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27

(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/
" Wilt thou behold the Tarquinian kings, and Brutus avenger’s
Soul heroic, and see the lictors rods that he ’won him.
First in the consular line, with axes the realm defending?
O for the ward of liberty fair, unfortunate father,
Must thou thyself to punishment call thy children rebellious !
Howsoeer by an after age thou a? i Judged, Brutus,
Love in thy heart for thy forefathers" land, for hotior did conquer /
Ultor Brute ! Piilchra libertas !
Augustus could fall asleep with these words on his lips,
and fear no unquiet dreams. The shade of Brutus, and
freedom’s beauty, were to him aesthetically pleasing but
not practically dangerous phantoms ; and tyranny was be-
forehand so rooted in every mind, that he never, during
his long government, had a chance to try the weight of
his love of liberty against that of his lust for power. He
thought himself the best Cato in Rome ; and it was
probably not without an allusion in this quarter, that he
so often, when the talk in his circle of friends fell upon
old Roman virtue, uttered with a sadness soon comfort-
ed: " We must be content with the Cato we have."
Without such an estimate of himself, granted a much
too flattering one, he would hardly have been able, dur-
ing a long life, and battling with many household cares,
to sustain the peace of mind that scattered joy over his
being and made him gentle and friendly. We should be
able to forgive him, that his virtues only advanced ty-
ranny, when we see that the vices of the Caesars who fol-
lowed, did not avail to cast it down.

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