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Rafael in Italy - A Geographical Reader
by Etta Blaisdell McDonald
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"Think of having sheep and cattle inside the city," exclaimed Edith. "I suppose they had to be protected from the wild animals."

"Yes," replied Rafael, "and from the hostile tribes who were always ready to steal them. There are many stories about those tribes, and about the kings who governed the city after Romulus died. Some of the kings made wise laws and ruled in peace, but others led armies to conquer the neighboring tribes, and added small territories to their kingdom."

"And I suppose each king tried to do something to make his name famous," said Edith.

"Not for that reason," Rafael replied. "He did it for the good of the city. Many of the roads and canals and temples which are now famous ruins, were built by some of those old kings.

"As Rome was on the River Tiber, fifteen miles from the sea, one king built a seaport at the mouth of the river, and a long straight road leading down to it, which was laid so solidly that it is still in use to-day.

"The valleys between the hills of Rome were wet and marshy. A king named Tarquin drained those marshes by building immense stone sewers. One of them was so large that several yoke of oxen could pass through it side by side, and the work was so well done that it is in good condition now, although it is more than twenty-four hundred years old.

"One marsh which the sewer drained was used as a market-place. Shop-keepers set their stalls up there; temples and public buildings were erected, and it became known as the Roman Forum."

"The very Forum where we are going?" asked Edith eagerly.

"Yes," replied Rafael, "the very Forum where Augustus, several hundred years later, set up the Golden Milestone."

"What else did those old Romans do?" asked Edith.

"They were fond of amusements," said Rafael. "One of the valleys between two of the hills was a good place for races and other games. On the sloping hillsides on each side of the valley, seats were built for thousands of spectators, and the place was called the Circus Maximus.

"The same king who built the sewers built also a strong fortress on the top of one of the hills. This fortress was called the Capitol, and the hill was called the Capitoline Hill. He also ordered that a wall should be built all around the seven hills to enclose the city, but it was not finished during his lifetime."

"Let us get out the map and look at it," suggested the girl, who had finished plaiting the olive wreath.

So the wreath was put away in the hamper, and the two heads were soon bending over a great map of Rome; and Rafael traced the lines of the old wall which Romulus built.

Just then Mrs. Sprague looked up at the sun. "It is time for lunch," she said, and began unpacking the lunch-basket, while the car rolled steadily nearer and nearer to the Roman Forum.



CHAPTER XII

"THE GOLDEN MILESTONE"

"If we are to reach Rome at sunset, some one must lend a hand at the wheel," said the chauffeur, as the children finished eating their lunch. "There is not a moment to lose, and I, also, am hungry."

Rafael sprang at once to his side. He had longed to drive the automobile from the very moment they began the journey from Florence, and had often sat on the seat beside the chauffeur, watching him, and asking him questions about his work.

There followed a glorious afternoon for the boy. He was a ready pupil, the roads were good, and the friendly chauffeur a careful teacher.

They passed peasant women in gay bodices, with folded handkerchiefs on their heads and long earrings in their ears, carrying baskets of fruit on their arms. They passed peasant men driving donkeys or oxen, who smiled at them from under hats decorated with pompons of colored paper and tinsel. Geese ran out to hiss at them as they flew by, and hens and chickens fluttered out of their way; but Rafael had eyes only for the road.

They passed lemon groves and rose-gardens, and Edith was grieved because Rafael could not enjoy with her every new and strange sight.

"I wanted you to tell me more about the Roman ruins," she said.

But the boy tossed a merry smile back at her for answer. "We will speak more about those things when we are in Rome," he said. "I can think of nothing now but flying," and he bent his eyes again to the road.

At last they began the descent of a lofty hill, and the car glided into the road which is the old Flaminian Way, leading directly to the city.

Edith felt the thrill which always stirs the heart when one first draws near to the Eternal City. She leaned forward and said to the chauffeur, "How do you feel, to be riding toward Rome?"

For answer the man pointed to the sun, which was low in the western sky. "There is only another hour of sunlight," he said with a smile.

"Oh, shall we fail to reach the Golden Milestone at sunset?" the girl asked, as anxiously as if it were the most important thing in the world to win their Marathon run.

