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43

(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. 43
a hiding-place between the roof and panelling of the bed-
chamber, with crevices at which to listen.
As we see, they boast of their cowardly deed. By it
they risked nothing, for they already had Tiberius’ pro-
foundest contempt ; but something they might possibly
win. The reward to which two of them aspired, was the
consulate ;
yet no year in the chronicles of Rome is dis-
honored by their names. Not long after, Latiaris himself
stood accused of high treason : he was judged, executed,
and thrown a naked corpse, down the Gemonic stairs.
Such events were common. The denouncer followed
the denounced to death. Tiberius hated his tools more
than their victims : he who betrays a friend, watches for
an opportunity to betray his prince. Tiberius found him-
self encompassed by cunning wild beasts, and saw his
safety, and had his pleasure, in setting them on, one
against the other. This setting-on, once begun, must
continue without interruption ; a pause, and all would
fall upon him, where he stood in the midst of the arena.
It is in a spiritual sense he stands there. Bodily, he
has fortified himself on rock-bound Capri. There, he
seeks in dissipation a few moments’ oblivion of fearful
sights, a few moments’ lethargy that shall free him from
scourging terror. He had, as we know, drawn back from
the application of his system ; but Sejanus had proved
it and found it good, not dreaming he himself should be
its victim ; and when it has got well going, it moves of
itself, a Satanic perpetuiun mobile. If Tiberius lay his
hand upon it to arrest it, it will draw him in between the
cogs and crush him.
But these gladiators, who murder each other with ear
and tongue, flatter him even in death. Ave Ccssar, mo-
rituri te saliitant ! Even art, the daughter of freedom,

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