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295

(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 - Pencil Sketches in Rome - 2. The Carnival

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PENCIL SKETCHES IN ROME. 295
everywhere, was visible a throng of masks. In front of
me arose the beautiful rock of Palatine with the ruined
walls of the Caesars’ palace, like an island of stillness from
out a sea of boisterous merriment. I was seized with a
longing after solitude among the memories there above.
The way thither goes through the gate of Vignola,
through the grating of which, the terrace stairs that lead
to the Farnesian garden and the imperial palace, shone as
invitingly as ever; but the gallooned guard whom Signor
Rosa, director of the Palatine excavations, had stationed
at the entrance, informed me that the Palatine was for
the day closed. I was resolved to get there, nevertheless.
I knew that near the triumphal arch of Titus a street
ends, which free to all, leads up over the declivities of
that rock where the herdsman Faustulus nursed a king-
dom, and the emperor Augustus, an empire. But what
purpose this street actually served, I did not know. I
hoped it would at least offer a fine view.
High garden walls shut it in, on both sides. Behind
that on the left, lies the field where according to tradi-
tion Saint Sebastian, bound to a tree, suffered martyrdom
by the arrows of Numidian bowmen—one of the few le-
gends of martyrs that have proved themselves adapted to
artistic handling, and which has given the theme for more
than one beautiful picture, that has in the person of the
saint united youth, beauty, the might of faith, and heaven-
ly ecstasy. But these garden walls never end. Higher
up, the street turns at a right angle, but only to show me
a continued stretch of whitewashed wall. It is silent here,
it is lonely here ;
only as a muffled murmur does the roar
of the carnival reach this spot. In the walls, I find at
certain intervals, niches with paintings that recall steps
heavier than the heaviest a traveller, eager to see sights,

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