But Rafael suddenly lifted a hand from the wheel. "Ecco!" he said, pointing to the distant South.

Edith followed the direction of his finger. Far away she saw the great dome of a cathedral rising toward the clouds.

"Rome! St. Peter's!" she shouted.

The boy nodded. The splendor of the ancient city flashed into his mind. He saw as in a dream the magnificent temples and palaces, the triumphal processions, the chariot-races, the games and combats of the early Romans, about which his mother had told him so many stories.

"It is a wonderful city," he said. "What tales those old walls could tell!"

As they crossed the River Tiber he heard Edith murmur behind him, "Oh, Tiber, Father Tiber, to whom the Romans pray!" and then it seemed but a moment before they were rolling through a massive stone gateway, and the chauffeur had taken the wheel.

As Rafael lifted his eyes to look about him once more, they looked straight into the eyes of a man who was riding in the opposite direction, and he smiled. He did not know that he had smiled, nor that this man was the king of Italy. His thoughts were back again with the conquerors of the early days, and the splendors of the ancient city.

But the king had noticed the boy, and turned to look after him. "That was the spirit of the old Romans looking from his eyes," he said to his attendant.

The last rays of the setting sun fell upon the scarred columns of the ruined Forum, as the car rounded the base of the Capitoline Hill and stopped at the spot where the Golden Milestone once marked the beginning of the Roman roads.

Rafael was speechless; but Edith took the olive wreath from the hamper with exclamations of delight.

"Where will you have it?" she asked the chauffeur, "on your head or your wheel?"

"It belongs to the car triumphal," he answered as they turned and moved cautiously through the street-car tracks of modern Rome.

"There could never have been such a record run made by your kings and emperors of olden times," said the girl proudly to Rafael.

But he was too happy with his thoughts to make any reply, and Edith turned her attention to the conversation between her mother and the chauffeur.

"To the Continental Hotel," Mrs. Sprague was saying, and all too soon they had crossed the city, and were welcomed and given rooms in the hotel. The chauffeur bade them good-bye, and their Marathon run was a thing of the past.



CHAPTER XIII

A RAMBLE IN ROME

"Did you see a picturesque-looking shepherd, dressed in shaggy skins, driving his flock through the square at midnight?"

Rafael asked the question at the breakfast table one morning, about two weeks after their arrival in Rome.

"No, indeed!" Edith answered. "I was fast asleep. How could you see what he wore?"

"It was bright moonlight," Rafael told her in reply. "I could see plainly his sheepskin jacket and the long hair of his goatskin leggins. He had a great white dog to help him guide the sheep, and they entered the square and passed through it so silently that it seemed almost like a dream."

"Perhaps it was a dream," said Edith; but Rafael shook his head, and the girl went on, "Now I had a dream about the geese that saved Rome; but you will no doubt tell me that if I had looked out of the window I should have seen them following old Mother Goose through the square."

Rafael laughed. "I do not know your old Mother Goose," he said, and left the table to telephone for the guide who was to take them to see some of the famous ruins of ancient Rome.

In a short time the guide arrived, and they were ready to drive through the city streets. This guide was Professor Gates, a man who had lived in Rome over twenty-five years, studying its history and ancient ruins, and he had already taken Rafael, with Edith and Mrs. Sprague, to see many interesting places.

"Where are we going to-day?" Edith asked, as they took their seats in the carriage.

"I want you to drive a little distance along the Appian Way," replied their guide; "but we will look first at some of the arches of the old aqueduct which was built by Appius Claudius, many years before the birth of Christ, to bring water to the city from the mountains sixty miles away."

It was a lovely morning for a drive, and Edith and Rafael saw many sights to point out to each other. Near the foot of one of the arches of the aqueduct they found a group of models picking flowers, and Edith asked them to pose for a picture.

It was a pretty little group. The boy wore a conical hat adorned with a feather, a red jacket, and sandals which were bound upon his feet with red cords that were interlaced up the legs as far as the knees. His mother and sister wore bright red skirts and green aprons, and they all smiled at Edith as she tossed them some coins for posing.

