Last Days of Pompeii eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 565 pages of information about Last Days of Pompeii.

It is not without interest to observe in those remote times, and under a social system so widely different from the modern, the same small causes that ruffle and interrupt the ‘course of love’, which operate so commonly at this day—­the same inventive jealousy, the same cunning slander, the same crafty and fabricated retailings of petty gossip, which so often now suffice to break the ties of the truest love, and counteract the tenor of circumstances most apparently propitious.  When the bark sails on over the smoothest wave, the fable tells us of the diminutive fish that can cling to the keel and arrest its progress:  so is it ever with the great passions of mankind; and we should paint life but ill if, even in times the most prodigal of romance, and of the romance of which we most largely avail ourselves, we did not also describe the mechanism of those trivial and household springs of mischief which we see every day at work in our chambers and at our hearths.  It is in these, the lesser intrigues of life, that we mostly find ourselves at home with the past.

Most cunningly had the Egyptian appealed to Ione’s ruling foible—­most dexterously had he applied the poisoned dart to her pride.  He fancied he had arrested what he hoped, from the shortness of the time she had known Glaucus, was, at most, but an incipient fancy; and hastening to change the subject, he now led her to talk of her brother.  Their conversation did not last long.  He left her, resolved not again to trust so much to absence, but to visit—­to watch her—­every day.

No sooner had his shadow glided from her presence, than woman’s pride—­her sex’s dissimulation—­deserted his intended victim, and the haughty Ione burst into passionate tears.

Chapter VII

The gay life of the Pompeian lounger.  A miniature likeness of the Roman baths.

When Glaucus left Ione, he felt as if he trod upon air.  In the interview with which he had just been blessed, he had for the first time gathered from her distinctly that his love was not unwelcome to, and would not be unrewarded by, her.  This hope filled him with a rapture for which earth and heaven seemed too narrow to afford a vent.  Unconscious of the sudden enemy he had left behind, and forgetting not only his taunts but his very existence, Glaucus passed through the gay streets, repeating to himself, in the wantonness of joy, the music of the soft air to which Ione had listened with such intentness; and now he entered the Street of Fortune, with its raised footpath—­its houses painted without, and the open doors admitting the view of the glowing frescoes within.  Each end of the street was adorned with a triumphal arch:  and as Glaucus now came before the Temple of Fortune, the jutting portico of that beautiful fane (which is supposed to have been built

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Last Days of Pompeii from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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