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level sand, and soon sat down to breathe, and laugh, at the foot of the rocks where our horses had been left. Nor was the necessity of taking time to breathe, all we had to consider. The sand was so exceedingly sharp, and the exertion had been so violent, that our boots and shoes were nearly cut in pieces; and when we took them off, to empty out the sharp black ashes with which they were filled, they presented a curious spectacle, some with half the sole turned back, others with toes peeping out, and altogether not unlike such as are frequently seen in heaps of rubbish by the wayside.
With the last clearing away of the mists from the summit of the mountain, the sky had been left without a cloud; and as we retraced our difficult path along the beds of lava, the setting sun, without a cloud to hide its beauty, was glowing in the west directly before
There was not a breath of wind, and from that far height we could see a vast expanse of ocean, with here and there a little vessel floating on its surface, where all was so still and so glowing in the golden sunlight, that the ships and little boats, with their white sails spread, looked as if they were sailing on a sea of air, and sometimes as if suspended between earth and heaven.
All that beautiful coast, too, with its promontories, bays, and islands, lay spread out before us, each object now much more distinct than in the morning; and all, even the tender spring green of the wide lands which
lay beneath us on the opposite side to the sea, all tinged with the same hues as the western sky, and reflecting every variety of colour from the deepest purple to the liveliest yellow.
An object of peculiar interest in this varied scene, the thickly-peopled city of Naples, rose to our right, as if emerging from the soft and silvery ocean; and such was the clearness of the atmosphere, that we could distinguish its palaces, its churches, and its terraces of houses, with the ancient Castle of St. Elmo rising in majestic height far above them all. We could distinguish, too, the different cemeteries, already green with their weeping willows, which stretch along a line of adjoining hills, and all the hanging gardens, and golden orange groves, and massive pines rearing their venerable heads above every other tree. Then tracing the borders of the sea by the blue line which marked its peaceful shore, we saw beneath us again the busy town of Portici, and, onward still towards Pompeii, villages and houses thickly strewn, and orange groves and gardens still, in rich abundance; until, more distant, and gleaming out as it were from the sides of the range of mountains which form the opposite boundary of the beautiful bay, Castel a Mare and Sorento were distinctly seen, the latter perched upon its rocky and almost perpendicular cliffs, overhanging the loveliest and bluest waters of the Mediterranean.
All these our eyes again and again wandered over, and up the purple mountains whose peaks were white with snow; until gradually soft twilight fell upon the scene, and before we had retraced the last portion of our rocky pathway, the sun had sunk below the horizon; while we, tired with our day's excursion, and almost exhausted with enjoyment, returned to Naples, to enjoy the refreshment of a night of rest, before visiting Pompeii, as we had planned for the following day.
Aunt Emily's visit was sure to come
When fruit was mellow,
And grain was yellow,
Aunt Emily's visit-Oh dear! what a fuss!
Such baking, and brewing,
And steaming, and stewing,
For days beforehand we spoke and thought
Such shaping, and trimming,
And tasting, and skimming,