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قراءة كتاب Marius the Epicurean — Volume 2

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Marius the Epicurean — Volume 2

Marius the Epicurean — Volume 2

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دار النشر: Project Gutenberg
الصفحة رقم: 1



London: 1910. (The Library Edition.)


Notes: The 1910 Library Edition employs footnotes, a style inconvenient in an electronic edition. I have therefore placed an asterisk immediately after each of Pater's footnotes and a + sign after my own notes, and have listed each chapter's notes at that chapter's end.

Pagination and Paragraphing: To avoid an unwieldy electronic copy, I have transferred original pagination to brackets. A bracketed numeral such as [22] indicates that the material immediately following the number marks the beginning of the relevant page. I have preserved paragraph structure except for first-line indentation.

Hyphenation: I have not preserved original hyphenation since an e-text does not require line-end or page-end hyphenation.

Greek typeface: For this full-text edition, I have transliterated Pater's Greek quotations. If there is a need for the original Greek, it can be viewed at my site,, a Victorianist archive that contains the complete works of Walter Pater and many other nineteenth-century texts, mostly in first editions.



Cheimerinos oneiros, hote mêkistai hai vyktes.+

+"A winter's dream, when nights are longest."
Lucian, The Dream, Vol. 3.



15. Stoicism at Court: 3-13
16. Second Thoughts: 14-28
17. Beata Urbs: 29-40
18. "The Ceremony of the Dart": 41-56
19. The Will as Vision: 57-72


20. Two Curious Houses—1. Guests: 75-91
21. Two Curious Houses—2. The Church in Cecilia's House: 92-108
22. "The Minor Peace of the Church": 109-127
23. Divine Service: 128-140
24. A Conversation Not Imaginary: 141-171
25. Sunt Lacrimae Rerum: 172-185
26. The Martyrs: 186-196
27. The Triumph of Marcus Aurelius: 197-207
28. Anima Naturaliter Christiana: 208-224



[3] THE very finest flower of the same company—Aurelius with the gilded fasces borne before him, a crowd of exquisites, the empress Faustina herself, and all the elegant blue-stockings of the day, who maintained, people said, their private "sophists" to whisper philosophy into their ears winsomely as they performed the duties of the toilet—was assembled again a few months later, in a different place and for a very different purpose. The temple of Peace, a "modernising" foundation of Hadrian, enlarged by a library and lecture-rooms, had grown into an institution like something between a college and a literary club; and here Cornelius Fronto was to pronounce a discourse on the Nature of Morals. There were some, indeed, who had desired the emperor Aurelius himself to declare his whole mind on this matter. Rhetoric was become almost a function of the state: philosophy was upon the throne; and had from time to time, by [4] request, delivered an official utterance with well-nigh divine authority. And it was as the delegate of this authority, under the full sanction of the philosophic emperor—emperor and pontiff, that the aged Fronto purposed to-day to expound some parts of the Stoic doctrine, with the view of recommending morals to that refined but perhaps prejudiced company, as being, in effect, one mode of comeliness in things—as it were music, or a kind of artistic order, in life. And he did this earnestly, with an outlay of all his science of mind, and that eloquence of which he was known to be a master. For Stoicism was no longer a rude and unkempt thing. Received at court, it had largely decorated itself: it was grown persuasive and insinuating, and sought not only to convince men's intelligence but to allure their souls. Associated with the beautiful old age of the great rhetorician, and his winning voice, it was almost Epicurean. And the old man was at his best on the occasion; the last on which he ever appeared in this way. To-day was his own birthday. Early in the morning the imperial letter of congratulation had reached him; and all the pleasant animation it had caused was in his face, when assisted by his daughter Gratia he took his place on the ivory chair, as president of the Athenaeum of Rome, wearing with a wonderful grace the philosophic pall,—in reality neither more nor less than the loose woollen cloak of the common soldier, but fastened [5] on his right shoulder with a magnificent clasp, the emperor's birthday gift.

It was an age, as abundant evidence shows, whose delight in rhetoric was but one result of a general susceptibility—an age not merely taking pleasure in words, but experiencing a great moral power in them. Fronto's quaintly fashionable audience would have wept, and also assisted with their purses, had his present purpose been, as sometimes happened, the recommendation of an object of charity. As it was, arranging themselves at their ease among the images and flowers, these amateurs of exquisite language, with their tablets open for careful record of felicitous word or phrase, were ready to give themselves wholly to the intellectual treat prepared for them, applauding, blowing loud kisses through the air sometimes, at the speaker's triumphant exit from one of his long, skilfully modulated sentences; while the younger of them meant to imitate everything about him, down to the inflections of his voice and the