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942

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