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either in Herculaneum or Pompeii, are reckoned but in. different.

The elegance of form, with the admirable workmanship, of the ornamental furniture and domestic utensils, in silver and other metals; the variety and beauty of the lamps, tripods, and vases ; sufficiently testify, if there were no other proofs, the fertile imagination and exqui. site execution of the ancient artists. And, had their own poets and historians been quite silent concerning the Roman refinements in the art of cookery, and the luxury of their tables ; the prodigious variety of culinary instruments, the moulds for jellies, for confections, and pastry, which are collected in this museum, would afford a strong presumption that the great men of our own days have a nearer resemblance to those ancient conquerors of the world, than is generally imagined.

Many of the ancient manuscripts found at Herculane um have been carried to Madrid ; but a great number still remain at Purtici. Great pains have been bestowed, . and much ingenuity displayed, in separating and unrol. ling the sheets, without destroying the writing. This has succeeded in a certain degree; though, in spite of all the skill and attention of those who are employed in this very delicate work, the copiers are obliged to leave many blanks where the letters are obliterated. The manuscripts hitherto unrolled and copied, are in the Greek language, and not of a very important nature. As the unrolling those papers must take up a great deal of time, and requires infinite address, it is to be wished that his Neapolitan majesty would send one at least to every university in Europe, that the abilities of the most ingenious men of every country might be exercised on a subject so universally interesting. The method which should be found to succeed best, might be immediately made known, and ap, plied to the unfolding of the remaining manuscripts. The probability of recovering those works, whose loss the learn. ed have so long lamented, would by this means be great. ly increased,

Herculaneum and Pompeii were destroyed by the same eruption of Mount Vesuvius, about seventeen hundred years ago. The former was a town of much more magnificence than the other ; but it is infinitely more difficult to be cleared of the matter which covers it. Sir William Hamilton, in his accurate and judicious observations on Mount Vesuvius, asserts, that there are evident marks that the matter of six eruptions has taken its course over this devoted town, since the great explosion which involved it in the same fate with Pompeii. These different eruptions have all happened at considerable distances of time from each other. This appears by the layers of good soil which are found between them. But the matter which immediately covers the town, and with which the theatre, and all the houses hitherto examined, were found filled, is not lava, but a sort of soft stone, composed of pumice and ashes, intermixed with earth. This has saved the pictures, manuscripts, busts, utensils, and other antiquities, which have been recovered out of Herculaneum, from utter destruction. For if any of the six succeeding eruptions had happened previous to this, and the red-hot liquid lava, of which they consisted, had flowed into the open city, it would have filled every street, scorched up every combustible substance with intense heat, involving the houses, and all they contained, in one solid rock of lava, undistinguishable, and for ever inseparable, from it. The eruption, which buried the city in cinders, earth, and ashes, has in some measure preserved it from the more destructive effects of the fiery torrents which have overwhelmed it since.

When we consider that 'the intervals between those eruptions were sufficiently long to allow a soil to be formed upon the hardened lava of each ; that a new city has been actually built on the lava of the last eruption ; and that the ancient city is from seventy to one hundred feet below the present surface of the earth; we must acknowledge it more surprising that any, than that so few, of its ornaments have been recovered. At the beginning of the




present century, any body would have imagined that the busts, statues, and pictures of Herculaneum had not a much better chance, than the persons they represent, of appearing again, within a few years, upon the surface of this globe.

The case is different with regard to Pompeii. Though it was not discovered till about twenty-five years ago, which is forty years almost after the discovery of Herculaneum, yet the probability was greatly in favour of its being discovered sooner, for Pompeii has felt the effects of a single eruption only; it is not buried above twelve feet below the surface of the ground, and the earth, ashes, cinders, and pumice-stones, with which it is covered, are so light, and so little tenacious, that they might be removed with no great difficulty. If the attention of his Neapolitan majesty were not engrossed with more important concerns, he might have the whole town uncovered in a very short space of time; half the lazzaroni of Naples could complete the business in one year. Hitherto only one street and a few detached buildings are cleared ; the street is well paved with the same kind of stone of which the ancient roads are made; narrow causeways are raised a foot and an half on each side for the conveniency of foot passengers. The street itself, to my recollection, is not so broad as the narrowest part of the Strand, and is supposed to have been inhabited by tradespeople. The traces of wheels of carriages are to be seen on the pavement; the distance between the traces is less than that between the wheels of a modern post-chaise. I remarked this the more as, on my first viewing the street, I doubted whether there was room for two modern coaches to pass each other. I plainly saw there was sufficient room for two of the ancient chariots, whose wheels' were of no greater distance than between the traces on the pavement. The houses are small, and in a very different style from the modern Italian houses; for the former gave an idea of neatness and.conveniency. The stucco on the walls is hard

as marble, smooth and beautiful. Some of the rooms are ornamented with paintings, mostly single figures, repre, senting some animal ; they are tolerably well executed, and on a little water being thrown on them, the colours appear surprisingly fresh.

Most of the houses are built on the same plan, and have one small room from the passage, which is conjec. tured to have been the shop, with a window to the street, and a place which seems to have been contrived for shewing the goods to the greatest advantage. The nature of the traffic carried on at one particular house, is indicated by a figure in alto relievo of a very expressive kind, immediately above the door,

It is to be wished they would cover one of the best houses with a roof, as nearly resembling that which originally belonged to it as they could imagine, with a complete assortment of the antique furniture of the kitchen and each particular room.

Such a house fitted


with accuracy and judgment, with all its utensils and ornaments properly arranged, would be an object of universal curiosity, and would swell the heart of the antiquarian with veneration and delight. Only imagine, my dear sir, what those gentlemen must feel, when they see the venerable habitations of the ancients in their present mournful condition, neglected, despised, abandoned to the peltings of rain, and all the injuries of the weather! those precious walls, which were it possible to transport them to the various countries of the world, would be bought with avidity, and placed in the gardens of princes ! How must the bosoms of all true virtuosos glow with indignation, when they behold the mansions of the ancient Romans stripped of their ornaments, dishonoured, and exposed, like a parcel of ragged galley slaves, in the most indecent manner, with hardly any covering to their nakedness; while a little paltry brick house, coming the Lord knows how, from a country which men of taste have always depised, has been received with hospitality, dressed in a fine coat of the richest marble, adorned with

jewels and precious stones, and treated with every mark of honourable distinction.

In another part of the town of Pompeii, there is a rectangular building, with a colonade towards the court, something in the style of the Royal Exchange at London, but smaller. This has every appearance of a barrack and guard-room ; the pillars are of brick, covered with shining stucco, elegantly fluted ; the scrawlings and drawings still visible on the walls, are such as we might naturally expect on the walls of a guard-room, where sol. diers are the designers, and swords the engraving tools. They consist of gladiators fighting, some with each other, some with wild beasts; the games of the circus, as chariot races, wrestling, and the like; a few figures in caricatura, designed probably by some of the soldiers, in ridicule of their companions, or perhaps of their officers; and there are abundance of names inscribed on various parts of the wall, according to the universal custom of the humblest can. didates for fame in all ages and countries. It may be safely asserted, that none of those who have endeavoured to transmit their names to posterity in this manner, have succeeded so well as the soldiers of the garrison of Pompeii.

At a considerable distance from the barrack, is a building, known by the inscription upon it, for a temple of the goddess Isis; there is nothing very magnificent in its appearance; the pillars are of brick stuccoed like those of the guard-room. The best paintings hitherto found at Pompeii are those of this temple; they have been cut out of the walls and removed to Portici. It was absolutely necessary to do this with the pictures at Hercula. neum, because there they could not be seen without the help of torches; but here, where they could be seen by the light of the sun, they would, in


humble opinion, have appeared to more advantage, and have had a better effect in the identical situation in which they were placed by the ancient artist. A few still remain, particularly one, which is considered by travellers as a great curiosity; it is a small view of a villa, with the gardens belonging to it.



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