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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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24 ROMAN DA YS.
the aged emperor standing upright in his box at the play-
house, while every one, to a man, on the knight’s benches
cried out with violent gestures to him :
" Down with thy
marriage laws !
" As the cry sounds louder and louder,
Augustus beckons to him Germanicus and his children,
and takes the youngest little one in his arms. By his
side now stands the worshipped hero of the Romans, the
young father, in his manly beauty. The emperor points
to him and his blooming children, in order, with a picture
of that highest earthly happiness, of the virtuous home,
to still the surging people, and show how well he had
meant with his laws.
Augustus is made out so very crafty, when in all he
undertakes or shuns, snares for freedom are suspected.
And nevertheless, he would have been rather short-
sighted had he not appreciated that which a Caligula, a
Nero, a Domitian could grasp without trouble ; that ty-
ranny knows not its own welfare, if it do not stand on a
good footing with immorality.
Had Augustus expected that his effort for the re-
quickening of a moral spirit in the people would at once
breed a new race of Catos, it is very possible that the
prospect of an advance so rich in blessings as this, would
rather have cooled than excited his zeal. But he well
knew the good seed he sowed fell in barren soil, and
would, under the best conditions, bear a late harvest.
For his own power he had nothing to fear from the
growth of a better race. Through bone and marrow he,
as well as the grave men around him, must have felt the
prophecy of Horace, that the Romans of their time, worse
than their ancestors, should give birth to offspring more
wretched than themselves.
Twice, Augustus offered to lay down the supreme

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