"You will find such models all over the city," said Professor Gates.

"Like all-over embroidery," said Edith with a merry laugh; but no one saw her little joke, so she asked more seriously, "How did the water flow through the arches?"

"It did not flow through the arches, but through the aqueduct which you see at the top," the guide explained. "If you remember your Latin you will know that this word is formed from two others which mean 'water' and 'to lead.' In some places the aqueduct was laid upon the ground, but here there was a valley to be crossed, as you see, and the arches formed a bridge over which the pipe was laid."

From the aqueduct they drove to the old Appian Way.

"The Appian Way was named after Appius Claudius, who built a part of it," Professor Gates explained. "It is three hundred miles long, and crosses Italy to Brindisi, a seaport on the south-eastern coast."

"I thought you said that Appius Claudius built the aqueduct," said Mrs. Sprague.



"So he did," replied the professor. "The road is called 'Appian' after one of his names, and the aqueduct 'Claudian' after the other."

"Was he one of the kings of early Rome?" asked Edith, taking out her note-book.

"No," he answered, "the kingdom came to an end more than two hundred years before this road was begun. This is one of the great works of the republic."

"What a glorious sight it must have been to see the Roman army come marching home in triumph from some of its great victories," said Rafael. "Think how thousands of soldiers, with spears and helmets flashing in the sun, marched over this road, leading their prisoners of war."

"Yes," said Edith, "and think how the Roman women came hurrying through that old gate to meet them, shouting with joy at their return."

The professor smiled at the children. He liked the way they had begun to see pictures in their minds of the earlier days of Rome. He called their attention to the ruins of tombs which are scattered along the road on either side, and then pointed to three peasant children who had been playing in the field, but had stopped to watch the strangers. "There is ancient Rome and young Italy. You will find one quite as interesting as the other," he said.

"Most of what you see is historic," he told them as they rode back into the city. "There is a story about every ruin along the Appian Way. I have told you the legends of the kings, but there are also tales to tell of the days of the republic and of the glorious empire."

"Rafael likes those old kings," said Edith. "How did the kingdom happen to come to an end?"

"One of the Kings was such a cruel tyrant that the people rose in rebellion, under the leadership of a man named Brutus, and drove the king and his followers from the city," replied the professor. "Brutus then persuaded the Romans never again to be ruled by a king, so two men were elected each year to govern the people, and the kingdom became a republic. That was about five hundred years before the birth of Christ.

"During the time of the republic, which lasted nearly five hundred years, the Romans were waging constant warfare with other tribes and nations, to gain wealth and power. One war followed another in rapid succession, and there were many famous warriors who fought bravely for the glory of Rome."

"Horatius was one of those old warriors," said Rafael.

"Yes," said Edith, "Horatius, who held back the army of the enemy from crossing the bridge over the River Tiber. I learned a poem about it once."

"The bridge was a wooden one which crossed the river at a spot near here," said the guide. "We will drive around to see the place where it stood."

They soon reached the bend of the river where Horatius called for volunteers to aid him in defending the city.

"Let me hear the story again," said Edith, "right here where he once stood," and Rafael told it with shining eyes.

"Horatius was a brave soldier who had already lost an eye in the service of Rome," he began; "and now he was ready to lose his life if need be. He crossed the bridge with two companions, and called for men to come forward from the ranks of the enemy and fight.

"While they fought, the Roman soldiers were cutting down the bridge behind them. The two companions of Horatius turned and saw that, at last, the bridge was about to fall, so they ran back to safety. But Horatius was so brave that he remained alone, fighting until the bridge crashed down.

"Then there was no way for the enemy to cross the river and enter Rome, so he jumped into the water with all his armor on, and swam safely to the other side, where he was received with great rejoicing." Edith jotted a few words down in her note-book, murmuring as she did so:—

"Still is the story told, How well Horatius kept the bridge In the brave days of old."

"Another hero of the days of the republic was Cincinnatus," said Professor Gates. "He was an old soldier who was plowing in his fields when he was called upon to lead a small company of brave men to aid the Roman army, which was surrounded by the enemy and could not fight its way out.

"After Cincinnatus conquered the enemy and rescued the army, he returned to Rome, where he was given a grand triumph."

"I suppose our city of Cincinnati was named after him," said Edith, and then without waiting for an answer, she asked, "What was a grand triumph?"

"Those triumphs were often granted to famous victors, and were times of great rejoicing," the professor said. "The day was made a holiday, the houses were decorated with garlands, the streets were filled with throngs of people, and there was music and feasting throughout the city.

"Magnificent processions passed through the streets. Beautiful maidens scattered flowers before the victor, who looked very fine, clad in purple robes and riding in a triumphal car.

"The prisoners of war followed the victor's chariot, to make his triumph more of a spectacle, and soldiers carrying booty taken from the conquered cities marched beside them singing hymns of victory, while the shouts of the Roman populace called down blessings and praises upon the head of their hero.

"The procession passed through the Forum, and at the foot of the hill the victor turned to the left to go to the Capitol, where thank-offerings were made to the gods, while the prisoners turned to the right and were led away to prison.

"It must have been a magnificent sight, even in those old days of splendor," he added, and turned to lead the way back to their carriage.

"Those triumphs must have cost a great deal of money," said Mrs. Sprague.

"There were enormous fortunes in old Rome, and the people spent extravagant sums on amusements and public celebrations," their guide told her. "One of the greatest of all the triumphs was given in honor of Julius Caesar, when he returned from conquering the Gauls. He wrote an account of his wars with those barbarians which has been read by many thousands of school children."

"Is it in Latin?" Edith asked.

"Yes," replied the professor. "That was the language of the Roman people."

"I have read it then," said the girl; and she sighed as she thought of the tears she had shed over her Latin lessons and Caesar's accounts of his wars with the Gauls.

"Julius Caesar was one of the greatest generals the world has ever known," said Professor Gates. "He was a powerful leader and ruler of men, and it was this great power that made him ambitious to be called Emperor of Rome, and to make the republic an empire.

"Some of his friends feared he would be successful in this attempt, and, joining his enemies, they assassinated him. They loved the freedom of their country more than they did Caesar.

"His body was burned in the Roman Forum," added the professor. "But not long after his death the republic did actually become an empire."

"Tell us about the empire," begged Rafael, who always wished to know everything at once.

"Not to-day," said Mrs. Sprague, looking at her watch. "It is time for luncheon and our afternoon rest."

"That is true," said the professor, looking at the sun. "Some other day, with Mrs. Sprague's permission, I will take you to the Colosseum and then we will hear about the empire."



CHAPTER XIV

A MORNING IN THE COLOSSEUM

Edith was sitting at the hotel window with her note-book open before her. "Professor Gates tells us so much," she said, "that it is all mixed up in my mind.

"But it is my dearest wish to get it straightened out," she added quickly, as she saw the troubled look on her mother's face. "What is your dearest wish?" she asked Rafael, who was reading a letter from his mother.

"I have none," he answered, "since the Signora has been so good as to bring me to this wonderful city."

"Oh, Rafael!" Edith said merrily, "you must have found an Italian blarney stone somewhere." Then she went on more seriously, "Every one always has a dearest wish. As fast as one is fulfilled, another takes its place."

He smiled. "Very well, since it must be so, I have a dearest wish," he said, "and it is to serve the king."

Edith looked at him with laughing eyes. "That is a very fine wish," she said; "but I think mine is more likely to be granted first, because Professor Gates is to take us to the Colosseum this very morning, and I shall ask him every question about this history that I can think of."

Several days had passed since their excursion to the Appian Way, but the children had found every one full to overflowing. The mornings had been spent in the art galleries and churches, and the afternoons in driving through the Campagna or the beautiful grounds of the Villa Borghese.

One whole day had been devoted to visiting St. Peter's Cathedral, which is the largest church in the whole world, and to seeing the treasures of the Vatican,—the home of the Pope.

