Thursday, April 05, 2012

The Twelve Caesars - page 263, Otho

Otho is said to have been haunted that night by Galba's ghost in a terrible nightmare; the servants who ran in when he screamed for help found him lying on the bedroom floor. After this he did everything in his power to placate the ghost; but next day, while he was taking the auspices, a hurricane sprang up and caused him a bad tumble -- which made him mutter repeatedly: 'Playing the long pipes is hardly my trade.' (Proverbial of undertaking an enterprise beyond one's capacity.)

I thought of doing an image search for "playing the long pipes", but I thought better of it. Here's a picture of a different kind of pipes instead:

And here's another kind of Otho:

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