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or less impregnated with earth and cinders. This extraordinary phenomenon excited my uncle's philosophical curiosity to take a nearer view of it. He ordered a light vessel to be got ready, and gave me the liberty, if I thought proper, to attend him. I rather chose to continue my studies, for, as it happened, he had given me an employment of that kind. As he was coming out of the house he received a note from Rectina, the wife of Bassus, who was in the utmost alarm at the imminent danger which threatened her; for, her villa being situated at the foot of Mount Vesuvius, there was no way to escape but by sea; she earnestly entreated him, therefore, to come to her assistance. He accordingly changed his first design, and what he began with a philosophical, he pursued with an heroical, turn of mind. He ordered the galleys to put to sea, and went himself on board with an intention of assisting not only Rectina but several others, for the villas stand extremely thick upon that beautiful coast. When hastening to the place whence others fled with the utmost terror, he steered his direct course to the point of danger, and with so much calmness and presence of mind as to be able to make and dictate his observations upon the motion and figure of that dreadful scene. He was now so nigh the mountain that the cinders, which grew thicker and hotter the nearer he approached, fell into the ships, together with pumicestones and pieces of burning rock; they were likewise in danger not only of being aground by the sudden retreat of the sea, but also from the vast fragments which rolled down from the mountain and obstructed all the shore. Here he stopped to consider whether he should return back again, to which the pilot advising him, "Fortune," said he, “befriends the brave; carry me to Pomponianus." Pomponianus was then at Stabiæ, separated by a gulf which the sea, after several insensible windings, forms upon that shore. He had already sent his baggage on board; for though he was not at that time in actual danger, yet being within the view of it, and indeed extremely near, if it should in the least increase, he was determined to put to sea as soon as the wind should change. It was favourable, however, for carrying my uncle to Pomponianus, whom he found in the greatest consternation: he embraced him with tenderness, encouraging and exhorting him to keep up his spirits, and, the more to dissipate his fears, he ordered, with an air of unconcern, the baths to be got ready; when, after having bathed, he sat down to supper with great cheerfulness, or at least (what is equally heroic) with all the appearance of it. In the meanwhile the eruption from Mount Vesuvius flamed out in several places with much violence, which the darkness of the night contributed to render still more visible and dreadful. But my uncle, in order to soothe the apprehensions of his friend, assured him it was only the burning of the villages which the country people had abandoned to the flames; after this he retired to rest, and it is most certain he was so little discomposed as to fall into a deep sleep; for, being pretty fat and breathing hard, those who attended without actually heard him snore. The court which led to his apartment being now
almost filled with stones and ashes, if he had continued there any time longer it would have been impossible for him to have made his way out; it was thought proper, therefore, to awaken him. He got up, and went to Pomponianus and the rest of his company, who were not unconcerned enough to think of going to bed. They consulted together whether it would be most prudent to trust to the houses, which now shook from side to side with frequent and violent concussions; or fly to the open fields, where the calcined stones and cinders, though light indeed, yet fell in large showers, and threatened destruction. In this distress they resolved for the fields as the less dangerous situation of the two; a resolution which, while the rest of the company were hurried into it by their fears, my uncle embraced upon cool and deliberate consideration. They went out then, having pillows tied upon their heads with napkins; and this was their whole defence against the storm of stones that fell around them. Though it was now day everywhere else, with them it was darker than the most obscure night, excepting only what light proceeded from the fire and flames. They thought proper to go down farther upon the shore to observe if they might safely put out to sea, but they found the waves still run extremely high and boisterous. There my uncle, having drunk a draught or two of cold water, threw himself down upon a cloth which was spread for him, when immediately the flames and a strong smell of sulphur, which was the forerunner of them, dispersed the rest of the company, and obliged him to rise. He raised himself up with the assistance of two of his servants, and instantly fell down dead; suffocated, as I conjecture, by some gross and noxious vapour, having always had weak lungs, and frequently subjected to a difficulty of breathing. As soon as it was light again, which was not till the third day after this melancholy accident, his body was found entire, and without any marks of violence upon it, exactly in the same posture that he fell, and looking more like a man asleep than dead. During all this time my mother and I, who were at MisenumBut as this has no connexion with your history, so your inquiry went no farther than concerning my uncle's death; with that, therefore, I will put an end to my letter: suffer me only to add, that I have faithfully related to you what I was either an eyewitness of myself or received immediately after the accident happened, and before there was time to vary the truth. You will choose out of this narrative such circumstances as shall be most suitable to your purpose; for there is great difference between what is proper for a letter and a history, between writing to a friend and writing to the public.Farewell.
Eba and Topsy:
MRS. HARRIETT BEECHER STOW. THIS world-known authoress needs no panegyric from our pen. Her success, both as an advocate of humanity, and as a witty and pointed writer of fiction, must be known to every reader of these volumes.
'O Topsy, poor child, I love you!" said Eva, with a sudden burst of feeling, and laying her little thin, white hand on Topsy's shoulder, "I love you, because you haven't had any father, or mother, or friends-because you've been a poor, abused child! I love you, and I want you to be good. I am very unwell, Topsy, and I think I shan't live a great while; and it really grieves me to have you be so naughty. I wish you would try to be good for my sake; it's only a little while I shall be with you."
The round, keen eyes of the black child were overcast with tears; large, bright drops rolled heavily down, one by one, and fell on the little white hand. Yes, in that moment a ray of real belief, a ray of heavenly love, had penetrated the darkness of her heathen soul! She laid her head down between her knees, and wept and sobbed; while the beautiful child, bending over her, looked like the picture of some bright angel stooping to reclaim a sinner.
Scene from the Prometheus Chained.*
ÆSCHYLUS, son of Euphorion, was born at Eleusis, B.C. 525. He is said to have written from seventy to ninety dramas, and is universally renowned as the most sublime poet of antiquity, after Homer.
Speak now, and let us know the whole offence
To tell or not to tell
Irks me the same; which way I turn is pain.
As things then were, leagued with my mother Themis,
* Prometheus, the son of Iapetus and Clymene, incurred the wrath of Zeus (Jupiter), by his conduct in teaching men the various arts of life, especially the use of fire. For this he was doomed to be chained in a ravine on Mount Caucasus, and, some say, with a vulture perpetually gnawing his liver (see "Classical Dictionary.") The chorus in the present play (the noblest poem of Æschylus extant) are condoling with Prometheus on his sufferings, and he relates the manner in which he had served Zeus, and the ingratitude with which he had been treated. The translation is from the spirited pen of Mr. Blackie.
† Saturn. It must not, however, be supposed that the Greek deities were precisely the same with the Latin ones, whose names are usually given as equivalents. In fact, the two mythologies are entirely distinct.
With all his troop of friends. Such was the kindness
Thwarted his will; and but for my strong aid,
All men that breathe. Such were my crimes; these pains
Were purchased thus; and mercy's now denied
An iron-heart were his, and flinty hard,
Certes no sight am I for friends to look on.
Was this thy sole offence?
I taught weak mortals Not to foresee harm, and forestall the Fates.