art and nature under an italian sky

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Purchase of this book includes free trial access to where you can read more than a million books for free. This is an OCR edition with typos. Excerpt from book: VISIT TO POMPEII. Bright morning gave promise of a favourable day for our projected visit to Pompeii. So eagerly did I anticipate this pleasure, that scarcely with patience could I sit in the railway carriage which—with a strange association of the present with the past—conveyed us thither. In my earliest recollections the tragic fate of Pompeii was a subject of deepest interest to my imagination, and many a lingering wish have I had to behold it for myself. At length we stopped at—(how strangely it sounds !)—the Pompeii Station ; but on entering a gate we found a guide who told us we were fully a mile and a half from the ruins. The day was broiling, the road dusty, but I could feel nothing, save that every step brought us nearer. Turning off from the high road, and passing through vineyards and cotton-fields, 'we came in sight of the enormous heaps of earth and ashes thrown out by the excavators. Winding by the side of these for a little way we reached a sudden turn, and walking on a few yards, an arched gateway stood before us. It was the " Gate of Herculaneum "—the entrance to the" Street of the Tombs !" We looked on Pompeii, the City of the Dead! After standing for a few moments to realize the strange new ideas that crowded on the mind, we followed our guide first into the house of Diomede, the villa that was earliest disentombed at Pompeii, between 1771 and 1776. The rooms are just as they were originally, with paintings and mosaics in the principal apartments. The garden is surrounded by a colonnade of Corinthian pillars. At the gate the skeleton of Diomede was found, with a key in one hand and golden ornaments and coins in the other. In the subterranean corridors used as cellars, seventeen skeletons were discovered ; one of them, supposed from the number of jewels ...
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