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10. One of the houses which have been uncovered belonged to a statuary whose workshop is still full of the vestiges of his art. Another appears to have been inhabited by a surgeon whose profession is equally evident from the instruments discovered in his chamber. A large country-house near the gate undoubtedly belonged to a very wealthy man, and, in fact, would still invite inhabitants within its walls. Its finely decorated rooms are unusually spacious; and from its airy terraces one looks down into a pretty garden that now again has been planted with flowers. A large fish-pond stands in the centre of the garden.
11. A number of capacious wine vessels are to be seen here still leaning against the wall of the cellar, as the butler left them when he fetched up the last goblet of wine for his master. Had the inhabitants of Pompeii preserved their vessels with stoppers wine might still have been found in them, but, as it was, the stream of ashes of course forced out the wine. More than twenty human skeletons were found in this cellar, evidently those of fugitives who thought to save themselves here under ground, but who experienced a tenfold more cruel death than those who perished in the open air.-Compiled.
1. The shroud of years thrown back, thou dost revive,
Half-raised, half-buried, dead yet still alive!
So strange thy resurrection, it may seem
Less waking life than a distressful dream.
The city's din, the crowd's tumultuous roar,
From marble basements,-these, all these are mute! 3. Closed are her springs, unnumbered fathoms deep,
Her splendid domes are one dismantled heap,
-- Lyricai Gems.
THE LAST DAY OF POMPEII.
1. The fate of the Pompeians must have been dreadful. It was not a stream of fire which encompassed their abodes; they could then have sought refuge in flight. Neither did an earthquake swallow them up; sudden suffocation would then have spared them the pangs of a lingering death. A rain of ashes buried them alive By DEGREES.
2. Let us read Pliny's description of what happened.
“A darkness suddenly overspread the country; not like that of a moonless night, but like the darkness of a closed room in which the light is suddenly extinguished. Women screamed, children moaned, men wept. Here, children were anxiously calling for their parents, and there, parents were seeking their children, or husbands their wives; all recognised each other only by their cries.
« The former lamented their own fate and the latter that of those dearest to them. Many wished for death, from the fear of dying. Many called on the gods for assistance; others despaired of the existence of the gods and thought this the last eternal night of the world. Actual dangers were magnified by unreal terrors. The earth continued to shake, and men, half distracted, to reel about, exaggerating their own fears and those of others by terrifying predictions."
4. Such is the frightful but true picture which Pliny gives of the horrors of the inhabitants of the city, who, however, were far from the extremity of their misery. What must have been the feelings of the Pompeians when the roaring of the mountain and the quaking of the earth awaked them from their first sleep? Many attempted to escape the wrath of the gods, and seizing the most valuable things they could lay their hands upon in the darkness and confusion sought safety in flight.
5. In one street and in front of a house marked on its threshold with a friendly salutation to all visitors, seven skeletons were found. The first carried a lamp, and the rest had still between the bones of their fingers some article they were evidently eager to save. On a sudden, they had been overtaken by the storm which descended from heaven and were buried in the grave the ashes made for them.
6. Before a country-house that has been preserved was found a male skeleton, standing with a dish in his hand; and as he wore on his finger one of those rings which were allowed to be worn by Roman knights only, he is supposed to have been the master of the house who had opened the garden gate, with the intention of fleeing, when the shower overwhelmed him.
7. Several skeletons were discovered in the very posture in which they had breathed their last, without having been forced by the agonies of death to drop the things they carried in their hands. This fact has led to the conjecture that the thick mass of ashes must have come down all at once, in such immense quantities as instantly to cover them. It cannot otherwise be imagined how the fugitives could all have been fixed in their position as it were by a charm. Their fate was the less dreadful, that death suddenly converted them into motionless statues and thus was stripped of all the horrors with which the fears of the sufferers had no doubt clothed him in imagination.
8. But what must have been the condition of those who had taken refuge in the buildings and cellars! Buried in the thickest darkness they were secluded from everything but lingering torment, and who can paint to himself, without shuddering, dissolution slowly approaching amid all the agonies of body and of mind? The soul recoils from the contemplation of such images.—Kotzebue's Travels.
Pliny the younger was born probably in A.D. 61. He wrote a letter describing the eruption of Mount Vesuvius which buried Pompeii and Herculaneum in A.D. 79. The elder Pliny, his uncle, perished in the eruption.
FAITHFUL FRIEND AND FLATTERING FOE.
1. As it fell upon a day,
In the merry month of May,
2. She, poor bird, as all forlorn,
Leaned her breast against a thorn,
3. Ah, thought I, thou mourn'st in vain;
None takes pity on thy pain: