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40

(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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40 ROMAN DA YS.
revealed itself as an instantly working mainspring of ac
tion. Tiberius was forced to believe, and wished to be-
lieve. That which the philosopher had sought with taper
and lantern, without finding it, propitious gods had now
given the prince, to ease his troubled heart ; a man and
a friend, too. The Fundian rocks had made a hole in his
theory. But the hole was stopped a few years after that,
when a conspiracy was discovered, which Sejanus, all-
powerful after the incident in the cave and aspiring to
the imperial dignity, had organized against his master.
It was stopped with the bodies of the traitor and his in-
nocent children. And with this, the theory was entire
again, and ready, and stood on firmer ground than ever ;
but Tiberius himself was lost beyond every hope of re-
demption. From that hour, he believed nothing ; from
that hour, he was the unrestrained tyrant. I hold a wolf
by the ears I That was now his common saying. A wolf
has small ears, and the point was not to let go his hold.
Nothing better paints his own idea of the situation.
If one except these visions soon proved false of love
and friendship, despair, like a sable woof, goes through
his whole life. His keen eye for our human wretched-
ness, was joined to the conviction that it never could
grow better. The thought of progress lay far from the
minds of the men of antiquity : they were not spurred
on by it to a consoling struggle. But the best among
them had incitement enough in the knowledge that the
ever-balancing strife between good and evil, has need of
swords upon the right side. Tiberius wanted even that
to prick him on. He saw—and this awakens compassion
—he saw with wrath in the world’s advance, nothing but
the everlasting triumphal march of evil. A shallow and
good-natured soul would have laughed off sorrow, in epi-

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