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37

(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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THE ROMAN EMPERORS IN MARBLE. 37
kindness was translated as want of strensrth ; his mac–
nanimity, as fear ; his care for justice to the poor, as
hunting after popularity ; and when once he refused to
accept worship as a god, and forbade the erection of
temples to him, reminding them, meanwhile, of his weak
human nature, all agreed in finding in this the expres-
sion " of an ignoble soul indifferent to distinction."
Thus did they spur on the evil spirit Tiberius bore
within, wrestling with his better self. He had his de-
fensive system ready, but struggled yet against its
application. When the senate one day cried out that
Caesar’s revilers should be punished, he bade them " not
open that window." He long appeared as insensible to
blame, as he was bitter or rebuking to flattery. " In
a free community," said he, " thoughts and tongues are
free." But an apophthegm does not make the skin
hard ; nor is it quite certain, either, that contempt for
humanity makes one indifferent to its reproach. In the
ninth year of his reign, Tiberius was ready to lay the
world under his system.
Tiberius had grown up among people with whom one
thought ruled absolute—power ; one passion—ambition.
All endeavor moved around this point. Love, he had
experienced only from his mother, and that love was
wrapped about a selfishness that would be satisfied by
her son’s elevation. Tiberius drew back then into his
hard shell, and stifled every utterance of a heart as
strong in devoted love, as in seething hate. To his
stepfather, Augustus, who liked life and gayety around
him, he was respectful, but in a cold and measured
manner, and obedient, but in the rigid form of knowl-
edge of duty, not from the heart. He saw that Augus-
tus had become attached to the lively, pliant and amiable

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