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6

(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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6 ROMAN DA YS.
the horror with which Gordianus saw himself cast up by
a breaker on that strand to which Caesar himself, with
burning desire and by all the means the art of sailing
gave, sought to attain.
It once happened, that an aged and worthy man who
passed his leisure hours in company with books, was dis-
turbed in his meditations by a shout raised around his
house. Soldiers and citizens had encompassed it. A
warrior with a naked sword in one hand, and a purple
torn from a standard in the other, rushed at the head of
a crowd of people into the atrium, and roared to the
trembling slaves :
" Where is the proconsul ? " They
pointed to a room. The band throws itself headlong in,
and finds its victim reclining on a sofa. Mauricius, leader
of the crowd, casts the purple over the old man, lifts his
sword and cries: " Hail to thee, Gordianus Augustus !
"
" Hail !
" All the others join the cry and throw themselves
upon their knees. But the old man flings the purple as it
were a mantle of Nessus, with horror from him, and cries
:
" Back ! Maximinus is your emperor, not I !
" " Maximi-
nus," they answer him, " is the foe of gods and men ! Max-
iminus seeks after thy own life ! Save us ! Save thy
country ! Take Caesar’s diadem !
" " Never !
" " Thou
must. Choose : the diadem or death ! Take the purple,
or we tear thee asunder ! Thou and thy son, ye shall
rule over us." " Spare me !
" "No!" Mauricius grasps
the purple, sign of the imperial dignity, to throw it again
over his shoulders. The old man tries to defend himself,
and in the struggle falls to the ground. They seize him,
raise him up, wrap the purple by force around him and
show him, emperor, to the jubilant people.
A while after this, the younger Gordianus had fallen
in battle, and the elder had himself laid the noose around

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