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There is one house or villa without the walls, on a much larger scale than any of the others. In a large cellar, or vaulted gallery belonging to this house, there are a number of amphoræ, or earthen vessels, arranged along the walls; most of them filled with a kind of red substance, supposed to have been wine. This cellar is sunk about two-thirds below the surface of the ground, and is lighted by small narrow windows. I have called it gal. lery, because it is about twelve feet in width, and is the whole length of two adjoining sides of the square which the villa forms. It was used not only as a repository for wine, but also as a cool retreat for the family during excessive hot weather. Some of this unfortunate family sought shelter in this place from the destructive shower which overwhelmed the town. Eight skeletons, four being those of children, were found here ; where they must have met a more cruel and lingering death, than that which they shunned. In one room, the body of a man was found, with an axe in the hand; it is probable he had been endeavouring to cut a passage into the open air;
; he had broken and pierced the wall, but had expired before he could clear away the surrounding rubbish. Few, skeletons were found in the streets, but a considerable number in the houses. Before the decisive shower fell, which smothered the inhabitants of this ill-fated city, perhaps such quantities of ashes and cinders were occasionally falling, as frightened, and obliged them to keep within doors.
It is impossible to view those skeletons, and reflect on this dreadful catastrophe, without horror and compassion. We cannot think of the inhabitants of a whole town bea ing destroyed at once, without imagining that their fate has been uncommonly severe. But are not the inhabit. ants of all the towns then existing, of whom we think without any emotion of pity, as completely dead as those of Pompeii ? And could we take them one by one, and consider the nature of their deaths, and the circumstances attending that of each individual ; some destroyed by
painful bodily diseases, some by the torture of the executioner, some bowed to the grave by the weight of accumulated sorrow, and the slow anguish of a broken heart, after having suffered the pangs of dissolution, over and over again, in the death of those they loved, after having beheld the dying agonies of their children ; could all this, I say, be appraised, calculated, and compared, the balance of suffering might not be found with the inhabitants of Pompeii, but rather with those of the contemporary cities, who, perhaps at that time, as we do now, lamented its severe fate.
Naples. As I sauntered along the Strada Nuova lately, I perceived a groupe of people listening, with much attention, to a person who harangued them in a raised, solemn voice, and with great gesticulation. I immediately made one of the auditory, which increased every moment; men, women, and children, bringing seats from the neighbouring houses, on which they placed themselves around the oraa tor.
He repeated stanzas from Ariosto, in a pompous, recitativo cadence, peculiar to the natives of Italy; and he had a book in his hand, to assist his memory when it failed. He made occasional commentaries in prose, by way of bringing the poet's expression nearer to the level of his hearers capacities. His cloak hung loose from one shoulder; his right arm was disengaged, for the purposes of oratory. Sometimes he waved it with a slow, smooth motion, which accorded with the cadence of the verses; sometimes he pressed it to his breast, to give energy to the pathetic sentiments of the poet. Now he gathered the hanging folds of the right side of his cloak, and held them gracefully up, in imitation of a Roman senator; and anon he swung them across his left shoulder, like a citizen of Naples. He humoured the stanza by his voice, which he could modulate to the key of any passion, from the boisterous bursts of rage, to the soft notes of pity or love. But, when he came to describe the exploits of Oro lando, he trusted neither to the powers of his own voice, nor the poet's genius; but, throwing off his cloak, and grasping his cane, he assumed the warlike attitude and stern countenance of that hero; representing, by the most animated action, how he drove his spear through the bodies of six of his enemies at once; the point at the same time killing a seventh, who would also have remained transfixed with his companions, if the spear could have held more than six men of an ordinary size upon it at a time.
Il Cavalier d'Anglante ove pui spesse
Ferito si che di quel colpo muore. This stanza our declaimer had no occasion to comment upon, as Ariosto has thought fit to illustrate it in a manner which scemed highly to the taste of this audience. For, in the verse immediately following, Orlando is compared to a man killing frogs in marshy ground, with a bow and arrow made for that purpose ; an amusement very common in Italy, and still more so in France.
