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(1887) [MARC] Author: Viktor Rydberg Translator: Alfred Corning Clark With: Hans Anton Westesson Lindehn
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ROMAN TRA DITIONS OF PE TER AND PA UL. 2 1
3
pleasure, he left behind him—and went up towards Ve-
suvius.
The mountain did not look, then, as it does now. The
highest of its summits, now encompassed by volcanic
clouds and threatening all around with destruction, was
then not there. Not a sign foreboded that fire was at
work within. No chronicle had foretold an eruption.
Grecian joy in existence, and Roman luxury, held their
revels in security, in the woods and pleasure-gardens that
clothed the declivities up to the very height of the plain
of Somma, without the least anxiety about the fact,
that this ashen waste, with its murky gaps and flame-
gnawed blocks of stone, disclosed that of which the an-
nals had said nothing : they lived and sported on the
surface of a mountain of fire.
There wandered Paul now, laying aside all thoughts
of the fate that awaited him in Rome. The road led him
farther and farther up. And now he came to a spot
where the magic beauty of the scene held him enchained.
He looked out over Parthenope, lying beneath, embedded
in woods of laurel, cypress, plane and olive, over the
shores strewn with cities of shining white, the purple
isles, the boundless sea. He was glad in the knowledge
that the same sea had once glassed its sunny shores in
the gentlest of all eyes, mirrors of the purest and most
innocent soul that ever came down to our earth ; and
with folded hands he whispered :
" God’s wonderful nature is seen in His works—in the
creation of the world !
’’
Just above the spot where, according to the tradi-
tion, Paul stopped, captivated by the surpassing beauty
of this region, is situated in our time the observatory, in

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