We cannot but commend thy piety,
Most loved Sejanus, in acknowledging
Those bounties; which we, faintly, such rememberâ€”â€”
But to thy suit. The rest of mortal men,
In all their drifts and counsels, pursue profit;
Princes alone are of a different sort,
Directing their main actions still to fame:
We therefore will take time to think and answer.
For Livia she can best, herself, resolve
If she will marry, after Drusus, or
Continue in the family; besides,
She hath a mother, and a grandam yet,
Whose nearer counsels she may guide her by:
But I will simply deal. That enmity
Thou fear'st in Agrippina, would burn more,
If Livia's marriage should, as 'twere in parts,
Divide the imperial house; an emulation
Between the women might break forth; and discord
Ruin the sons and nephews on both hands.
What if it cause some present difference?
Thou art not safe, Sejanus, if thou prove it.
Canst thou believe, that Livia, first the wife
To Caius Caesar, then my Drusus, now
Will be contented to grow old with thee,
Born but a private gentleman of Rome,
And raise thee with her loss, if not her shame?
Or say that I should wish it, canst thou think
The senate, or the people (who have seen
Her brother, father, and our ancestors,
In highest place of empire) will endure it!
The state thou hold'st already, is in talk;
Men murmur at thy greatness; and the noble!
Stick not, in public, to upbraid thy climbing
Above our father's favours, or thy scale:
And dare accuse me, from their hate to thee.
Be wise, dear friend. We would not hide these things,
For friendship's dear respect: Nor will we stand
Adverse to thine, or Livia's designments.
What we have purposed to thee, in our thought,
And with what near degrees of love to bind thee,
And make thee equal to us; for the present,
We will forbear to speak. Only thus much
Believe, our loved Sejanus, we not know
That height in blood or honour, which thy virtue
And mind to us, may not aspire with merit.
And this we'll publish on all watch'd occasion
The senate or the people shall present.
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