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The Miracles Of Antichrist: A Novel

by Selma Lagerlöf, Trans. By Pauline Bancroft Flach

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In Rome a little group of people came down from the emperor's palace on the Palatine and made their way over the Forum to the Capitol. During the day just completed his councilors had asked the emperor if they might not raise a temple to him on Rome's holy mountain. But Augustus had not immediately given his consent. He did not know if it would be pleasing to the gods for him to possess a temple next to theirs, and he had answered that he wished first to discover by a nocturnal sacrifice to his genius what their wishes were. Followed by a few faithful retainers, he was now on his way to perform that sacrifice.

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And when there was a pause in the music the handsome advocate Favara, who had been dressed in a black velvet coat and a big broad-brimmed hat and a bright red necktie, had gone up to Don Ferrante, and had pointed out over the open side of the square, where Etna and the sea lay. "Don Ferrante," he had said, "you lift us toward the skies, just as Etna does, and you carry us away into the eternal, like the infinite sea."



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