Mrs. Sprague was glad to sit quietly on her camp-stool and let the children wander about the enormous buildings under the direction of the guide. Of all the treasures, Rafael liked best the pictures in the Vatican by the great painter Rafael, for whom he was named; but Edith was more interested in the mosaics and statues in the cathedral, and in the huts of the workmen who live on the roof, and spend all their time in repairing the vast church.

During the noon hours they had stayed in the hotel, where their rooms had gradually taken on a most homelike appearance. Beautiful, bright-colored Roman scarfs found their way from the shops to the children's tables, and photographs of the places that they had visited turned the walls into picture galleries.

Rosaries, bought from old women on the church steps, and later blessed by the Pope, hung over the mirrors. In their work-baskets Edith and her mother always had a bit of sewing to catch up at odd moments, and there were books, maps and papers everywhere.

Rafael fitted into this cozy atmosphere with wonderful ease. He never returned from a walk without a bouquet of flowers for the vases on the tables, and he fell into a way of carrying a light camp-stool in their excursions through the picture-galleries, so that Mrs. Sprague could sit down when she was tired.

But this morning Mrs. Sprague was to visit some friends who were spending the winter in Rome, and Edith and Rafael were going alone with Professor Gates to the Colosseum.

"There is nothing new under the sun," said Rafael, as they stepped out of the hotel elevator. "I have just been reading that there were elevators in the Colosseum nearly two thousand years ago."

"They couldn't have been much like this fine one," said Edith. "What were they for?" she asked, taking out her note-book.

"They were used to lift the fierce wild animals out of the underground pits where they were kept until it was time for them to fight in the arena," Rafael told her, and added, "You haven't much more room in that note-book."

"The only way I can remember all you tell me is by making a note of it," Edith replied with a laugh, and turned to greet the guide, who had a carriage waiting for them.

There were many other tourists' carriages standing outside the great ruin of the Colosseum, but as the professor led the two children under the arches and into the arena they were hardly conscious of these other sight-seers, so vast is this king of buildings.

"The Colosseum was an enormous out-door theatre which seated over eighty-seven thousand people, and there was standing room for many more," the guide told them.

As Edith climbed up to sit on one of the stone seats, Rafael said, "Think of all the old Romans who sat on these same stones, and who looked down into that arena at the terrible battles between men and beasts."



"Yes," added Professor Gates, "for four hundred years the Roman people came here on holidays, and sometimes they had as many as one hundred and twenty-five holidays in one year. They came to be amused and entertained with games, contests, and combats between men and wild beasts; and they saw with delight many scenes of bloodshed and death, too horrible for me to describe to you."

The children looked with him at the deep underground pits where the animals—lions, tigers, elephants, and other savage beasts—were kept, and at the places where two aqueducts led the water into the arena.

"Those old Romans were always trying to find some new way of pleasing the people," he told them, "and sometimes they made a large lake of the arena, and had boats on the lake fighting terrible battles, in which many men were killed just for amusement. There are no walls now standing which have seen so much of the splendor and cruelty of ancient days," he added.

Edith sighed. "I shall never boast about the stadium at Cambridge again," she said.

"This Colosseum was built in the early days of the Roman Empire," the guide continued. "The first and greatest of the Roman emperors was Augustus, for whom our month of August was named. During his reign many buildings were repaired which had begun to crumble to ruins in the days of the republic, when the Romans had devoted most of their time and money to wars, and many other beautiful buildings were erected. It was said of this emperor that he found Rome brick and left it marble.

"It was during the reign of Augustus that the most important event in the history of the world took place. Christ was born in Bethlehem. Every event which happened before the birth of Christ is said to have taken place so many years B. C. (before Christ). All dates after His birth are given as so many years A. D.—Anno Domini—(two Latin words which mean 'in the year of our Lord')."

"I was born in 1893 A. D.," said Edith, "and that means that it was eighteen hundred and ninety-three years after the birth of Christ."

"Yes," said Rafael, "and Julius Caesar was killed in 44 B. C., and that means forty-four years before Christ was born."

"True," said the professor, "and Julius Caesar was born in 100 B. C., which makes him fifty-six years old when he died. Can you puzzle that out for yourselves?"

