Frederick Douglass Diary - page 21 of 72
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Jan 21. Another bright day. Cool and bracing and the blue sky answered well stereotyped descriptions. The time was favorable for viewing the vast assemblage of shattered ruins spread out before us in the Great Roman Forum, the Forum of Trajan, and other features of the ancient greatness of Rome. We did not view these alone. Men and women were there perhaps, from each quarter of the globe, seated or standing in the sunlight with pencils, pens and note books in their hands, noticing the fallen columns, broken tablets over which skillful artificers thought and wrought long before the Babe of Bethlehem was born. I have seen nothing more impressive and solemn. Nothing that tells so eloquently the story that all who live must die and at last - not only for man but for all his best endeavors it is dust to dust ashes to ashes. Marble, granite in whatever vastness, shape, hardness, or position, must yield to the deft touch of time. Yet how grandly and persistently have these old tablets marble blocks resisted. How nobly have they continued to bear testimony to the energy, the ambition, and the greatness of the people who two thousand years