There was about all the Romans a heroic tone peculiar to ancient life. Their virtues were great and noble, and these virtues made them great and noble. They possessed a natural majesty that was not put on and taken off at pleasure, as was that of certain eastern monarchs when they put on or took off their garments of Tyrian dye. It is hoped that this is not wholly lost from the world, although the sense of earthly vanity inculcated by Christianity may have swallowed it up in humility.
Herman Melville (1819–1891), U.S. author. "Statues in Rome" (1857-58), The Piazza Tales and Other Prose Pieces 1839-1860, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 9, eds. Harrison Hayford, Alma A. MacDougall, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1987).