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blind the elements of common sense and patent truth.
We were offered job lot of "relics" for five florins, which included a piece of the true cross, a bit of the rope that hung Judas, a couple of hairs from the head of the Virgin Mary, a peeling from the apple of Mother Eve, a part of the toe nail of Saint Thomas, a finger of Saint John, a thigh bone of Saint Paul, a tooth of Saint Antony, and a feather of the cock of Saint Peter, but we persistently declined the proffered honors and true "relics of antiquity," spending the five florins for > "night liner" to wheel us about the grand architectural sights of the city of the Cæsars.
The night before leaving Rome William and myself climbed upon the topmost rim of the crumbling Coliseum and gazed down upon the sleeping moonlit capital with entranced admiration.
The night was almost as bright as day, and the mystic rays from the realm of Luna, shining on gate, arch, column, spire, tower, temple and dome, revealed to us the ghosts of vanished centuries, and from the depths of the Coliseum there seemed to rise the shouts of a hundred thousand voices, cheering the gladiator from Gaul, who had just slain a Numidian lion in the arena, when, with "thumbs up," he was proclaimed the victor, decorated with a crown of laurel and given his freedom forever.
Shakspere could not resist his natural gift of exurberant poetry to sound these chunks of eloquence to the midnight air, while I listened with enraptured enthusiasm to the elocution of the Bard:
Hark! Saint Peter, with his brazen tongue
The multitudinous world sleeps,
Poverty, or war, destructive;
And chafes the wrinkled, rocky shores
And, where now sits pride, wealth and fraud
The lizard, the bat and the wolf
Shall sing their mournful requiem.
After five days of sightseeing we took the public stage for Milan, guarded by soldiers, and arrived. safely on board the Albion, which sailed away, through the Strait of Messina, around classic Greece to Negropont and on to Alexandria, Egypt, where we anchored for a load of dates, figs and Persian spices.
William and myself took a boat up the Nile to Cairo, and hired a guide to steer us over the desert to the far-famed Pyramids.
There in the wild waste of desert sands these monuments to forgotten kings and queens lift their giant peaks, appealing to the centuries for recognition, but although the great granite stone memorials still remain as a wonder to mankind, the dark, silent mummies that sleep within and around these funereal emblems give back no sure voice as to when and where they lived, rose and fell in the long night of Egyptian darkness.
Remains of vast buried cities are occasionally exposed by the shifting, searching storm winds of the desert, and many a modern Arab has cooked his frugal breakfast by splinters picked up from the bones of his ancestors.
It was night when we got to the Pyramids, and we concluded to camp with an Arab and his family at the base of the great Cheops until next morning, and then before sunrise scale its steep steps and lofty crest.
A few silver coins insured us a warm greeting from the "Arab family," who seemed to vie with each other in preparing a hot supper and clean couches.
They sang their desert songs until nearly midnight, the daughter Cleo playing on the harp with dextrous fingers, and throwing a soft soprano voice upon the air, like the tones of an angel, echoing over a bank of wild flowers.
Standing on the pinnacle of the Pyramid William again struck one of his theatrical attitudes, and with outstretched hands exclaimed:
Immortal Sol! Image of Omnipotence!
Who pretend claim to heavenly agency
In a short time we crossed the sands of the desert and interviewed the Sphynx, but with that battered, solemn countenance, wrinkled by the winds and sands of ages, those granite lips still refused to give up the secrets of its stony heart, or tell us the mysteries of buried antiquity.
We were soon again in the cabin of the Albion, sailing away to Athens, where we anchored for two days.
William and myself ran hourly risk of breaking our legs and necks among the classic ruins of Athenian genius, where Plato, Socrates, Aristotle, Sophocles, Euripides, Pericles, Alcibiades, Demosthenes, Zeno, Solon, Themestocles, Leonidas, Philip and Alexander had lived and loved in their glorious, imperishable careers.
We went on top of Mars Hill, and climbed to the top of the ruined Acropolis, disturbing a few lizards, spiders, bats, rooks and pigeons that made their homes where the eloquence of Greece once ruled the world.
William made a move to strike one of his accustomed dramatic attitudes, but I "pulled him off," remarking that he could not, in an impromptu