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246

(1887) [MARC] Author: Viktor Rydberg Translator: Alfred Corning Clark With: Hans Anton Westesson Lindehn
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246 ROMAN DA YS.
brings from the fens of the Campagna over the slopes of
Aventine, malaria, "the evil air"—and with malaria,
come fever, consumption and death.
It was on a warm day in April, I last went that way,
A black-bearded fellow in a ragged cloak, enjoyed his
siesta on the grassy edge of the road, in the shadow of
the walls. He was the only human being I saw, until I
reached the cloister of Santa Sabina. A lark trilled in
the blue above me. That was the only break in the
silence. In the cool colonnade of the cloister, slept a
fat Dominican monk ; and by his side, a half-somnolent
brother of the same order, was taking a pinch of snuff.
Stretched out on the stone floor at their feet, lay some
ragged shapes, men, women and children, guests of the
cloister, living on its alms, bred to that (in the long run)
hardest of all callings—idleness. In the monastery gar-
den, an orange-tree was shown me, which St. Dominick
had planted with his own holy hand. 1 thought it a
miserable compensation for all the wood that went to
make up the pyre, his monks lighted under the martyrs
to thought and a purified faith. All the more worth see-
ing, was the view to be had from the garden, over the
Tiber, Trastevere and the Campagna. But of that, this
is not the time to speak. My road carried me a little
distance back again from Sta. Sabina, and so to the right,
into a street or road, if possible more lonely still, which
runs over the height, opposite the Jewish churchyard and
the Circus Maximus, to the church of Santa Prisca, the
goal of my pilgrimage. The only living creatures I saw,
during this walk, were the active little lizards, beautifully
marked, who darted about in the bath of sunlight, in the
rifts of the wall, or peeped out between its overgrowth of
vines. The isolation would have been oppressive, had it

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