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204

(1887) [MARC] Author: Viktor Rydberg Translator: Alfred Corning Clark With: Hans Anton Westesson Lindehn
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204 ROMAN DA YS.
and easily recognized vaulting of the chest of Antinous
and that the body in its entirety, where melancholy is
wasting a beautiful frame, has not the Antinoan rhythm.
What, then, is this other type? In the Museo Pio
Clementino, there is a figure of a youth, dug out at Cen-
tocelli near Rome, to which Visconti, without the smallest
reason, has given the name of Apollo ; while the bended
head, the fixed gaze and the expression of longing, point
to Narcissus at the spring. The Antinous of the San
Ildefonso group has from the front the strongest likeness
to this statue, and might therefore be an Antinous-
Narcissus.
On a Pompeian picture preserved at Naples, is to be
seen behind Narcissus a genius, with a lowered and light-
ed torch. Such a work of art may have inspired Ovid
with the simile he uses in his fine representation of Nar-
cissus, when he likens the youth’s susceptibility to pas-
sion with that of the torch to the fire brought near it.
There comes, even in this poem, a moment when the
genius of death no longer stands in the background of
the picture ; when Narcissus feels his presence, and calls
him to his side, as a friend and deliverer
:
primoque extinguor in cevo.
Nee mihi tnors gravis est, posituro morte dolores.
(In the morning of life I perish ;
yet to me death is
not hard, for sorrows are stilled by death.}
If this youth be, then, an Antinous-Narcissus, the
group undoubtedly treats, as Tieck has conjectured, of a
death sacrifice, and not of a pact of loyalty; and then
Persephone, as equally suited to an interpretation of the
one kind and the other, is better in her place than Isis,
who could only allude to the death of the one in the Nile,

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