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(1887) [MARC] Author: Viktor Rydberg Translator: Alfred Corning Clark With: Hans Anton Westesson Lindehn
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ROMAN TRADITIONS OF PETER AND PAUL. 237
of impatience. The good-humored in the crowd, jest,
explain the delay by declaring that Jove’s eagle, which
was to bear this new Ganymede up to the skies, has
renounced the service ; or that the coachmaker has not
got the travelling-coach ready, as a bit of cloud that was
to have been hammered out for the wheels, has broken
in bending.
But hark ! Grumbling and jesting are hushed. A
murmur goes through the masses—" There, there !
" they
cry, and a stillness follows, that bears witness of intense
expectation.
The apostles draw the conclusion from this, that the
crowd has at last caught a glimpse of the expected ma-
gician. And Simon Magus has in fact appeared on the
Capitolium. As if still farther to mock the laws of grav-
ity, he comes arrayed in a mantle falling in heavy folds,
embroidered with gold and silver, and sown with pearls
of the East. The sunshine breaks in rainbow hues upon
this attire, the long train of which is borne up, on one
side by the servants of Isis, and on the other by the
priests of Mitras, recognizable by their Phrygian caps and
long beards.
Simon strides forward to the emperor’s throne, kneels,
and says in a loud voice that the miracle he is now about
to perform, he does, not for his own merit and honor, nor
yet to afford a spectacle to the emperor, senate and peo-
ple, but to save Rome from those false prophets the
Christians, who have sworn destruction to the city and
the Roman power. It is against them, he will now bear
witness.
At a sign from Nero, he rises, kisses the hand of the
empress and of Helene, bows to the senators and knights,
and walks with solemnly measured steps towards the

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