"Cur non ut plenus vita; conviva recedis?" "If you have not known how to make the best use of it, if it was unprofitable to you, what need you care to lose it, to what end would you desire longer to keep it? "'Cur amplius addere quaeris, Rursum quod pereat male, et ingratum occidat omne?

Such an end, many years previously, this sister, and wife, and mother of emperors had anticipated and despised; for when the Chaldaeans had assured her that her son would become Emperor, and would murder her, she is said to have exclaimed, "Occidat dum imperet," "Let him slay me if he but reign."

Meantime, in these few words lies naked to the day, in its whole hideous deformity, the very essence of Romanism and the imperatorial power, and one might here consider the mother of Nero as the impersonation of that monstrous condition." This is true: Occidat dum imperet, was the watchword and very cognizance of the Roman imperator. But almost equally it was his watchword Occidatur dum imperet.

There is a remarkable story told of Agrippina, that, upon some occasion, when a wizard announced to her, as truths which he had read in the heavens, the two fatal necessities impending over her son, one that he should ascend to empire, the other that he should murder herself, she replied in these stern and memorable words Occidat, dum imperet.

For this is the utmost point to which cruelty can arrive: "Ut homo hominem, non iratus, non timens, tantum spectaturus, occidat."