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Tiberius served under his brother-in-law in Africa, and was the first who scaled the walls of Carthage. He was Quaestor in B.C. 137, and accompanied the Consul C. Hostilius to Spain, where he saved the army by obtaining a treaty with the Numantines, which the Senate refused to ratify.[61] In passing through Etruria, on his way to Spain, Tiberius had observed with grief and indignation the deserted state of that fertile country. Thousands of foreign slaves were tending the flocks and cultivating the soil of the wealthy landowners, while Roman citizens, thus thrown out of employment, could scarcely procure their daily bread, and had not a clod of earth to call their own. He now conceived the design of applying a remedy to this state of things, and with this view became a candidate for the Tribunate, and was elected for the year B.C. 133.

Every one has seen a cornfield. If you pluck up one of the innumerable wheat plants which are fixed in the soil of the field, about harvest time, you will find that it consists of a stem which ends in a root at one end and an ear at the other, and that blades or leaves are attached to the sides of the stem. The ear contains a multitude of oval grains which are the seeds of the wheat plant. You know that when these seeds are cleared from the husk or bran in which they are enveloped, they are ground into fine powder in mills, and that this powder is the flour of which bread is made. If a handful of flour mixed with a little cold water is tied up in a coarse cloth bag, and the bag is then put into a large vessel of water and well kneaded with the hands, it will become pasty, while the water will become white. If this water is poured away into another vessel, and the kneading process continued with some fresh water, the same thing will happen. But if the operation is repeated the paste will become more and more sticky, while the water will be rendered less and less white, and at last will remain colorless. The sticky substance which is thus obtained by itself is called gluten; in commerce it is the substance known as maccaroni.

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