How was it this low-born fellow dared to raise a hand against a woman of such lineage? How could he conceive so vile a thought against her? No other soul on earth would dream of it.’ Thus they spoke and hurried together as though they intended to fire the palace. As there was no longer anything to stop them, for all men had already rebelled against the tyrant, they took up their positions ready for battle, at first in small groups, as if they were divided by companies. Later, with all the citizen army, they marched in one body to the attack.

Entry to the Imperial Presence

27. Every man was armed; one clasped in his hands an axe, another brandished a heavy iron broadsword, another handled a bow, and another a spear, but the bulk of the mob, with some of the biggest stones in the folds of their clothing and holding others ready in their hands, ran in general disorder. I myself was standing at the time in front of the palace entrance. For a long time I had been acting as secretary to the emperor and had recently been initiated into the ceremonies of Entry to the Imperial Presence. I was in the outer porch dictating some of the more confidential despatches, when suddenly there assailed our ears a hubbub like the sound of horses’ hooves and the hearts of most of us trembled at the sound.

Then there came a messenger with the news that all the people were roused against the emperor; they were gathered in one body; they must be marching under one common standard, with one single purpose. To most of the others it seemed a senseless revolt, but I, knowing from what I had seen before and from what I had heard, that the spark had flared up into a fire and that it needed many rivers and a fast-flowing current to put it out, I straightway mounted my horse, [100] and going through the midst of the city I saw with my own eyes the sight which now I can hardly believe.

28. It was as if the whole multitude were sharing in some superhuman inspiration. They seemed different from their former selves. There was more madness in their running, more strength in their hands, the flash in their eyes was fiery and inspired, the muscles of their bodies more powerful. As for prevailing on them to behave in a more dignified manner or dissuading them from their intentions, nobody whatever was willing to try such a thing. Anyone who gave advice of that sort was powerless.

Read More about Journalism in Tennessee part 5

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