UNIVERSAL HISTORY-THE ANCIENT WORLD.
purpose he surpassed all his predecessors. Even towards the nobles he
exhibited so much kindness and courtesy as to leave among them a great
reputation. It was a maxim of his government that no suitor ought to go
unrequited from the Imperial presence. He it was who was in the habit of
saying that the day was lost which had witnessed the performance of no good
deed. The only vice of which he could be justly accused, was a certain
abandonment to ease and indulgence, even to the extent of cutting short his
already mortgaged life. By his contemporaries he was called the "Delight
of the Human Race," and the title, though fulsome, was better deserved than
many that have been bestowed.
The reign of Titus was noted for two calamities, shocking to the times and
remembered by posterity. In the year A. D. 79 the volcano of Vesuvius began
to groan and bellow with internal anguish, and then vomited forth clouds of
cinders and torrents of lava such as no preceding or succeeding age has
equaled. The fiery mass rolled down in a deluge over the mountain sides and
into the surrounding plains.
There lay the beautiful cities of Herculaneum and Pompeii, the fashionable
resorts and sea-side homes of the wealthy Romans. All that art and luxury
could do to satisfy the tastes and senses was here profusely displayed. The
calamity came in a single hour. The people had no timely warning of the
impending doom. The sky grew black. The lava came rolling like a deluge.
Pompeii perished in a shower of cinders and ashes, and Herculaneum in the
molten ocean which rolled through her streets and over her highest
buildings. The burial was complete. Multitudes of the inhabitants were
caught without the possibility of escape. The bather in the thermae, the
cobbler in his shop, the baker at his ovens, the reveler at his banquet,
the woman of fashion at the toilet, were entombed alive almost before the
look of terror could supplant the usual expression of the countenance. The
devastation was so complete, so overwhelming, as to preclude all notion of
restoration. The sites of the buried cities were abandoned, and even
forgotten, until in 1748 the digging of a well brought to light some
statues from their bed in the ashes. Seven years later the workmen of
Charles III of Naples uncovered a whole amphitheater, and from that time
until the present the antiquarians of the world have been at intervals
busily engaged in exhuming the wonders of the old civilization from this
tomb of ages.
According to Roman law Julia, the daughter