看完了《哈德良回忆录》，整个周末见缝插针都在看。很久没看到这么好看的书了。当然其实是很久没看书了。很多书开了头没有看下去。这本回忆录却几乎是手不释卷一口气看完。文字好得不得了。“到处都是闪光的小句子”。让我对罗马的兴趣再度浓厚起来。以后有机会要慢慢写篇长一些的读后感。原来罗马我们最喜欢的建筑万神殿就是哈德良建的。哈德良从图拉真（Trajan)手里继承下来的罗马帝国是整个罗马史里版图最宏大的时刻。而在哈德良手中的二十年几乎都是和平时期。他为自己执政时铸造的钱币选的三个字是”Humanitas, Libertas, Felicitas” (Humanity, Liberty, Happiness 人道，自由，幸福）。
I had gone back for the basic form of the structure to primitive, fabled times of Rome, to the round temples of ancient Etruria. My intention had been that this sanctuary of All Gods should reproduce the likeness of the terrestrial globe and of the stellar sphere, that globe wherein are enclosed the seeds of eternal fire, and that hollow sphere containing all.
This temple, both open and mysteriously enclosed, was conceived as a solar quadrant. The hours would make their round on that caissoned ceiling, so carefully polished by Greet artisans; the disk of daylight would rest suspended there like a shield of gold; rain would form its clear pool on the pavement below; prayers would rise like smoke toward that void where we place the gods.
In turning the pages of a volume of Flaubert’s correspondence much read and heavily underscored by me about the year 1927 I came again upon this admirable sentence: “Just when the gods had ceased to be, and the Christ had not yet come, there was a unique moment in history, between Cicero and Marcus Aurelius, when man stood alone.” A great part of my life was going to be spent in trying to define, and then to portray, that man existing alone and yet closely bound with all being.
This Second Century appeals to me because it was the last century, for a very long period of time, in which men could think and express themselves with full freedom. As for us, we are perhaps already very far from such times as that.
In the worst hours of apathy and dejection Iwould go for solace to Hartford’s fine museum, seeking out a Canaletto painting of Rome, the Pantheon standing brown and gold against the blue sky of a late afternoon in summer; and each time I would come away from it comforted, and once again at peace.