X. (66) And by this time the matter began to be widely talked about in consequence of the continual deaths of so many eminent men, so that now these things began to be spoken of in every mouth as intolerable infamy and wickedness; not indeed openly, from fear, but gently and under the breath, in whispers; (67) and then again, by a sudden change (for the multitude is very unstable in everything, in intentions, and words, and actions), men, disbelieving that one who but a little while before was merciful and humane could have become altered so entirely, for Gaius had been looked upon as affable, and sociable, and friendly, began to seek for excuses for him, and after some search they found such, saying with regard to his cousin and co-heir in the kingdom things such as these: (68) “The unchangeable law of nature has ordained that there should be no partnership in the sovereign power, and it has established by its own unalterable principles what this man must inevitably have suffered at the hands of his more powerful coheir. The one who was the more powerful has chastised the other. This is not murder. Perhaps, indeed, the putting that youth to death was done providentially for the advantage of the whole human race, since if one portion had been assigned as subjects to the one, and another portion to the other, there would have arisen troubles and confusion, and civil and foreign war. And what is better than peace? and peace is caused by good government on sound principles. And no government can be good but that which is free from all contentions and from all disputes, and then everything else is made right by it.” (69) And in reference to the case of Macro, they said, “The man was puffed up with pride in an immoderate degree; he had no idea of that great lesson which came from Delphi, ‘know thyself.’ And they say that knowledge is the cause of happiness, and that ignorance is the parent of unhappiness. What could have possessed him to make such an alteration and change in their relative positions as to thrust himself, who was a subject, into the rank of a governor, and to depress Gaius, who was the emperor, into the place of a subject? For it is the part of a ruler to command, and that was what Macro did; but it is the duty of a subject to obey, and that was what he considered that Gaius was to submit to.” (70) For these inconsiderate men, without giving themselves the trouble of inquiring into the truth, called the recommendations of Macro commands, and called him who gave advice a governor, out of ignorance and insensibility, or else out of flattery suppressing the truth and giving a false colouring to the nature of both names and things. (71) And in reference to Silanus they said, “Silanus was a most ridiculous person when he took it into his head that a father-in-law would have as much influence with his son-in-law as a real father has with a son. And yet even real fathers who are in a private station submit to their sons when they are in great offices and in places of high authority, being quite content with the second place; but this foolish man, even when he was no longer his father-in-law, kept on claiming privileges which did not belong to him, without perceiving that with the death of his daughter the connexion which had originated in the marriage of Gaius with her had also died, (72) for intermarriages are the bonds which unite families between which there is no kindred, changing alienation into near connexion; but when that bond is dissolved, then the union is dissolved likewise, especially when it is dissolved by a circumstance which cannot be altered or remedied, namely, by the death of the woman who was given in marriage into another family.” (73) Such conversations as these were held in every company, the speakers being wholly influenced by their wish that the emperor should not appear to be cruel; for as they had hoped that such humanity and gentleness was seated in the soul of Gaius as had not existed in either of the previous emperors, they thought it would be a most strange thing if he now made so great and so sudden a change to an entirely contrary disposition.