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214

(1887) [MARC] Author: Viktor Rydberg Translator: Alfred Corning Clark With: Hans Anton Westesson Lindehn
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214 ROMAN DAYS.
which a zealous man of science, Palmieri, follows every
movement within the passionate breast of Vesuvius.
A little below the observatory, there is an osteria,
once a hermitage. The friendly host is pleased to set
before weary visitors a red wine, which he calls lacryinm
Christi, but which commonly has a strange likeness, as
far as taste goes, to the juice of Ischia’s or Marsala’s grape.
But if he suspect the traveller to be a judge of wine, it
may also happen that with many cunning chuckles, he
will bring out a wine which has actually grown upon
Somma, and is the real lacrymcB^ to be known by its full,
rich color and fine fragrance.
Here stood, in Paul’s time, a peasant’s hut. Its
owner, an old man with silver hair, when he saw the
stranger, stopped his work with the vines, and came for-
ward to meet him. Paul accepted his invitation to rest
under his roof and refresh himself at his board. The
fruits the daughter of the house set forth, were juicy, and
the wine, beyond measure pleasant to the taste. Paul
praised it, as a good gift, and the host said :
" Its origin,
too, is of the strangest." And he told the following
story of it.
One day, about thirty years before, he had seen just
on the spot where late he found his guest, an unknown
youth, with golden locks and brow white as a lily
;
clothed as a Hebrew, but beautiful as the son of a god,
and not unlike Dionysus. The youth looked out overland
and shores and sea, and said this region was a bit of the
glory of paradise, of that splendor of the true Olympus,
that had fallen to earth during the struggle, in the morn-
ing of time, between powers of good and evil Titans.
And he wept at thought of the suffering and sin with

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