Then without waiting for a reply, he continued, "The Roman Empire was very large, with vast provinces, but it also had powerful enemies. Among these enemies were the barbarians in Central Europe, and it was necessary for Augustus to protect his northern frontier with strong forces, to keep them out of the country. This he did, but we shall see that later emperors failed to see the importance of this step, and this was one of the causes that led finally to the destruction of the city of Rome and the fall of the Roman Empire.

"Augustus also encouraged trade, and built roads which radiated from the Golden Milestone at the head of the Forum to all parts of the Roman world. From this came the saying, 'All roads lead to Rome.'"

"We came into Rome in an automobile on one of the roads which were built so long ago," said Edith, "and we have seen the site of the Golden Milestone; but I should like better to see an old Roman chariot with four prancing horses go whirling around this arena."

"My mother has told me that many Christians have died for their faith in this same arena," said Rafael.

"Yes," replied the guide, "after the birth of Christ people began, little by little, to follow His teachings and to become Christians. In the centuries before the Christian religion was the accepted religion of Rome many hundreds, and even thousands, of men and women were put to death both here and elsewhere.

"During the reign of Nero, who was a very cruel emperor, a great fire destroyed a large part of the city, and many Christians were tortured and killed on the groundless suspicion that they had caused the fire.

"Come," he added, looking at Edith's sad face, "let us think of something more cheerful," and he led the way out of the Colosseum and down the road to a great stone arch.

"This arch commemorates the famous victories of Constantine," their guide told the children. "He was the first emperor to become a Christian."

"How did he happen to become a Christian?" asked Edith.

"Soon after he was declared emperor, he was leading his army to battle one day, when a bright cross suddenly appeared in the sky. Surrounding the cross were four words which mean, 'In this sign conquer.' On seeing the vision, Constantine vowed to become a Christian if he should win a victory over the enemy; and he ordered a new standard, bearing the cross and the inscription, which was carried before him in the battle.

"He did win the victory, the enemy was defeated, and he entered Rome in great triumph. In memory of the victory this very arch was called the Arch of Constantine. He also kept his vow to become a Christian, and for the first time the Christians were given equal liberty with the pagans, who still worshipped the Roman gods."

Edith, who had been writing again in her note-book, looked up at the professor with a laugh. "If this Roman Empire doesn't come to an end soon, I shall have to buy a new note-book," she said.

Rafael laughed, too. "You will need a whole library of books to hold all the history of the Roman Empire," he told her.

"Are we going to hear it all?" Edith asked anxiously.

"No," replied Professor Gates, "there is little more for me to tell to-day. After the death of Constantine there were many more terrible wars with the barbarians. At last the fierce Goths crossed the Alps and marched down to the very walls of Rome. They besieged the city, burst in by surprise, killed hundreds of the people, and destroyed many of the buildings. As they also were Christians, they spared the churches and all who took refuge in them."

"I have heard of the Goths," said Edith, "and of the Vandals, too. Where did they come from?"

"They came over from Africa, captured Rome, and remained here fourteen days, destroying the buildings and sacking the city. They carried away whole ship-loads of booty, and took many of the Romans to be their slaves.

"The Roman Empire had already been divided into two parts, and Constantinople was the capital of the Empire of the East. The Bishop of Rome, who was called the Pope, now became the ruler of the Empire of the West. He succeeded to the throne of the deposed emperor, and held this position of power until 1870, when Victor Emanuele I. was made king of Italy."

"Viva l'Italia!" said Rafael, tossing up his cap.

"Don't toss up your cap like that," Edith reproved him. "Those little beggars may think you are tossing it for them. Ecco!" she called to the boys, and threw a few coins to the funny little fellows who ran along beside the carriage, begging for coppers even while they stood on their heads.

"I can buy photographs of all your famous ruins," she said to Professor Gates, as she pointed her camera at the heap of boys scrambling in the road for the coins, "but I shall always like best my own pictures of these happy little Italian children."



CHAPTER XV

MERRY NAPLES

Rafael wrote his mother joyful accounts of those happy days in Rome.

And he saw the king! It happened upon an afternoon when all Rome, dressed in gayest costumes for one of the festivals, crowded into open carriages and drove out to the Villa Borghese.

