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Ave Roma Immortalis, Vol. 1
Studies from the Chronicles of Rome

written by "Crawford, F. Marion (Francis Marion), 1854-1909"
..., their necks broken, their heads propped up by bits of masonry. When he finished the Quirinal palace he restored them and set them up, side by side, before the entrance, and when Pius the Sixth changed their position and turned them round, the ever conservative and ever discontented Roman people were disgusted by the change. On the pedestal of one of them are the words, 'Opus Phidiae,' 'the work of Phidias,' A punning placard was at once stuck upon the inscription with the legend, 'Opus Perfidiae Pii Sexti'—'the work of perfidy of Pius the Sixth.' The Quirinal palace cannot be said to have played a part in the history of Rome. Its existence is largely due to the common sense of Sixtus the Fifth, and to his love of good air. He was a shepherd by birth, and it is recorded that the first of his bitter disappointments[Pg 182] was that the farmer whom he served set him to feed the pigs because he could not learn how to drive sheep to pasture; a disgrace which ultimately made him run away, when he fell in with a monk whose face he liked. He informed the astonished father that he meant to follow him everywhere, 'to Hell, if he chose,'—which was a forcible if not a pious resolution,—and explained that the pigs would find their way home alone. Later, when he had quarrelled with all the monks in Naples, including his superiors, he came to Rome, and, being by that time very learned, he was employed to expound the 'Formalities' of Scotus to the 'Signor' Marcantonio Colonna, abbot of the Monastery of the Apostles; and there he resided as a guest for a long time till his brilliant pupil was himself master of the subject, as well as a firm friend of the quarrelsome monk; and in their intercourse the seeds were no doubt sown of that implacable hatred against the Orsini which, under the great and just provocation of a kinsman's murder, ended in the exile and temporary ruin of the Colonna's rivals. No doubt, also, the abbot and the mon...

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