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234

(1887) [MARC] Author: Viktor Rydberg Translator: Alfred Corning Clark With: Hans Anton Westesson Lindehn
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III.
THE ASCENSION OF SIMON THE SORCERER,
THE expected day had come at last. Senate and
tribunals had suspended their business, booths and
workshops stood empty, the camp of the praetorian guard
by the Porta Nomentana was deserted—only a few senti-
nels paced to and fro there, grumbling that the service
should hinder them from being present at the great festi-
val of the day—the gymnastic and warlike games of the
Field of Mars were for the time given up, the closely-
built Aventine hill was to-day as silent as the brilliant
quarter, Suburra ; for everything that had life and limb,
had hastened to the show-place of the ascent of Simon
the wise man.
The Roman market, the holy way and the colonnades
of temples and basilicas there, exhibited one tightly-
packed mass of human beings. Every tower and pinna-
cle, every roof, projection and window on the Esquiline
hill, was filled with spectators, like quiet swarms of bees.
On the verandas of the imperial buildings on the Pala-
tine, decorated with awnings, sat the foremost matrons of
Rome in briliant attire, eagerly talking of Simon, their
idol, and impatiently awaiting the time when he should
give a proof above all other proofs, of his power.
High up on the temple-crowned Capitolium, with a
free view over all this multitude, the emperor and his
court were seen. On each side of the richly-adorned im-

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