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Pætus and Arria.
IN the reign of Claudius, the Roman emperor, Arria, the wife of Cæcinna Pætus, was an illuftrious pattern of magnanimity and conjugal affection. It happened that her husband
and her fon were both at the fame
fame time attacked with a dangerous illness. The fon died.He was a youth endued with every quality of mind and perfon which could endear him to his parents. His mother's heart was torn with all the anguish of grief; yet she resolved to conceal the diftreffing event from her husband. She prepared and conducted his funeral fo privately, that Pætus did not know of his death. Whenever fhe came into her husband's bedchamber, she pretended her fon was better; and as often as he inquired after his health, would answer, that he had refted well, or eaten
with an appetite. When fhe found that the could no longer restrain her grief, but her tears were gufhing out, fhe would leave the room, and having given vent to her paffion, return again with dry eyes and a ferene countenance, as if fhe had left her forrow behind her at the door of the chamber.
Camillus Scribonianus, the governor of Dalmatia, having taken up arms against Claudius, Pætus joined himself to his party, and was foon after taken prifoner, and brought to Rome. When the guards were going to put him on board the fhip, Ar
ria befought them that the might be permitted to go with him.• Certainly,' faid she, you can
not refuse a man of confular
dignity, as he is, a few attendants to wait upon him ;but if you will take me, I alone will perform their of 'fice.' This favour, however,
upon which the
hired a small fishing-veffel, and boldly ventured to follow the thip.
Returning to Rome, Arria met the wife of Scribonianus in the emperor's palace, who preffing her to discover all that the knew of the infurrection, what,'
'faid fhe, fhall I regard thy advice, who faw thy husband • murdered in thy very arms, yet furviveft him?'
Pætus being condemned to die, Arria formed a deliberate refolution to fhare his fate, and made no fecret of her intention. Thrafea, who married her daughter, attempting to diffuade her from her purpose, among other arguments which he used, faid to her, Would you then, if my life were to be taken from me, advise your daughter to die with me?'Moft certainly I would,' the replid, if the had lived as long B 3