But as the Roman emperors were still considered as the generals and magistrates of the republic, their wives and mothers, although distinguished by the name of Augusta were never associated to their personal honors; and a female reign would have appeared an inexpiable prodigy in the eyes of those primitive Romans, who married without love, or loved without delicacy and respect.
'My God, sire! exclaimed Sir Richard, clasping his hands together, in impatience, 'of what great and inexpiable crime can your Majesty's ancestors have 'been guilty, that they have been punished by the infliction of judicial blindness on their whole generation! Come, my Lord , we must to our friends.
I see myself there, the wide thoroughfare filled from end to end with people gaily dressed as if for some high festival, all drawing aside to let the wretched pilgrim pass, staring at his fever- and famine-wasted figure, in its strange rags, with its strange burden. A new Ahasuerus, cursed by inexpiable crime, yet sustained by a great purpose.
He saw a name, and the images of deeds rose with it: he saw the mention of a deed, and he linked it with a name. There were stories of inexpiable crimes, but stories also of guilt that seemed successful. There were sanctuaries for swift-footed miscreants: baseness had its armour, and the weapons of justice sometimes broke against it. What then?
And this Doggie, who did not lack ordinary intelligence, realized. So he strove to think of other things. And the other things all focussed down upon his Doggie self. And he never knew what to make of his Doggie self at all. For he would curse the things that he once loved as being the cause of his inexpiable shame, and at the same time yearn for them with an agony of longing.
Then Athisl said: "If the mind and the valour of their sire were theirs, a bitter tempest would break upon me." Then he asked whether those men constantly spoke of the slaying of their father. Ket rejoined that it was idle to go on talking and talking about a thing that could not be softened by any remedy, and declared that it was no good to harp with constant vexation on an inexpiable ill.
Let us learn from them to be just and to distinguish that which we are bound to despise and loathe from that which we may pity, love and respect. Setting aside the unpardonable aggression and the inexpiable violation of treaties, this war, despite its insanity, has come near to being a bloody but magnificent proof of greatness, heroism and the spirit of sacrifice.
"I can understand no condition, my brother, a woman worthy of your esteem could impose, which should one moment weigh in the same scale against the inexpiable crime of self destruction. But, really, all this mystery so startles and confounds me, that I know not what to think what inference to draw."
For, even with his limited knowledge of the balance of interests in the capital, he must have seen that the act was inexpiable. His true policy, now as before, was not to cross swords with Rome, but merely to wring from her indifference a recognition of a purely national crime. His wits had failed him if he had ordered a deed which put indifference and recognition out of the question.
AHASVERUS. Are you not deceiving me? You, Prometheus? Was that not, then, a figment of the ancient imagination? PROMETHEUS. Look well at me; touch these hands. See whether I really exist. AHASVERUS. Then Moses lied to me. You are Prometheus, creator of the first men? PROMETHEUS. That was my crime. AHASVERUS. Yes, it was your crime, an artifice of hell; your crime was inexpiable.