivity of the feafon,
that in feafling, mirth, and gaiety, every
former forrow, and every prefent care, was
for a time forgotten. Agrippina's pride
was gratified by the congratulatory com-
'pliments of all the world; but while flie



* Year of Rome, 7 a4' A^D. ai. contcro,i



C 11 3

contemplated with exultation the happy
profpec^s of her family, the untoward dif-
pofition of her fecond foil checked her
fanguine hopes.

The overbearing temper of this young
man had been flrengthened by his grand-
mother's indulgence, till it was pad contrul.
Agrippina in vain endeavoured to reftify
the faults of his education by a driller
difcipline. It was now too late. The
reftraint, which would in childhood have
curbed the rifmg paffions, now only tended
to produce indignation and refentment. To
her partiality for his elder brother, Drufus
unfortunately attributed all that he was
at any time made to fuffer for his ovvnim-
proper conduct; and as the mild temper
of Nero never expofed him to fimilar dif-
grace, his virtues became the object of
jealoufy, which was foon converted into
averfion.

Agrippina grieved to fee, that on the
prefent occafion, Drufus, far from rejoicing

m



[ 13 }

m his brother's hiipplnefsj fo evidently en-
vied, him as to be glad when an opportu-
nity offered of faying any thing mortifying
or difagreeable. Of this nature was a re-
port then put in circulation of an intended
marriage between the fon of their uncle
Claudius and a daughter of Sejanus, the
favourite minider. Agrippina indignantly
rcje£led the idea of fuch a connexion, and
fpoke of Sejanus, whenever it was men-
tioned, with fuch contempt, as could not
fail to wound the pride of the prefumptu-
ous upftart. His infolence in planning
fuch an union gave univerfal difcontent;
but Sejanus felt his power, which was too
firmly eflabliflied to render it neceffary for
him to pay attention to popular opinion.
Having obtained the confent of Tiberius,
and prevailed on the flupid Claudius to
acquiefce, he loft no time in getting the
contrad: figncd, and had only to regret
that the extreme youth of the parties pre-
vented the immediate folcmnization of the

nuptials.



C 13 ]

nuptials. Agrippina was exceedingly m-
cenfed at thefe proceedings, nor was flie
fparing of her reproaches to any of the
party concerned. She particularly up-
braided Claudius with having tarniihed the
honour of his family by an alliance fo much
beneath the dignity of an ancient race;
and hoped none would be fo mean as to
congratulate him on a circimiflance fo truly
mortifying.

What Agrippina's remondrances could
not effect, was in a moment produced by
an accident, which preferved the blood of
the Claudian family from being mingled
with that of a Roman knight. The fon
of Claudius amufmg himfelf by throwing
up pears in the air, which he eagerly gaped
to catch, received one in his m.outh, which
getting into his gullet, occafioned immedi-
ate fuffocation. The melancholy fate of
the poor boy was regretted by none fo fm-
cerely as by Scjanus, who hoped in the
projected marriage to find an excufe for

towering



[ 1-i ]

towering above the rank of a private citi-
zen. The forenefs of mind produced by
difappointment rendered the afperiiies of
Agrippina's cenfure particularly galling to
his fpirit. In the fecret chambers of his
heart he held councils of revenge, and
while he clothed his countenance in frailes,
refolved that (he fhould, at fome not diftant
periodjdceply repent of her ill- timed railler)''.

While the feeds of hatred were thus ri-
pening in the bofoms of Sejanus and Agrip-
pina, Tiberius, tired of the fociety which
his fituation as conful obliged him to fre-
quent, made bad health a pretence for
leaving Rome. He fuddenly retired into
Campania, and there indulged in folitude
the gloomy temper of his foul.

No part of the emperor's chara£i:er was
more difagreeable to the people than his
averfion to thofe amufements in which they
fo much delighted. His difllke they attri-
buted, and mod probably with juflice, to
a temper fo auftere and unfocial as ren-
dered



E 15 ]

dered it impoffible for hitn to participate in
the joys of others. The intemperance to
which he had from youth been, addi(5led,
had indeed, at an early period, appeared to
iead to conviwiality— the only frienddiips
which he ever made having been formied
over the bottle; but wine, though it had
cafually opened his heart, . never foftened
the mcrofenefs of his temper; and the fear
of betraying his defigns in a moment of
intoxication led him to avoid having wit-
nefles or (harers in his cups.

Drufus, who was as much the friend *
of Bacchus as his father, delighted not in
getting drunk alone; and a fufficient num-
ber of jolly companions were at all times
ready to join the prince's revels, and to
boaft of the honour of transforming thera-
felves to beads in fuch good company.
The fpirit with which he entered into the
favourite amufements of the populace, en-
deared him to the mob, who v/ere gratified
during his confulate with feeing the blood

of



[ 15 ]

of gladiators frequently flow upon tlieHage.
Drufus beheld with pleafure the ftroke of
death, and not only honoured the con-
queror by his loud applaufe, but frequently
rewarded him by more fubftantial marks
of favour. By no means could he more
efFe£iuaIly have recommended himfelf to
the dregs of the people; but very differcEt
tvas the imprelHon made upon the wife and
thinking by a conduct which too plainly
indicated a favage hardnefs of heart.,
As the retreat of his father had left to
' Drufus the conduct of public bufinefs, all
men were anxious to obferve by what prin-
ciples he was to a-fl. An affair apparently
of little moment, though to us extremely
interefting, as marking the manners of the
times, gave him an early opportunity of
gratifying the anxious wiflies of his friends,
by a difplay of wifdom and moderation.
Jt happened, that at a late fhew of gladi-
ators, Lucius Sylla, a youth of illuftrious
rank, had refufed to give place to an aged

fenator.