Non altrimente nell' estrema arena
• The knight of Anglant now has couch'd his spear,
Where closely press'd the men at arms appear ;
prone he tumbles lifeless to the ground. Hoolk | Thus, by some standing pool or marshy place,
We see an archer slay the croaking race
I must however do this audience the justice to acknowledge, that they seemed to feel the pathetic and sublime; as well as the ludicrous, parts of the ancient bard.
This practice of rehearsing the verses of Ariosto, Tasso, and other poets, in the street, I have not observed in any other town of Italy; and I am told it is less commoni here than it was formerly. I remember, indeed, at Venice, to have frequently seen mountebanks, who gained their livelihood by amusing the populace at St. Mark's Place, with wonderful and romantic stories in prose. ' Listen, gentlemen,' said one of them : • let me crave your attention, ye beautiful and virtuous ladies; I have something equally affecting and wonderful to tell you ; a strange and stupendous adventure, which happened to a gallant knight.'-Perceiving that this did not sufficiently interest the hearers, he exalted his voice, calling out that his knight was uno Cavalliero Cristiano. The audience seemed still a little fluctuating. He raised his voice a note higher, telling them that this Christian knight was one of their own victorious countrymen, 6 un'Eroe Ves neziano.' This fixed them; and he proceeded to relate how the knight, going to join the Christian army, which was on its march to recover the Sepulchre of Christ from the hands of the infidels, lost his way in a vast wood, and wandered at length to a castle, in which a lady of transcendent beauty was kept prisoner by a gigantic Saracen, who, having failed in all his endeavours to gain the heart of this peerless damsel; resolved to gratify his passion by force, and had actually begun the horrid attempt, when the shrieks of this chaste inaiden reached the ears of the Venetian hero ; who, ever ready to relieve virgins in distress, rushed into the apartment from whence the cries issued. The brutal ravisher, alarmed at the noise, quits the struggling lady, at the very instant when her strength began to fail ; draws his flaming sword ; and a dreadful combat begins between him and the Christian knight, who performs miracles of courage and address in resisting the blows of this mighty giant; till, his foot unfortunate
ly slipping in the blood which flowed on the pavement, he fell at the feet of the Saracen ; who, immediately seizing the advantage which chance gave him, raised his sword with all his might, and Here the orator's hat flew to the ground, open to receive the contributions of the listeners; and he continued repeating, 'raised his sword over the head of the Christian knight'-raised his bloody, murderous brand, to destroy your noble, valiant countryman.'-But he proceeded no farther in his narrative, till all who seemed interested in it had thrown something into the hat. He then pocketed the money with great gravity, and went on to inform them, that, at this critical moment, the lady, seeing the danger which threatened her deliverer, redoubled her prayers to the blessed Mary, who, a virgin herself, is peculiarly attentive and propitious to the prayers of virgins. Just as the Saracen's sword was descending on the head of the Venetian, a large bee flew, quick as thought, in at the window, stung the former very smartly on the left temple, diverted the blow, and gave the Christian knight time to recover himself. The fight then recommenced with fresh fury; but, after the Virgin Mary had taken such a decided part you may believe it was no match. The infidel soon fell dead at the feet of the believer. But who do you think this beauteous maiden was, on whose account the combat had begun ? Why no other than the sister of the Venetian hero.—This young lady had been stolen from her, father's house, while she was yet a child, by an Armenian merchant, who dealt in no other goods than women, He concealed the child till he found means to carry her to Egypt; where he kept her in bondage, with other young girls, till the age of fifteen, and then sold her to the Sa
I do not exactly remember whether the recognition between the brother and sister was made out by means of a mole on the young lady's neck, or by a bracelet on her arm, which, with some other of her mother's jewels, happened to be in lier pocket when she was stolen; but, in whatever manner this came about, there