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Quote of the day: I am of opinion, that this youth should
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Annals by Tacitus
Translated by Alfred John Church and William Jackson Brodribb
Book II Chapter 38: Hortalus gets money.[AD 16]
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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. Inclinatio senatus incitamentum Tiberio fuit quo promptius adversaretur, his ferme verbis usus: 'si quantum pauperum est venire huc et liberis suis petere pecunias coeperint, singuli numquam exsatiabuntur, res publica deficiet. nec sane ideo a maioribus concessum est egredi aliquando relationem et quod in commune conducat loco sententiae proferre, ut privata negotia et res familiaris nostras hic augeamus, cum invidia senatus et principum, sive indulserint largitionem sive abnuerint. non enim preces sunt istud, sed efflagitatio, intempestiva quidem et inprovisa, cum aliis de rebus convenerint patres, consurgere et numero atque aetate liberum suorum urgere modestiam senatus, eandem vim in me transmittere ac velut perfringere aerarium, quod si ambitione exhauserimus, per scelera supplendum erit. dedit tibi, Hortale, divus Augustus pecuniam, sed non conpellatus nec en lege ut semper daretur. languescet alioqui industria, intendetur socordia, si nullus ex se metus aut spes, et securi omnes aliena subsidia expectabunt, sibi ignavi, nobis graves.' haec atque talia, quamquam cum adsensu audita ab iis quibus omnia principum, honesta atque inhonesta, laudare mos est, plures per silentium aut occultum murmur excepere. sensitque Tiberius; et cum paulum reticuisset, Hortalo se respondisse ait: ceterum si patribus videretur, daturum liberis eius ducena sestertia singulis, qui sexus virilis essent. egere alii grates: siluit Hortalus, pavore an avitae nobilitatis etiam inter angustias fortunae retinens. neque miseratus est posthac Tiberius,