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barbarians were already at the gates. In August of A. D. 476 the place was taken by

storm. Orestes was seized and put to death.

Paulus, his brother, was also executed. The

boy Augustulus, too feeble a thing to excite

even the anger of contempt, was spared; and

he was led away to find a quiet retreat in

the villa of Lucullus, on the shore of Surrentum. He was followed by a gigantic specter,

the skeleton of a shadow tall and gaunt, whose

low-fallen jaw had once given out the word of

command to the nations from the banks of the

Tigris to the chalky cliffs of Britain, whose

eye-socket had once shot lightning into the

fierce visage of barbarism, and whose hanging

right hand had once been laid for centuries

with imperious pride upon the wealth and

culture of the world. It was the ghost of THE


colossal fabric planted of old time by the patrician fathers, strengthened and made great

amid the bloody struggles of the Republic,

transformed by the genius of Julius Caesar,

and disgraced and degraded by the licentiousness of the later Emperors, fell prostrate in

the dust and expired. On the broken statue

of Victory in the Forum a Gothic soldier sat

whetting his sword, and a Gaulish mercenary

for the sport of his companions thrust a barbarous spear-head into the nostril of the statue

of Jupiter Capitolinus. The god did not resent it.