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(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. 2 I
because no one wanted to reestablish it, loved its mem-
ories because they lay so far away, on the other side of
the horrors of the civil war and dictature,—Platonic love
in fact, admiration at a distance. But these are the
most candid of all feelings. They come least into con-
flict with our selfish aims. We believe in them, because
we never get a chance to try them seriously. By this
conception of him, no honor is done Augustus, nor is
that the intention, either ; but he is made less mon-
strous, in that he is himself ashamed of worshipping only
his own advantage. He is given, in common with the
rest of us, an opportunity to fit up, in one of the cham-
bers of the soul, a sanctuary to something worthier of
adoration—which he worships, because that worship
ennobles him in his own eyes, without incommoding his
egotism. Many a prince has believed himself a good
republican, so long as there was no question of setting
up a republic.
We are not afraid to go a step farther. Since we
have been bold enough to express the opinion that Au
gustus cherished feelings (let us say) platonic, towards
the free state, we must add that this love was not
entirely inactive, not altogether idly sunk in the contem-
plation of a harmless ideal. If we would be just, we
must allow that the same man whose strong and moder-
ate rule gave the world a time of peace and plenty never
enjoyed until then, carried on with great perseverance
an intestine war against those faults of the age which
create and uphold tyranny. Cautiously, the war was
waged, it is true; for circumspection, he said himself,
is a commander’s preeminent virtue ; but to the de
cision of his aim, the bold blows testify that he struck,
when mildness was not enough. Can it be thought pos-

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