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(1887) [MARC] Author: Viktor Rydberg Translator: Alfred Corning Clark With: Hans Anton Westesson Lindehn
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230 ROMAN DA YS.
sought in all quarters better satisfaction for their devout
feelings, and their attraction towards the mysterious.
Great flocks (especially of women of rank) made pilgrim-
ages, therefore, to the temple of Isis and the caves of
Mitras, where, in heart-enthralling music, incomprehensi-
ble forms of prayer and strange rites of the temple, they
thought they perceived a higher world. Simon had now
made himself chief priest in the temple of Isis and the
grottoes of Mitras, where, with his magic, he intoxicated
every sense and stupefied the whole understanding.
Paul found with sorrow that many who before had lis-
tened to the Christian teaching, had been torn from
him, and followed the daily augmenting current of im-
posture.
Before Simon Magus came to Rome, the emperor
Nero’s reign had promised well ; had given signs of a
bent towards useful enterprise, and of a philanthropic
disposition. But now, he had suddenly been changed
into a madman, a wild beast. Whence did this come?
Nero had wished to see Helene at his palace, and hear
from her lips the most occult truth of divine wisdom.
It was else forbidden to speak to Helene, and herself she
spoke to none. When sometimes she appeared in a
chosen circle, it was for a passing moment, only ; and
then, all forgot she was silence itself, for the majesty in
her bearing and the charm in her immobility, were mighty
as the eloquence of a Demosthenes. In a goddess like
her, a seal upon the lips was what it is with many another
—the wisest and most effective speech.
Simon Magus gave his consent to the fulfillment of
the emperor’s wish, but on the following conditions.
Helene, accompanied by himself, should come to the
palace by night, at change of the moon. No sound to

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