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on his journey to vifit Mount Etna, and the rest of the wonders that lie towards the fouth of Italy. Kircher is confidered, by fcholars, as one of the greatest prodigies of learning.


Having hired a boat, in company with four more, (two triars of the order of St. Francis, and two feculars,) we launched from the harbour of Meffina, in Sicily; and arrived the fame day, at the promontory of Pelorus Our destination was for the city of Euphemia, in Calabria ; where we had fome business to tranfact; and where we defigned to tarry for fome time, However, Providence feemed willing to crofs our defign; for we were obliged to continue three days at Pelorus on account of the weather; and though we often put out to fea, yet we were as often driven back. At length, wearied with the delay, we refolved to profecute our voyage; and, although the sea appeared to be uncommonly agitated, we ventured forward. The gulf of Charybdis, which we approached, seemed whirled round in fuch a manner, as to form a vaft hollow, verging to a point in the centre. Proceeding onward, and turning my eyes to Etna, I faw it caft forth large volumes of smoke, of mountainous fizes, which entirely covered the island, and blotted out the very fhores from my view. This, together with the dreadful noife, and the fulphurous ftenchwhich was ftrongly perceived, filled me with apprehenfions, that fome more dreadful calamity was impending. The sea itself feemed to wear a very unufual appearance; they who have seen a lake, in a violent shower of rain, covered all over with bubbles, will conceive fome idea of its agitations. My furprife was ftill increafed by the calniness and ferenity of the weather; not a breeze, not a cloud, which might be fuppofed to put all nature thus into motion. I therefore warned my companions, that an earthquake was approaching; and, after fome time making for the fhore with all poffible diligence, we landed at Tropæa, happy and thankful for having escaped the threatening dangers of the sea.

"But our triumphs at land were of short duration ; for we had scarcely arrived at the Jefuit's College, in that city, when our ears were stunned with a horrid found, refembling that of an infinite number of chariots, driven fiercely forward; the wheels rattling, and the thongs cracking. Soon after this, a moft dreadful earthquake enfued; to that the whole tract upon which we stood feemed to vibrate, as it

we were in the fcale of a balance, that continued wavering. This motion, however, foon grew more violent; and being no longer able to keep my legs, I was thrown proftrate upon the ground. In the mean time, the univerfal ruin round me redoubled my amazement. The crash of falling houfes, the tottering of towers, and the groans of the dying, all contributed to increafe my terror and defpair. On every fide of me, I saw nothing but a scene of ruin; and danger threatening wherever I fhould fly. I recommended myself to God, as my laft great refuge. At that hour, O how vain was every fublunary happinefs! Wealth, honour, empire, wisdom, all mere ufelefs founds, and as empty as the bubbles of the deep! Just standing on the threshold of eternity, nothing but God was my pleasure; and the nearer I approached, I only loved him the more. After fome time, however, finding that I remained unhurt, amidst the general concuffion, 1 refolved to venture for safety; and, running as falt as I could, I reached the fhore, but almoft terrified out of my reason. I did not fearch long here, till I found the boat in which I had landed; and my companions also, whofe terrors were even greater than mine. Our meeting was not of that kind, where every one is defirous of telling his own happy escape; it was all filence, and a gloomy dread of impending terrors.


Leaving this feat of defolation, we profecuted our voyage along the coaft; and the next day came to Rochetta, where we landed, although the earth ftill continued in violent agitations. But we had fcarcely arrived at our inn, when we were once more obliged to return to the boat; and, in about half an hour, we faw the greater part of the town, and the inn at which we had fet up, dashed to the ground, and burying the inhabitants beneath the ruins.

"In this manner proceeding onward in our little veffel, finding no fafety at land, and yet, from the smallnefs of our boat, having but a very dangerous continuance at fea, we at length landed at Lopizium, a castle midway between Tropea and Euphemia, the city to which, as faid before, we were bound. Here, wherever I turned my eyes, nothing but fcenes of ruin and horror appeared; towns and caftles levelled to the ground; Strombalo, though at fixty miles distance, belching forth flames in an unusual manner, and with a noife which I could diftinctly hear. But my attention was quickly turned from more remote, to contiguous danger. The rumbling found

of an approaching earthquake, which we by this time were grown acquainted with, alarmed us for the confequences. ; it every moment feemed to grow louder, and to approach nearer. The place on which we ftood now began to fhake most dreadfully; fo that being unable to ftand, my companions and I caught hold of whatever fhrub grew next to us, and fupported ourselves in that manner.

