He took delight in teaching her his own "immovable rigour", beginning the lessons when she was only just able to walk and talk. He encouraged her to torture kittens and puppies and to fly with her sharp nails at the eyes of her little playmates. "There can be no reasonable doubt as to your paternity, my pretty one," he used to chuckle when she showed particular promise. And once in my presence he bent down and said slyly to her: "And the first full-sized murder you commit, Precious, if it's only your poor old grand-uncle Claudius, I'll make a Goddess of you."
"Will you make me a Goddess if I kill Mamma?" the little fiend lisped. "I hate Mamma."
Caligula was now publicly Jove. He was not only Latin Jove but Olympian Jove, and not only that but all the other Gods and Goddesses, too, whom he had decapitated and beheaded. [He put his own bust on all the statues.] Sometimes he was Apollo and sometimes Mercury and sometimes Pluto, in each case wearing the appropriate dress and demanding the appropriate sacrifices. I have seen him go about as Venus in a long gauzy silk robe with face painted, a red wig, padded bosom and high-heeled slippers. He was present as the Good Goddess at her December festival, that was a scandal.~Claudius and two others are summoned. They are sure they are dead. Instead they get a rosy-dawn pageant, and marriage for Claudius. Calpurnia comprehends: "I was in love with her already, Calpurnia said. I felt uncomfortable. Calpurnia had been my only true friend in all those four years of misery. What had she not done for me? And yet she was right: I was in love with Messalina, and Messalina was to be my wife now." Calpurnia leaves for the country.
Caligula says, "How dare you go about with a great ugly bush of hair in my presence? It's blasphemy." He turned to his German guard, "Cut his head off!" Claudius says, "What are you doing, idiot? The God didn't say 'head', he said 'hair'! Run off and fetch the shears at once!" Caligula was taken aback and perhaps really thought that he had said "hair". He allowed the German to fetch the shears.
The pillared portrait-busts of Herodotus, Polybius, Thucydides, and Asinius Pollio stood facing me. Their impassive features seemed to say: "A true historian will always rise superior to the political disturbances of his day." I determined to comport myself as a true historian.
I was thinking what opportunities I would have, as Emperor, for consulting the secret archives and finding out just what happened on this occasion or on that. How many twisted stories still remained to be straightened out! What a miraculous fate for a historian!