In the shade of a great tree, where a living spring bubbles up from the ground, Rafael twisted a leaf into a cup, which he filled with water and offered to Edith.

As he looked beyond the girl, he met a piercing glance from a pair of brilliant blue eyes. This time he knew the king at once, and saluted him.

The king smiled, saying to his aide, "I have seen that boy before. He wore the look then of an older Italy, but now he has the promise of the young country in his eyes."

Rafael wrote his mother of that smile. "I could follow the king anywhere for another like it," the letter said.

Then he wrote of the heavy Roman faces; the hard, tiresome pavements, and the noisy clang of the street cars,—all so different from his bright, silent Venice.

"But there are pleasant things," he wrote. "There are many beautiful fountains where the water gushes all day; and I often go out of my way for a sight of the Pope's soldiers, the Swiss Guard, standing at the entrance to the Vatican. They make me think of our Venetian mooring-posts with their many-colored stripes; and their stately halberds are not unlike the prow of our gondolas. I am very grateful to Michael Angelo for designing a costume which reminds me of home.

"Often we meet schools of boys walking two by two, wearing black dress-suits and high, stiff black hats, and I am glad I am not one of them."

His mother sighed as she read of his endless pleasure, and wondered if it would estrange him from his quiet life in Venice. Then she wrote a long letter in answer, in which she said, "Remember that the fine old Roman character was weakened through ease and indulgence. Remember, also, that our young king likes nothing so much as devotion to duty."

Her letter ended with a quotation from an English poet,—"Live pure, speak true, right wrong, follow the king."

Rafael read between the lines that she feared he would learn to like his happy life with the Spragues too well. He lifted his eyes from the letter and acknowledged to himself that this freedom from care and responsibility was very pleasant. Mrs. Sprague indulged him as she indulged Edith. The treasures of the shops flowed into his own room as well as hers, and no door which money could open remained closed to them in this city of precious sights.

His eyes fell again to the letter, and a choking feeling filled his throat as he pictured his mother sitting alone in the home in Venice. "The dear, lonely mother!" he said to himself. "My letters have given her sad thoughts."

Then, with a boy's carelessness, he said, laughing lightly at his English joke, "I can write wrong, it seems; but can I follow the king?"

Just then Edith ran into the room crying, "Mother has decided to take the noon train to Naples. Doesn't she do everything suddenly?" And Rafael forgot his mother's letter in his pleasure over another journey.

The car ride to Naples always remained in the boy's mind as a succession of pictures; but no picture could reveal the many phases of his mind as he passed from one experience to another in the days that followed.

"The guide-book calls this the most fertile valley in Europe," said Mrs. Sprague, as they rode along, catching glimpses of farmers plowing in the fields. The distant hills were soft and blue, but on drawing near to them, terraces and flights of steps were to be seen on the slopes.

At last Edith called, "I see Vesuvius!" and the wonderful volcano lay before them. Its smoke rose in a straight column and then broke, trailing off into the distance like the smoke from an ocean liner.

"It makes the mountain look like a man-of-war," exclaimed Rafael, and the two pairs of eyes hardly saw anything else until they reached Naples.

"Let us go to a hotel where we can see the fire at night, if it comes out of the volcano," said Edith; and they took rooms from which they could watch every mood of Vesuvius.

Before they had been in the city three days Edith decided that she liked it better than she did Rome. "The people there looked so serious," she said, "while here they are very merry and sociable."

Mrs. Sprague laughed. "They are certainly sociable enough," she said. "Yesterday I heard a woman read a letter aloud from an upper window to her friend on the sidewalk below."

Edith laughed in her turn. "Was the window in the same house where we saw the rooster and chickens in the upper balcony?" she asked.



Rafael felt a touch of sadness at hearing their light talk. "The poor people!" he said. "When they live upstairs there is no other way but for them to keep their animals up there with them."

"Many of them seem to live in the basements of the rich," observed the girl.

To Rafael, the sight of such great poverty was no new thing, but Edith spoke of it constantly, and wrote of it to her father in America.