"After fome time, this violent paroxyfm ceafing, we again ftood up, in order to profecute our voyage to Euphæmia, which lay within fight. In the mean time, while we were preparing for this purpose, I turned my eyes towards the city, but could fee only a frightful dark cloud, that seemed to rest upon the place. This the more furprised us, as the weather was fo very ferene. We waited, therefore, till the cloud had paffed away: then turning to look for the city, it was totally funk. Wonderful to tell! nothing but a dismal and putrid lake was feen where it stood. We looked about to find fome one that could tell us of its fad catastrophe, but could fee no perfon. All was become a melancholy folitude: a scene of hideous defolation. Thus proceeding penfively along, in quest of some human being that could give us a little information, we at length faw a boy fitting by the fhore, and appearing ftupified with terfor. Of him, therefore, we inquired concerning the fate of the city; but he could not be prevailed on to give us an anfwer. We entreated him, with every expreffion of tendernefs and pity, to tell us; but his fenfes were quite wrapt up in the contemplation of the danger he had escaped. We offered him fome victuals, but he feemed to loath the fight. We ftill perfifted in our offices of kindness; but he only pointed to the place of the city, like one out of his fenses; and then running up into the woods, was never heard of after. Such was the fate of the city of Euphemia. As we continued our melancholy course along the fhore, the whole coaft, for the space of two hundred miles, prefented nothing but the remains of cities; and men fcattered, with out a habitation, over the fields. Proceeding thus along, we at length ended our distressful voyage, by arriving at Naples, after having escaped a thoufand dangers both at fea and land."


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Letter from Pliny to Geminius.

Do we not fometimes obferve a fort of people, who, though they are themselves under the abject dominion

every vice, fhow a kind of malicious refentment against the errors of others; and are most severe upon those whom they most resemble? yet, furely a lenity of difpofition, even in perfons who have the leaft occafion for clemency themselves, is of all virtues the most becoming. The highest of all characters, in my eftimation, is his, who is as ready to pardon the errors of mankind, as if he were every day guilty of fome himself; and, at the fame time, as cautious of committing a fault, as if he never forgave one. It is a rule then which we fhould, upon all occafions, both private and public, moft religiously obferve; "to be inexorable to our own failings, while we treat those of the rest of the world with tendernefs, not excepting even fuch as forgive none but themselves."

I fhall, perhaps, be asked, who it is that has given òccafion to these reflections. Know then that a certain perfon lately-but of that when we meet-though, upon fecond thoughts, not even then; left, whilst I condemn and expofe his conduct, I fhall act counter to that maxim I particularly recommend. Whoever, therefore, and whatever he is, fhall remain in filence: for though there may be fome use, perhaps, in fetting a mark upon the man, for the fake of example, there will be more, however, in fparing him, for the fake of humanity. Farewell.



Letter from Pliny to Marcellinus, on the Death of an amiable young Woman.

I WRITE this under the utmost oppreffion of forrow: the youngest daughter of my friend Fundanus is dead! Never furely was there a more agreeable, and more amiable young perfon; or one who better deferved to have enjoyed a long, I had almost faid, an immortal life! She had all the wisdom of age, and difcretion of a matron, joined with youthful fweetnefs and virgin modefty. With what an engaging fondnefs did the behave to her father! How kindly and refpectfully receive his friends! How affectionately treat all thofe who, in their refpective offices, had the care and education of her! She employed much of her time in reading, in which the difcovered great ftrength of judg menta de indulged her folf in few deathons, and thofe with much courtin. With what forbearance, with what patience, with what courage, did the endure her laft illness She complied with all the directions of her physicians; she

encouraged her fifter, and her father; and, when all her ftrength of body was exhausted, fupported herself by the fingle vigour of her mind. That, indeed, continued, even to her laft moments, unbroken by the pain of a long illnefs, or the terrors of approaching death; and it is a reflection which makes the lofs of her fo much the more to be lamented: A lofs infinitely fevere; and more fevere by the particular conjuncture in which it happened' She was contracted to a moft worthy youth; the wedding day was fixed, and we were all invited. How fad a change from the highest joy, to the deepest forrow! How fhall I exprefs the wound that pierced my heart, when I heard Fundanus himself, (as grief is ever finding out circumstances to aggravate its affliction,) ordering the money he had defigned to lay out upon clothes and jewels for her marriage, to be employed in myrrh and fpices for her funeral? He is a man of great learning and good fenfe, who has applied himself, from his earliest youth, to the nobleft and moft elevated ftudies: but all the maxims of fortitude, which he has received from books, or advanced himself, he now abfolutely rejects; and every other virtue of his heart gives place to all a parent's tenderness. We fhall excufe, we shall even approve his forrow, when we confider what he has loft. He has loft a daughter who refembled. him in his manners, as well as his perfon; and exactly copied out all her father. If his friend Marcellinus fhall think proper to write to him, upon the fubject of so reasonable a grief, let me remind him not to use the rougher arguments of confolation, and fuch as feem to carry a fort of reproof with them; but thofe of kind and sympathifing humanity. Time will render him more open to the dic tates of reafon for as a fresh wound fhrinks back from the hand of the furgeon, but by degrees fubmits to, and even requires the means of its cure; fo a mind, under the first impreffions of a misfortune, fhuns and rejects all arguments of confolation: but at length, if applied with tenderness, calmly and willingly acquiefces in them. Farewell.



On Difcretion.

I HAVE often thought, if the minds of men were laid open, we should fee but little difference between that of a wife man, and that of a fool.

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