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MUSIC! OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE.          109
that he might have the honor of appearing in them.*
At these games, he appeared with all his enforced boredom, none being allowed to leave the theatre, during his performances. The anxiety and earnestness he displayed in these contests are almost incredible. He bribed better artists to allow him to win, and he would address the judges, telling them that he had made all study and preparation, and taken all the care necessary for so important a contest, but the issue was in their hands, he hoped therefore they would not regard any purely accidental mishaps. The judges would thereupon mildly encourage the timid contestant.
He always adhered strictly to the rules imposed upon the contestants; he would never spit, or wipe the perspiration from his forehead; once on dropping his staff, he was greatly alarmed lest the accident should lose him the prize, but was reas­sured by one of the contestants who told him that he was sure that the judges had not perceived the occurrence; after the conclusion of his song, he fell on his knees, stretching out his hands in humble supplication for the verdict of the judges. But when the victory was awarded to him, (as it was always sure to be) his humility was thrown to the winds; he then caused his own heralds to proclaim him as the victor, and soon set up statues of himself in the various cities, with laudatory
* Nero however sometimes took part in other contests, he was as pcor and persistent a charioteer as musician.






E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III