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5

(1887) [MARC] Author: Viktor Rydberg Translator: Alfred Corning Clark With: Hans Anton Westesson Lindehn
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Full resolution (JPEG) - On this page / på denna sida - The Roman Emperors in Marble - 1. Julius Caesar and Augustus

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THE ROMAN EMPERORS IN MARBLE. 5
night this mind is weaving a web of great, profitable
thoughts ; but he feels by presentiment that before the
memory of his violation of the law can reach its envelop-
ment in that shimmering veil, he himself shall sink, his
toga pierced by the knife. Perhaps he feels that which
is still worse : that his shade is doomed to an eternal
triumphal procession, followed by the most unscrupulous
souls of all generations ; that the scum of philosophers,
in honor of him and for protection of his greater or less
imitators, shall set up the doctrine of a two-fold moral
law—that for predestined heroes, and that for common
folk ; that the most brilliant malefactors of history shall
point to him as their prototype and justification, and if
they sink under the blows of fate, wrap themselves in his
mantle, in so far as they do not rather choose the purple
of the crucified Messiah, the fate of which was to fall a
prey to soldiers casting lots.
When the Wandering Jew roams through the world,
he follows the endless tracks of the triumphal car of
Caesar’s spirit. In front of him hastens the phantom of
that hero who dealt the sanctity of the law wounds in-
curable, as he lent the crime the seductive beauty of good
fortune and genius; behind him sounds the voice of that
hero who gave himself under the law, and fulfilled to death
upon the cross, the claims of righteousness. So shall
the poor beggar from Jerusalem stumble along between
the Messiah of the Rubicon and Him of the Jordan, un-
til the last voice that chants the praises of the idol of suc-
cess shall have been silenced ; and that shall come to
pass when the seventh seal is broken over the world.
By the side of Caesar’s statue that of Gordianus should
be set up—for the sake of the contrast. I think Csesar’s
marble lips would be drawn into a smile at thought of

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