[ ir J

fenator, who, though no more than his
equal in birth, was much his fuperior in
years. This breach of decorum was
thought worthy the attention of the fenate,
where it occafioned fome warm and inte-
refting debates. The caufc of Sylla was
efpoufed by his relations, who entered
keenly into his defence; but by all the
grave and elderly his condu£l was con-
demned, as not only contrary to the prac-
tice of what was emphatically called the
good ti?}ies, but as it was in exprefs oppoli-
tion to feveral decrees in which the reve-
rence due to age had been enforced by the
authority of the legiflature. The difre-
fpeSful behaviour of the young was re-
prefented as the mod alarming fymptom of
a general corruption of manners ; but while
it was thus feelingly lamented, few took
the trouble of invefligating the caufe in
which it originated; nor did any accufe
himfelf of having contributed by his own
condu£l to leflen the refpe^t due to the
VOL. III. c hoary



[ 18 J

hoary head of age. In the violence of
party fpirit the real merits of the qneflion
were about to be forgotten, when Drufus,
by a well-timed fpeech, allayed the fennent,
and produced a reconciliation between the
parties.

From the refult of the next debate
Drufus derived no lefs fatisfa£tion. Ccecina
Severus, who had formerly been the col-
league of Germanicus in the German wars,
in a fpeech in which he evidently glanced
at the condu(5l of Plancina, moved for a
decree to prevent the wives of officers from
accompanying their hufbands to the pro-
vinces. He began by boafling of the har-
mony that had ever fubfided between him
and his wife, though he had never permit-
ted her to go a ftep from home; and then
proceeded to draw fuch a pifture of the
female character, as rendered an attachment
to any of the fex difgraceful. " Pride,
revenge, cruelty, and ambition, were,"
he faid, " the predominant features of the
female mind. The love of power was in



[ 19 ]

them fo inordinate as to know no bounds;
nor was their avarice lefs fatal to the pro-
vinces, than their ambition. " We have
feen," continued Caecina, " in a late in-
flance, a woman reviewing the cohorts,
and dire6ling the exercife of the legions ;
nor can we have forgotten, that as often as
rapacity and extortion have been laid to the
charge of the hufband, the wife has proved
the principal offender. She no fooner en-
ters a province, than her party is formed;
the unprincipled attend to pay their ho-
mage. She becomes a politician; (lie takes
the lead in bufinefs, and gives a feparate
audience. Two tribunals are eftablifhed,
and the female edi6t, div.^ated by caprice
and tyranny, is fure to be obeyed.'*

Ccecina was heard by the fathers with
impatience, and was immediately anfwered
by Valerius MefTaiinus, to whom the gift
of eloquence had defcended from his cele-
brated anceftor.* The orator, in a fpeech



Meflala



replete



C 20 ]

replete with wit and humour, and adorned
by the flill more graceful ornaments of
truth and feelini^, defended the fex from
the unjuft imputations of Ccecina. His
arguments went to prove, that inftead of
laying the faults of the hufband upon the
wife, it would be more juH to charge the
faults of the wife upon the hufband; as,
unlefs where men were weak or uxorious,
women could have no opportunity of ex-
ceeding the bounds of their own proper
fphere. " But they are faid to be prone
to aval ice and ambition," continued Mef-
falinus; " what then fhall we fay of the
magiftrates? Have they been always free
from irregular palTions? And if not, wiH
it follow that men are no longer to be
trufted with the admlniftration of the pro-
vinces? We are told that the vices of the
wife influence the manners of the hufband j
and Is it then in a life of celibacy that we
arefure of finding unblemiilied honour?"*

' Tacitus. The



I 21 ]

The fentimenis of the lad fpeaker were
fuppbrted by Drufus, who vehemently op-
pofed the motion made by Cx6m, which,
if paffed into a law, would render the fer-
vice that was to tear him from the arms of
an affeftionate wife, an irkfome bondage.
In war, he faid, it was indeed proper that
men (liould go unincumbered to the field ;
but when the campaign was over, where
could the general fo well repofe from toil
and labour as in the bofora of a faithful
wife, whofe tendernefs relieves his pain,
and fweetens every care? It is almoft un-
neceflary to add, that the motion was loft
by a great majority.

While the unfufpecling Drufus was
making this public declaration of attach-
ment to a wife whofe prefence conflituted
his greateft felicity, the penetrating eyes
of Agrippina faw that his confidence was
betrayed. Between Agrippina and her
fifter-in-law there never had been a corref
pondence of fentiment, but the tie of fa*

mily



C 22 1

mily connexion was then too much re-
garded to render it poiTibie for them to
avoid a very frequent intercourfe; nor


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