Caligula or Nero, those treasure-seekers, those desirers of the impossible, would have accorded to the poor wretch, in exchange for his wealth, the liberty he so earnestly prayed for.
I am like Nero—cupitor impossibilium; and that is what is amusing you at this moment.
Albert was used to the count’s manner of proceeding; he knew that, like Nero, he was in search of the impossible, and nothing astonished him, but wishing to judge with his own eyes how far the count’s orders had been executed, he accompanied him to the door of the house.
"Oh, why is not the world a wilderness?" she exclaimed, throwing herself into the arms of Mademoiselle d’Armilly, her eyes sparkling with the same kind of rage which made Nero wish that the Roman world had but one neck, that he might sever it at a single blow.
Why should we not spend the last three hours remaining to us of life, like those ancient Romans, who when condemned by Nero, their emperor and heir, sat down at a table covered with flowers, and gently glided into death, amid the perfume of heliotropes and roses?