The people left the accuser on
the spot, and followed Scipio to the Capitol; but this was the last
glorious day of the illustrious man. His proud spirit, his belief
that he was different from, and better than, other men, his very
decided family-policy, which in the person of his brother Lucius
especially brought forward a clumsy man of straw as a hero, gave
offence to many, and not without reason.
While genuine pride protects
the heart, arrogance lays it open to every blow and every sarcasm, and
corrodes even an originally noble-minded spirit. It is throughout,
moreover, the distinguishing characteristic of such natures as that of
Scipio--strange mixtures of genuine gold and glittering tinsel--that
they need the good fortune and the brilliance of youth in order
to exercise their charm, and, when this charm begins to fade, it is
the charmer himself that is most painfully conscious of the change.