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45

(1887) [MARC] Author: Viktor Rydberg Translator: Alfred Corning Clark With: Hans Anton Westesson Lindehn
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THE ROMAN EMPERORS IN MARBLE. 45
The aged historian Cremutius Cordus was accused of
having praised the patriotism of Brutus, and called Cas-
sius the last Roman. This was in a writing he had read
aloud, to his friend, emperor Augustus ; but he was now
summoned, rather late, to answer for his crime. He
made a brilliant speech, to defend the right of history,
not to shield himself. " Seventy years," said he at last,
**
seventy years after their fall, Brutus and Cassius still
live in its pictures, that not even the victor has destroyed.
Should they not, then, be sure of their share of the in-
heritance, in the memory of history? If ye do strike
me down, there shall not be wanting men to ward their
memory and mine." Thereupon he left the senate and
ended his life.
Neither Tiberius nor any of the succeeding tyrants
have been able to hinder a portrait from antiquity of
Marcus Junius Brutus from taking its place in the ’•
hall
of illustrious men," in the Museo Capitolino. As a work
.of art, this bust is good, but the features were not those
I looked for. On the other side of the forum, in the
conservators’ palace, may be seen an excellent antique
bust of another Brutus—Lucius Junius; without doubt
an ideal head, but so true to nature, that one would be
tempted to think an Etrurian artist had bequeathed to
posterity the proud features of Rome’s first consul. A
statue in the Villa Albani, that is said to represent the
same Brutus, is on the contrary a hideous caricature,
worthy the chisel of a slave, but not of a freeborn artist,
and farther degraded by the restorations and additions
of a later time. I do not know if there be any por-
trait of Cassius. Perhaps he stands among the many
nameless, but often highly interesting, Roman heads
possessed by the Italian galleries. During excavations

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