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(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 - 3. The Colosseum

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PENCIL SKETCHES IN ROME. 3 1
1
fallen net-thrower, the monk starts from his chair and
down the stairs, and despite the efforts of the guards to
stop him, rushes in upon the arena, into the very midst
of the corpses and the victors, lifts his hand towards the
senators, knights and people, bursts into tears, but re-
presses the tears, and cries with a voice that is heard by-
all :
" Brothers! Christians! Has John, then, in vain ad-
monished us; children love one another! Has Jesus,
then, in vain suffered for us on the cross !
" His words
were drowned in cries of fury. Eighty thousand frenzied
men seize everything that can be used as a missile and
hurl it down upon him, until he lies a corpse by the side
of the fallen gladiators.
Some years after this, gladiatorial games were pro-
hibited by emperor Honorius.
In the middle of the eighteenth century, the Colos-
seum was placed under church protection, and consecrated
to the suffering Jesus, in memory of the martyrs’ blood
that had flowed there. Ever since that time, and until
last spring, an iron cross, kissed by the lips of countless
pilgrims, stood in the centre of the arena. This cross
was taken away while I was in Rome, and the commo-
tion over the proceeding was great. The papal journals
launched out in hot accusations against the Italian gov-
ernment, and tried to persuade the Romans that the cross
had been taken away to insult the faith and the church.
But the Romans did not trouble themselves farther about
it, except that they flocked to the Colosseum, curious to
see how the matter stood. All the greater was the stir
within the foreign Catholic world ; and a whole crowd of
old ladies who believe in the " Civilta cattolica " and the
" Osservatore Romano " as in the Bible, had it in mind

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