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190

(1887) [MARC] Author: Viktor Rydberg Translator: Alfred Corning Clark With: Hans Anton Westesson Lindehn
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190 ROMAN DA YS.
Roman realm had never enjoyed greater safety and pros-
perity. Countless abuses had been abolished, the gov-
ernment of the land rearranged in a practical manner,
military discipline was restored, the arts were flourishing.
The peoples united under the wing of Rome, looked
gratefully up to the worthy successor of the great Trajan.
To them, he was father and peaceful prince ; to men of
science, poets and artists, a fellow-citizen in their repub-
lic, to public officers, the keen-sighted administrator, to
the soldiers, the able commander and hardy warrior.
His nearest circle had in him a friend with a frank dis-
position and with time enough to share in their separate
joys and sorrows. After a day taken up with hard work,
he could watch the whole night through, by a servant’s
sick-bed. With his wide-reaching activity, his power to
suffice for all that entered into the duties of chief of the
realm and individual man, he had at bottom a romantic
nature, that delighted to dwell in the labyrintlis of mys-
ticism, longed after love, friendship and beauty, that
filled his imagination with the glory of the old Hellenic
life, and dreamed of the possibility of rearing a better
race of men, and of founding a faith able as well to satisfy
the claims of reason and morality as of feeling and pre-
sentiment.
Hadrian was at that time in the midst of his labor on
the regeneration of Hellas. One can hardly think other-
wise than that he unfolded to the friend who was his
daily companion, the plans he had made with this view.
And the plans became, as if by enchantment, realities.
Temples and other public buildings, harbors, city quar-
ters, and entire cities, arose at the bidding of the mighty.
Sculptors and painters, quickened by his spirit, produced
works of art that seemed worthy of an age gone by..

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