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The Roman nights at the tomb of the Scipios

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Pages: 130

Book format: An electronic version of a printed book that can be read on a computer or handheld device designed specifically for this purpose.

Publisher: Date:8/4/2009 - General Books LLC

By: Alessandro Verri

Excerpt from book: CONFERENCE THIRD. Numa and Romulus dispute as to whether Empires are sustained by force of Arms, or by Moral Discipline. Then there arose, shortly after I had finished, a shade, which had been sitting (pensively listening to me) upon the ancient base of a column, and said:— " If this empire be as thou sayest, it was founded by myself, and by no other person."' Thus saying, he threw back from his head with his right hand a veil which covered it. Romulus, with a stern look, turning to him, angrily asked :—" Who art thou, audacious and scornful Spectre, who thus falsely arrogatest to thyself my glory ?" While he thus spoke, he extended his threatening javelin : and the other, undisturbed, grave in aspect, with a long flowing beard, and religious appearance, placidly made reply :— " Peace, O magnanimous Quirinus, this is not a place for armed violence, and with thee I contend but only in discreet and liberal discourse. Know that I am he who, immediately after thy cruel death, ascended upon thy throne. Numa is my name." At which words the most profound silence pervaded the air, and all the apparitions appeared to listen to him as to their greatest sage. Even Romulus seemed to share in the general veneration : for drawing back his spear, he calmly stood in silence, and listened. Then Numa proceeded in the following manner:— " From the words of this mortal I fully understand, that the present empire of our city arises from pious institutions, and has its increase from the majestic reverence of religion. But I am he who, leading men from thy ferocious discipline to mild habits, pointed out to them the usefulness of justice, and the inducements to works of virtue, by means of venerable sacred rites, with fear of divine wrath, and with the joyful hopes of wondrous...  

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