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112                  CURIOSITIES OF MUSIC.
and proscribed by the senate. In his downfall nothing hurt him more than that his enemies spoke of him as " that pitiful harper," and he constantly appealed to his attendants if any could excel him in the art.
He at this crisis made a vow that, if his reign continued peaceably, he would appear in the games he intended to give in honor of his success against the insurgents, and play the water organ, flute and sumphonia, as well as enact a play, and dance; but these inflictions the Roman people were spared.
In one night his seemingly strong power vanished, and he was compelled to fly for his life, attended only by three or four persons. Having made his way to the suburban residence of Phaon, one of his freedmen, it was soon apparent that he could not escape, and that he must die, either by the hands of the infuriated Romans, or by his own. "Weeping and sobbing, while his attendants prepared his grave, almost his last words before his suicide were "Alas! what an artist the world is now to lose," thus in his latest moments, keeping up that egotism and infatuation for music which had been one of his ruling characteristics through life.
The musical side of Nero's character is certain­ly to 'some extent ludicrous, but there were other and far darker sides to his hideous character. These of course are not within our province to dwell upon, but we have chosen to give a full description of bis musical life that the reader






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