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we shared its excellent table d'hote with an affable Hollander (der Fliegende we named him afterward, so constantly did he reappear upon our path) hobnobbing together in many languages, the sole strangers in the Grecian city.
The moon, that had sparkled upon Arethusa as we finished our evening pipes by her side, was still shining in the west when Fe. lice called us for an early start, and the sleepy guards smiled pityingly at the insanity of the restless Inglesi, as we rattled by their gateway, bound for the distant Epipolae.
Your penetrating mind, dear sir or madam, has by this time discerned one effect at least of the Syracusan air. Even in the dangerous Sophomore times, when this journey began, the quiet streets of Philadelphia were never outraged by the shouting of Grecian dithyrambs, nor were the ears of friends wont to be lacerated with an unusual number of classic allusions; but here the practiced nil-admirari-ism of years has melted in a single afternoon and bristling pedantry set in, whose very ecstacy has roused us to this sunrise start. Now of course you don't care a straw to know whether the so-called Euryale or the Belvedere was the key of the Epipolae, or whereabouts the Helorine Way crossed from the Plemmyrium, and kindred trifles. Certainly not. But did it occur to you that the ancestors of this mutton-chop I am breakfasting on used to browse on the hillsides where those lazy shepherds of Theocritus lay in the shade and bag-piped all day long? Nay, that perhaps they were the ones that Eurylochus stole at the Fiume di Nisi, just above here on the coast? Who was Eurylochus? Sir, I perceive that you are a vile Whig, a Philistine and an enemy of all true culture ; you will have the kindness to hand me that dish of honey from Hybla, you recollect the line about it in — My Russian was wiser and went willingly along over ground so redolent of history and myth, a hard morning's scramble upon huge ruined walls and half-filled fosses, ending with a voyage among the tufted spears of bamboo and papyrus tassels of the Anapus, to the fountain of Cyane. Now if it had not been for our little difference just now about the Epipolae, I would have told you a pretty story apropos of this same fountain, the intense blue of whose clear depths seemed to warrant the assertion of old travelers that it was impossible to fathom thein, but as it is, you must find it for yourself in Lemprierè.
Like that inebriate bird on still St. Mary's Lake, our boat floated double on the placid pool, while beneath large lotus-eating fish swung lazily about, and skurried away when I let down our stone water-jug with the tow rope for a sounding line, six fathoms clear before it rested on the gravel; the audacity of which proceeding appeared to shock the guides, who still profess to believe in the bottomless story
Half a mile across the marsh stands the Olympieum, or all that is left of it, two broken Dorick columns, which the somewhat unromantic British Admiralty has painted red, to serve as land marks for vessels entering the harbor. Once within the inclosure
the temple stood the statue of Olympic Zeus, whose golden robe, “too heavy in summer and too cold in winter," was carried off by that delightful Dionysius, most of whose freaks seein to have been perpetrated with a view to possible bon mots. A cheerful time his courtiers had on the watch for lumbering witticisms, with the prospect of a visit to the Orecchio before them in case of a failure to appreciate their excellence. One, however, decidedly floored the intolerable prig (isn't the story somewhere in Sanford and Merton, bundled up with the Grateful Turk and the Wonderful Cure of the Gout ?) Philoxenus his name was who declined to admire his master's verses and was sent below to meditate upon his lack of taste. After a week or so of recusancy he was brought up for another chance. Again Dionysius poured forth a batch of leaden hexameters amid the applause of the court, whereupon our friend quietly turned to his guards with the remark: “Take me back to the quarries." He was set at liberty.
It took at least a half hour in the cool depths of a wine cellar, over tall, fragrant glasses of Muscat, to recover from the effect of our morning's work in the broiling sun, and willingly would we have stayed longer, listening to the old merchant prattling away in the soft bastard Italian of the South, but Felice was inexorable. There was still to see the Museum and the Venus, some temples and—not quite so confidently—“Il Cattedrale." In vain did my poor friend plead in choicest Tuscan that we did not want any more antiquities, but were “amici della bella natura"; in vain did I add my protest, better understood, in our own more
forcible vernacular. He consented to let us off from the Cathedral, but Il Museo, the pride of his city- nevaire !
The amount of taste and industry displayed in the formation of these local collections throughout Italy is remarkable. From the magnificent treasury of antiquities at Naples, to have seen which is a liberal education, down to little Taormina, whose old custodian was quite touching in his devotion to the infinitesimal Museo and “il mio professore" at Palermo, they are alike distinguished by evidences of intelligent care.
That of Syracuse is rich in specimens of the pottery, for which the city was once famous, but its chief treasure is the Landolina Venus, a statue, the remoteness of whose position alone excuses the neglect with which it has been treated by critics.
