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Purchase of this book includes free trial access to www.million-books.com where you can read more than a million books for free. This is an OCR edition with typos. Excerpt from book: IN PUESUIT OF VESUVIUS. ON our way to our hotel, the night we reached Naples, we first saw the red light from far- off Vesuvius, and thereupon we resolved to make his nearer acquaintance. We saw him again when we woke in the morning, and made our arrangements to pay our respects to him the first windless day; for that the day should be profoundly still is of the first importance if you would beard a volcano in his lair. The southern sun never shone on a lovelier morning than the one on which we finally set forth. The deep blue Italian sky arched over us; the blue waters of the Bay sparkled in the sunshine. Our horses tossed their stately heads, and would have champed their bits, no doubt, only horses are not driven with bits in Naples. Our driver was a handsome Italian, and he rejoiced our hearts with the information that he could spik Inglis, ? how well we discovered later on. The first part of our drive took us through the wide-spreading city. The year before, cholera had mowed men down there like grass, yet it did not seem as if the place could ever have been fuller. It fairly swarmed with life. The humbler peoplelive in rooms on the ground floors of the houses, ? rooms lighted only by the doors opening into the street, and naturally it is so much gayer and brighter out of doors than in that most occupations are carried on al fresco. Mothers nurse their infants, or brush their children's hair, in full view of the passer-by. They cook strange messes over braziers of coals. They knit, they spin, they patch rags with rags. They rock babies ? swathed precisely as are the mummies you find in the pyramids ? in the queer little baskets that serve for cradles. They keep house, in short, out- of-doors. That special day Naples was doing its washing; and as it is a city with...
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