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46

(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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46 ROMAN DA YS.
in the villa at Tivoli which, rightly or wrongly, bears his
name, no head of Cassius was discovered, but a work of
art that betokens love for republican memories : the
head of Pericles, namely, which has found a home in the
British Museum.
While the massacre in Rome goes on, monotonous
and wearisome in all its horror, its instigator roves about
among the cliffs of Capri. The shores of the island are
hard to approach; only small vessels can land. Guards
stop every passage up the heights and examine every one
who lands there. When a sail draws near over the sunlit
bay, it brings acts of denunciation, or accused prisoners,
whom the emperor himself wishes to hear; or it is a pur-
veyor, who among the youth of Campania has found a
new prey for his shameful desire.
Tiberius cannot hide that he is unhappy. Agonies
overwhelm his pride. Once, at least, he wished to lighten
his heart by confessing his woe. And this confession is
not the whispered confidence, but the cry of anguish of a
Titan, that pierces the ages. To posterity, which shall
judge him, he says that he has judged himself, and with-
out begging for compassion he bares his breast torn by
the Eumenides. " What I shall write to you, fathers in the
council, or hoiu I shall write, or what I in this Jioiir shall
not write at all—if I know it, may the gods and goddesses
visit we zvith tortures more frightful than those in which
I now feel myself daily consuming’*
So, he once began a letter to the senate. It is as
though one heard a cry of woe from the forecourt of the
realm of the damned. Seneca had perhaps these words
of Tiberius in mind, when he wrote down his thought;
" The sinner’s fir.st and greatest punishment, is sin : in

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