Just risen from the sea, the goddess bends slightly forward in the conventional attitude of the Venus de Medici, her left hand drawing upward a thin web of drapery, which the wind blows strongly bark, and at her feet the dolphin emblem writhes. The marble is discolored and the head has been lost, but beauty still lingers in every line of her light form, clothing it with a soft voluptuous grace, which one looks for vainly in the bourgeoise queen of the Capitol, or the somewhat indiscreet young person at Naples.
Beside the Venus there are several colossal heads of the best period of Grecian art, and a figure of Æsculapius, together forming a collection of which Syracuse is justly proud.
The urbane director of the Museum, Signor Politi, furnished us with specimens of papyrus paper of his own manufacture, inscribed appropriately in Greek, and rescued us from further inflictions of Felice's, zeal by inviting us to his house, where we concluded the afternoon with a pleasant chat about the wonders of his town.
Again did the old Locanda open its capacious Sala di mangiare to us on our return, and this time we were joined at dinner by a party of Russians, who had wandered there, heaven knows how, for they seemed to have no special object in view, and were going to leave the next day. These northern barbarians have a most provoking habit of addressing you in your own language, and I was not at all surprised when one turned to me and in perfect English inquired whether I had been long in Syracuse ; but they by no means expected a return of the compliment, and were a good deal disconcerted when my friend somewliat hurriedly put them a question in their own querulous guttural tongue. I never could eliminate from him what had been the subject of their previous conversation, but fear they were engaging in that custom, which once obtained even in civilized countries, of making personal remarks. Another moonlight walk upon the sea-wall, where troops of boys in white, harbingers of the approaching carnival, were disporting themselves with sticks and bladders; another look from the house. top upon the fair Sicilian meadows in the morning sun, and my Syracusan trip is over, for the only train starts early, and the stormers of the Epipolae need a good long sleep after their labors.
Felice the Faithful was on hand almost at dawn and followed us to the station. I at first feared from this extreme assiduity hat, unlike poor Banquo, he had some speculation in his eyes, but it proved to be only a last office of friendly attention, and the poor fellow really looked dejected when the shrill “ Partenza !" was heard above the slamming of the carriage doors.
Old mariners, outward bound, as they lost sight of the shining shield of Minerva upon her stately temple there, threw into the sea an offering of ashes mingled with frankincense; but I, in the meagre romance of modern travel, had nothing to cast toward it except some cinders and a fragrant load of nicotine, nor had I time to knock from my pipe even that small tribute, ere we had rushed past a huge black promontory, and Syracuse was hidden from my sight.
J. C. FRALEY. THE MONTH.
The American who can read, with no sense of humiliation, the testimony taken by the Congressional Committee, in regard to the way in which Credit Mobilier stock was placed in Congress, is not to be envied. The curious apathy with which the matters is generally received, is largely due to the fact that the investigation takes place in the lull that follows the presidential struggle ; partly also to the fact that both parties are ashamed of the equivocal position in which trusted leaders are found. But one of these days we will waken up to the fact that the men upon whom we were disposed to lean, in our distrust of minor political lights, are many of them found to be unworthy of the public confidence. The next political campaign will break down many a shell of reputation that the present session has seen emptied of all valuable content.
Of course the postal laws are up for revision, the most notable proposal being to reduce the postage on letters to English rates. It would not be wise to do so, unless the free use of the mails by Members of Congress, and editors of county newspapers and of periodicals in general, be once for all abolished. At present Congress keeps up the former by tying it tightly to the latter. When the editors find that the abolition of the franking privilege means that they must pay postage on their exchanges, and especially when the editors of the country papers discover that their valuable sheets will no longer be carried free of postage each through their own county, those staunch advocates of reform and economy draw in their horns very rapidly. The clamor for no more franking with which Congress opened last year was suddenly hushed when the cleverly drawn bill for that purpose was published and had passed the House; nothing of an outcry has been heard since.
The Japanese in their new reformatory fervor are throwing out bold ideas. One of them proposes to get rid of their undeveloped, monosyllabic and agrammatical language, and adopt that of England and America, with such improvements as will suit it to Japan and the nineteenth century, such as phonetic spelling, and the regular conjugation of all its verbs. The proposal is not less curious than absurd, but it is an absurdity that is quite equaled by some notions on the subject that we often hear ventilated nearer home, such as the speculation that English is destined to become a world-wide language. Let us hope that a merciful Providence has better things in store for mankind, than uniformity of
language. The instinctive yearning after outward and formal unity which characterizes superficial minds, comes out in strange shapes.
BULWER's death deprives us of another great second-rate novellist, a painter of human surfaces rather than a revealer of human depths. His iater works, from the The Caxtons on, show a very wonderful increase of literary power in comparative old age, such as is hardly paralleled in any other mental history.
NAPOLEON's death is the event of the month, and has been the means of bringing out very curiously one of John Bull's best traits ofcharacter-his willingness to give aid and comfort to a man that is down, just because he is down. Had Napoleon III. died in the Tuileries, he would probably not have received half as many tokens of respect and regard from the English people, much as England owed to the sovereign who realized two English ideas of