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49

(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 - 3. Caligula

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THE ROMAN EMPERORS IN MARBLE. 49
However one may interpret it, Caligula’s mental
growth was undoubtedly dwarfed in this way. It seems
to me as if this furious worker of violence had through-
out his whole life something of the child remaining ; nay,
all, except its innocence and amiability. These qual-
ities, he early grew out of. But he has the child’s entire
lack of knowledge of itself, its leaning towards the adven-
turous and fanciful, its eagerness to prove the extent of its
power, its inability to grasp the reason for the existence of
other wills, its impulse to destroy, and without purpose to
create. There is something naif, something of the simple
security of nature, in his most shameful misdeeds ; and
in his cruelties, the direct reverse of plan and object. He
has aped his predecessor, but not studied him. The in-
stant that predecessor dies, the imitation drops, and we
have before us, despite twenty-five years of life, a pesti-
lent boy, who has got the world and mankind for play-
things, and at their expense gives a loose rein to his mis-
chievous humor.
Caligula had not been emperor long, when he honored
Bajae, the chief bathing-place of the time, with a visit
that was never to be forgotten. The high society and
the dissolute, which here met, and held revels from which
" a Penelope came back a Helen," now had a sight to
see, which might brace up even nerves relaxed and weary
of life. On the other side of the bay, at the distance of
three miles, lies Puteoli. The land road between the two
cities is not very much longer ; but the straight way is
always the shortest, and Caius Caesar ordered a bridge to
be thrown up between them. And what a bridge ! It
was in every way to be like the queen of roads, the Via
Appia. As many ships as could in haste be procured,
those composing the entire fleet that was to bring from

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