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206

(1887) [MARC] Author: Viktor Rydberg Translator: Alfred Corning Clark With: Hans Anton Westesson Lindehn
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206 ROMAN DA YS.
task very difficult ; for, easy as it comparatively is to
represent a dual personality in a state of repose, and not
grouped, just so hard is it, to make it appear in a group,
and engaged in an action that may with equal freedom
be referred to both natures in its being. Perhaps the
difficulty of explaining the San Ildefonso group is an evi-
dence of this. But a blemish, that hardness of interpre-
tation is not, which, as in this case, tempts every beholder
to lay some of his own subjectivity into the work, and
invites the mind to efforts at explanation, though only to
resolve it again into the feeling of a mysticism that rests
upon the object. If we have long stood face to face with
Antinous, all impressions at last combine in one feeling,
the nearest utterance of which is given in the poet
Lenau’s admonition
:
Didst thou e’er see a joy go by,
Thou never mayst recover.
Cast on the hurrying stream thine eye,
A bubble, and all is over.
In the fifteen hundreds, at the time when art through
Michael Angelo and Raphael celebrated the feast of tri-
umph of her resurrection, it happened—so says a Roman
tradition—that a man who had wandered up to the
Sabine mountains, and lost himself in the ruins of the
Villa Adriana, forgot that he was there, as he saw the
beams of the evening sun play until they were tired on
the ivy-clad stones. Night came, and the star-picture
of Antinous shone through the laurels and cypresses.
The man thought of great Caesar Hadrian, whose shade
was said to dwell there, and the thought called up the
sighing spirit ; and it told him Hadrian never should find

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