XXXIV. (254) And when his assessors had delivered their opinions, he commanded letters to be written, and appointed active men, who were accustomed to make rapid journey, to convey them. And they, when they had arrived at their journey’s end, delivered the letters; but the emperor, before he had finished reading them, became swollen with anger, and went on making marks at every page, in fury and indignation; (255) and when he had come to the end of the letter, he clapped his hands together, saying, “Of a truth, Petronius, you seem but little to comprehend that you are the subject of the emperor; the uninterrupted series of governments to which you have been preferred have filled you with guile. Up to the present time it seems to me that you have no notion of acknowledging that you know, even by hearsay, that Gaius is emperor, but you shall very speedily find it out by your own experience, (256) for you are careful about the laws of the Jews, a nation which I hate above every other, and you are indifferent about the imperial commands of your sovereign. You fear the multitude. Had you not with you then the military forces which all the eastern nations, and the chief of them all, the Parthians, fear? (257) But you pitied them, you paid more attention to feelings of compassion than to the express commands of Gaius. “Make your pretext of the harvest, but you yourself shall soon find that you have brought on your own head a punishment which cannot be averted by any pretexts of excuses. Blame the necessity for collecting the crops, and for making adequate provision for my armies, for even if a complete scarcity were to oppress Judaea, still are there not vast regions on its borders of great fertility and productiveness, sufficient and able to supply all necessary food, and to make up for the deficiency of one district? (258) But why do I speak in this way before acting? And why is there no one who anticipates my intentions? He who delays shall first find out that he is receiving the wages of his delay by suffering in his own person. I will say no more, but I shall not forget the matter.” (259) And after a brief interval, he dictated to one of his secretaries an answer to Petronius, praising him in appearance for his prudence, and for his careful and accurate consideration of the future, for he was very careful with respect to the governors of the provinces, seeing that they had at all times great facilities for making innovations or revolutions, especially if they happened to be in districts of importance, and in command of powerful armies such as was on the Euphrates for the protection of Syria. (260) Therefore, being very civil to him in words and in his letters, he concealed his anger till a favourable opportunity, though he was very much exasperated; but at the end of the letter, after having mentioned every other subject, he desired him not to be so anxious about anything as about the speedy erection and dedication of the statue, for that by this time the harvest must have been able to be got in, whether the excuse was originally an honest and true or only a plausible one.