He also increased the incomes of some of the Senators. Hence it was
the more surprising that he listened somewhat disdainfully to the
request of Marcus Hortalus, a youth of noble rank in conspicuous poverty.
He was the grandson of the orator Hortensius, and had been induced
by Augustus, on the strength of a gift of a million sesterces, to
marry and rear children, that one of our most illustrious families
might not become extinct. Accordingly, with his four sons standing
at the doors of the Senate House, the Senate then sitting in the palace,
when it was his turn to speak he began to address them as follows,
his eyes fixed now on the statue of Hortensius which stood among those
of the orators, now on that of Augustus:- “Senators, these whose numbers
and boyish years you behold I have reared, not by my own choice, but
because the emperor advised me. At the same time, my ancestors deserved
to have descendants. For myself, not having been able in these altered
times to receive or acquire wealth or popular favour, or that eloquence
which has been the hereditary possession of our house, I was satisfied
if my narrow means were neither a disgrace to myself nor burden to
others. At the emperor’s bidding I married. Behold the offspring and
progeny of a succession of consuls and dictators. Not to excite odium
do I recall such facts, but to win compassion. While you prosper,
Caesar, they will attain such promotion as you shall bestow. Meanwhile
save from penury the great-grandsons of Quintus Hortensius, the foster-children
of Augustus.”

The Senate’s favourable bias was an incitement to Tiberius to offer
prompt opposition, which he did in nearly these words:- “If all poor
men begin to come here and to beg money for their children, individuals
will never be satisfied, and the State will be bankrupt. Certainly
our ancestors did not grant the privilege of occasionally proposing
amendments or of suggesting, in our turn for speaking, something for
the general advantage in order that we might in this house increase
our private business and property, thereby bringing odium on the Senate
and on emperors whether they concede or refuse their bounty. In fact,
it is not a request, but an importunity, as utterly unreasonable as
it is unforeseen, for a senator, when the house has met on other matters,
to rise from his place and, pleading the number and age of his children,
put a pressure on the delicacy of the Senate, then transfer the same
constraint to myself, and, as it were, break open the exchequer, which,
if we exhaust it by improper favouritism, will have to be replenished
by crimes. Money was given you, Hortalus, by Augustus, but without
solicitation, and not on the condition of its being always given.
Otherwise industry will languish and idleness be encouraged, if a
man has nothing to fear, nothing to hope from himself, and every one,
in utter recklessness, will expect relief from others, thus becoming
useless to himself and a burden to me.”

These and like remarks, though listened to with assent by those who
make it a practice to eulogise everything coming from sovereigns,
both good and bad, were received by the majority in silence or with
suppressed murmurs. Tiberius perceived it, and having paused a while,
said that he had given Hortalus his answer, but that if the senators
thought it right, he would bestow two hundred thousand sesterces on
each of his children of the male sex. The others thanked him; Hortalus
said nothing, either from alarm or because even in his reduced fortunes
he clung to his hereditary nobility. Nor did Tiberius afterwards show
any pity, though the house of Hortensius sank into shameful poverty.

That same year the daring of a single slave, had it not been promptly
checked, would have ruined the State by discord and civil war. A servant
of Postumus Agrippa, Clemens by name, having ascertained that Augustus
was dead, formed a design beyond a slave’s conception, of going to
the island of Planasia and seizing Agrippa by craft or force and bringing
him to the armies of Germany. The slowness of a merchant vessel thwarted
his bold venture. Meanwhile the murder of Agrippa had been perpetrated,
and then turning his thoughts to a greater and more hazardous enterprise,
he stole the ashes of the deceased, sailed to Cosa, a promontory of
Etruria, and there hid himself in obscure places till his hair and
beard were long. In age and figure he was not unlike his master. Then
through suitable emissaries who shared his secret, it was rumoured
that Agrippa was alive, first in whispered gossip, soon, as is usual
with forbidden topics, in vague talk which found its way to the credulous
ears of the most ignorant people or of restless and revolutionary
schemers. He himself went to the towns, as the day grew dark, without
letting himself be seen publicly or remaining long in the same places,
but, as he knew that truth gains strength by notoriety and time, falsehood
by precipitancy and vagueness, he would either withdraw himself from
publicity or else forestall it.

It was rumoured meanwhile throughout Italy, and was believed at Rome,
that Agrippa had been saved by the blessing of Heaven. Already at
Ostia, where he had arrived, he was the centre of interest to a vast
concourse as well as to secret gatherings in the capital, while Tiberius
was distracted by the doubt whether he should crush this slave of
his by military force or allow time to dissipate a silly credulity.
Sometimes he thought that he must overlook nothing, sometimes that
he need not be afraid of everything, his mind fluctuating between
shame and terror. At last he entrusted the affair to Sallustius Crispus,
who chose two of his dependants (some say they were soldiers) and
urged them to go to him as pretended accomplices, offering money and
promising faithful companionship in danger. They did as they were
bidden; then, waiting for an unguarded hour of night, they took with
them a sufficient force, and having bound and gagged him, dragged
him to the palace. When Tiberius asked him how he had become Agrippa,
he is said to have replied, “As you became Caesar.” He could not be
forced to divulge his accomplices. Tiberius did not venture on a public
execution, but ordered him to be slain in a private part of the palace
and his body to be secretly removed. And although many of the emperor’s
household and knights and senators were said to have supported him
with their wealth and helped him with their counsels, no inquiry was

At the close of the year was consecrated an arch near the temple of
Saturn to commemorate the recovery of the standards lost with Varus,
under the leadership of Germanicus and the auspices of Tiberius; a
temple of Fors Fortuna, by the Tiber, in the gardens which Caesar,
the dictator, bequeathed to the Roman people; a chapel to the Julian
family, and statues at Bovillae to the Divine Augustus.
The Annals by Tacitus