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242

(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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242 ROMAN DA YS.
felt a strange sensation, they had never had before, in
arms, fingers and claws, and that they heard two voices
from the earth, that made them tremble. " Down on
the forum," said they, " are two men kneeling—mayhap
the voices are theirs."
Then Simon was afraid. He thought of Paul and
Peter. Eager as he before had been to climb to Olym-
pus, just as keenly he now desired to get back to earth,
before the demons’ strength should fail them.
But that was a dangerous descent. First one, then
another familiar let go his hold, and the folds flapped like
loosened sails in a storm, around the limbs of the sorcerer.
Simon clutched the upper border of the cloak with both
hands ; he grew giddy at sight of the terrible abyss be-
neath him, his trembling Hps spoke the mightiest forms
of magic a mortal can speak, without being burnt to
ashes ; and meanwhile he menaced the demons with the
worst kind of punishment.
But the demons complained that they felt themselves
getting weaker and weaker. When their hands had
grown weary, they took the mantle between their teeth,
or tried to hold it fast with their cloven feet. They un-
deniably did their work in right good earnest—but who
can be forced beyond his strength ?
They were still so high up that Simon’s ear could not
catch an echo of the bassoons, drums and cymbals, that
sounded upon Rome’s hills. His situation was desperate.
Then, on rustling wings, came through the air the old
dragon, Michael’s adversary. " Courage !
" he cried to
Simon ; and he lashed his familiars madly with a scourge,
to warm up their limbs and soften their callous hands.
The stupefied Simon now heard a sound of drums and
cymbals. Yet a few seconds, and he was sensible of the

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