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68

(1887) [MARC] Author: Viktor Rydberg Translator: Alfred Corning Clark With: Hans Anton Westesson Lindehn
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68 ROMAN DAYS.
his equally keen and benevolent eye—and he utters his
astonishment at the unity of thought and clearness of
expression of which Claudius was master, when he
made a well-considered speech ; while in every day life,
he talked nonsense.
The same observation, the Roman people often had
opportunity to make, after Claudius had come to the
throne. When he did not speak unprepared, his orations
in the senate were not only clear, but familiar with the
subject and remarkable for thoroughness ; and never-
theless, hardly a day went by, that at the forum or in
private circles, they had not some absurdity of his or
some foolish phrase from his lips to report.
The sympathetic kindness Augustus had shown him
during the joyless life of his youth, Claudius kept in very
grateful remembrance. That Augustus had deemed it
necessary to shut him out from all state offices except
that of priest of augury, and in his last will had remem-
bered him with but a meagre sum of money, did not les-
sen this gratitude. If there were in the Roman realm
any one who in the founder of the empire saw a higher
being, and attached a serious meaning to his elevation
among the gods, it was this man, his successor.
Under the reign of Tiberius, Claudius was still more
sternly held aloof from public affairs. When the senate
gave him a seat and voice among its members of consular
rank, Tiberius annulled the resolution, with the open de-
claration that his kinsman was not in full possession of
his senses. The contempt Tiberius felt for him, and the
fear he had that " the fool " would cast ridicule upon
Caesar’s house, were mingled nevertheless with other feel-
ings. Even he, had in Claudius discovered noble stuff;
it irritated him that the uncommon dispositions for s

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