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316

(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 - 4. La Campagna di Roma

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3l6 ROMAN DAYS.
cut its furrow from mountain to sea ; here, the statesman
and the commander shared the simple lot of the laboring
husbandman ; here, under protection of the yeoman’s
arms, flourished that prosperity and happiness, which in
the imagination of a later race mirrored a golden age,
when Saturn the peaceful king held sway over Latium.
What a change! Now, at the dangerous season, the
farmer who dwells in the neighborhood of Rome seeks
his shelter within the city walls, when evening comes.
And the " fattore " who has tarried until sunset on the
plain, wraps himself up to the eyes in his mantle, and
pricks his long-maned horse, to reach the mountains and
escape the fever, that out of the earth stretches its arms
of blue-gray vapor after him, to clasp him in a deadly
embrace. So he gallops on, over the billowy ground,
past the monuments of the greatness of antiquity that
are strewn over the Campagna like gravestones over a
churchyard ;
past the fires around which the poor fellows
who are forced to spend the night here, have gathered
together, enveloped in the sheepskin of the Campagnolo
or the cloak of the Abruzzan or Sabine tiller of the soil
;
and he does not breathe freely, nor checks the career of
his fleet-footed horse, until he has reached the olive-yards
on the slope of the mountain.
Now grows death more abundantly than the wheat,
in the furrows of the Saturnian earth, and the malaria is
queen of the land. It cannot be denied that she holds
her power by the oldest prescriptive right, older even
than the golden age of Saturn. When the Italic tribes
that came down from the mountains or came over the
sea, first set foot in this region, it was filled with hardened
streams of lava, moist woods, fever-breeding fens, and
with lakes that had formed in the craters of extinct vol-

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