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240

(1887) [MARC] Author: Viktor Rydberg Translator: Alfred Corning Clark With: Hans Anton Westesson Lindehn
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Full resolution (JPEG) - On this page / på denna sida - Roman Traditions of Peter and Paul - 3. The Ascension of Simon the Sorcerer

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240 ROMAN DA YS.
A time went by, and Simon was ever farther and
farther withdrawn from the eyes that followed him.
Now he seemed but a point in the blue ether. Nero,
who had hitherto been sunk in contemplation, turned to
Helene and said, jestingly :
" If the prophet should for-
get his pledge to Csesar, and remain in Olympus ! Nay,
he must choose between Hebe and yourself, and I am
sure he will come back to earth."
Simon found himself in the beginning, well, and satis-
fied with his progress. The mantle he wore, was one of
those enchanted cloaks, known to many a tradition ; such
a one as Faust wished for, the evening he took with Wag-
ner his memorable walk, and dreamed he floated in the
flush of eternal sunset.
In itself, the cloak had no bearing power ; but it was
held by twelve stout spirits of the air, Simon’s incanta-
tion had summoned for that service. Resting in it, as
inside the softest palanquin, the sorcerer enjoyed his
travel unspeakably. The nine hills of Rome lay far
down beneath his feet, bathing their temples in the sun-
light. The winding waters of Tiber shone as molten
gold, and were at Ostialike a stream of lava, gushing into
the sea. The horizon grew larger and larger. The green
plains of Latium shrank together, the sail-bestrown sea
expanded its boundary line, and the Sardinian mountains
rose higher and higher, while on the other side, the cloud-
capped steeps of the Appenines sank lower and lower.
Simon was ravished with the sight, and drunken with
the thought that this world should be his, be dotted over
with temples raised to him, ringing with hymns of praise
lifted up to him.
When he had attained to such a height that the sweet

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