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(1887) [MARC] Author: Viktor Rydberg Translator: Alfred Corning Clark With: Hans Anton Westesson Lindehn
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Full resolution (JPEG) - On this page / på denna sida - The Roman Emperors in Marble - 2. Tiberius

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from his chair, and listened to the case. Safe stood the
poor man against an unjust judgment, even had he the
ranks of the mighty against him, when the tall man with
the dark features had listened to his suit. It is possible
that the sense of justice in Tiberius, strictly considered
was anger, that the wisdom of the state expressed in the
laws, could be cheated by the craft of lawyers and crim-
inals ; it is possible that it was the vexation of a hunts-
man who sees that the lamb has been caught in the snare
of the fox. But whatever of good we can award this
Caesar, must count at its full weight ; the evil in him is
heavy enough, still.
Money, in his hand, was long a beneficent force.
Sparing in everyday habits, he was helpful to unde-
served want, and for giant misfortunes he had a giant
bounty, " A noble use of riches," said Tacitus, " was a
virtue he long retained, after he had cast off the others."
Tiberius aimed his suspicions not least against him-
self. He did not except himself from the judgment
he had pronounced upon the human race. And in his
dark conception of the world, his daily increasing con-
tempt for mankind—fed it must be allowed copiously by
the meanness of those around him—he saw dangers for
the community and his own future. During the first and
happy years of his reign, more than once in the senate
words escaped him, inspired as it would seem by an anx-
ious presentiment that his spiritual life was about to
undergo a change to the very worst.
The race Tiberius governed, was meaner than that
over which Augustus wielded his gentle sceptre. That
which Horace had prophesied of this, had been fulfilled.
There was no praiseworthy action of the prince that
was not misinterpreted and repaid with scurrility. His

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