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26

(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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26 ROMAN DA YS.
shadow of freedom he sustained, is it due, that when the
world was closed against the republic, there was yet a
shelter for republicans—on the imperial throne. There,
could men like the Antonines, like Tacitus, descendant
of the historian, like Julian, yet work in the spirit of the
free state, though the people was beyond being penetra-
ted by this spirit.
When Augustus after an offer of abdication, returned
from the solemn meeting in the senate, to his cabin on
the Palatine, we do not think that he said to himself:
" What a cunning fellow thou art

dolis instructus et
arte pelasga ! How well thou knowest how to satisfy
man’s craving to be duped !
" Rather would he persuade
himself that the step he had just taken was a proof not
to be challenged of unselfishness and public spirit. If
his self-knowledge ever deserted him, it was doubtless
here. He never thought of himself as actually the liv-
ing political antithesis of the Brutuses and Catos. The
bearers of those great names stood in another camp than
that into which fate had thrown him as Caesar’s successor ;
but his respect for them was unaffected : he praised with
his favorite poets atrocem animuni Catoiiis, and queried
with them
:
" Quis te, inagne Cato, tacite relhiqtiet ?"
After at table he had taken his three—on greater oc-
casions six—dishes, and with the ^neid in hand, awaited
his little afternoon nap upon the sofa, which he used to
take with his head on his hand, more than once, perhaps
his eye rested on the lines of Virgil :

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