"There seem to be nothing but happiness and laziness here among these poor people," the letter said. "They live and eat upon the sidewalk, and it is a funny sight to see the boys swallowing macaroni.

"Many of the rooms in which the people sleep seem to be spaces left in the foundation of a castle, with no windows or doors in the openings. Often the castles seem to be ruined hills; and they have great holes in their barren sides, like caverns in the sides of cliffs; and we see barred doorways instead of windows, with dungeons beyond.

"Then suddenly the hills blossom out into ramparts and parapets, so that it is impossible to distinguish between hills and castles; and to puzzle us still more, long flights of steps lead up between hilly castles and castled hills.

"Occasionally we see a group of basket-makers, or tailors, or shoemakers on the sidewalks among the family groups of fathers, mothers and children. A little beyond such a group we saw yesterday a herd of goats resting comfortably in the shade, also on the sidewalk.

"Early in the morning these goats are driven through the streets. They stop in front of a doorway, a woman runs out with a cup, the man milks her cup full and then drives on to the next doorway. Sometimes, if the woman lives on an upper floor of the house, one of the goats is driven up the stairs, to be milked at her very door.

"We see rich people, also, driving in their splendid carriages on their most beautiful boulevard, overlooking the blue bay; and in contrast to them and their spirited horses, a contadino will come bringing a load of produce to market from the country, driving a white cow harnessed between a full-grown horse and a tiny mule."

While the American girl was marvelling at the queer mingling of riches and poverty in Naples, Rafael was drinking in the beauty of the bay, and of the lovely villages which lie along its border.

Mrs. Sprague stayed two or three weeks in Naples, although she said that she did not like it at all. "The people are so shiftless," she complained, picking up her skirts and walking round a group of girls who were sitting on the sidewalk combing their hair. "It is the dirtiest city in the world."

"Oh, Mother!" Edith exclaimed, "how can you say so? When we go out on the bay in the evening and I look back at the city, it seems to me most beautiful. It is like an amphitheatre, with its tiers of lights rising one above another. Then she sang softly:—

"My soul to-day is far away, Sailing the Vesuvian Bay!"

"Avanti!" exclaimed Rafael suddenly, and shook his head at a boy who was offering a pair of pearl opera-glasses for Mrs. Sprague to buy. Mrs. Sprague drew the back of her hand under her chin, tossing her head at the same time.

The little peddler laughed and showed his white teeth at the awkward motion of the American lady, but he did not insist that she should buy.

As for Edith and Rafael, they looked plainly astonished. "Why, Mother!" said the girl admiringly, "you are talking in a foreign language when you use signs. How did you happen to find out such an easy way to dismiss the little beggar?"

"I was driven to it," answered her mother. "These foreigners have cheated me out of half my money by asking me to pay so much for their wares. They will never take 'no' for an answer. That same boy has been trying to make me buy that same pair of opera-glasses for three days; but at last I have found out a sign that will keep him away. I have seen the others use it," she said with satisfaction.

"What does it mean?" asked Edith curiously.

"It means 'I will not take it at any price,'" said Mrs. Sprague.

Rafael, who had been laughing with great amusement while she gave this explanation, now said, "This language of signs is very convenient. We Italians do half our talking by signs."

Edith looked at him and shook her head decidedly. "Just listen!" she said, pointing to the groups of people gathered along the quay. These people were all talking in the liveliest manner imaginable, and there was a great babble of excited voices. Street peddlers were crying their wares, drivers were cracking their whips, and men in boats, on the water below, were shouting to each other about the price of fish.

"It is certainly the noisiest city in the world," Edith said; "but it is also the jolliest. I am going now to the stand where the public letter-writer sat waiting for customers yesterday. I will let him write a letter for me."

The three separated and Mrs. Sprague returned to the hotel, while Rafael went down to the quay to watch the fishermen. The water with its bustle and stir of life, its coming and going of boats, was like a breath of home to the boy.



CHAPTER XVI

THE BURIED CITY

Edith and Rafael planned their trip to the top of Vesuvius for many days before the right morning finally arrived.

"The right morning is a bright morning," sang Edith one evening as she looked out at the stars; "and to-morrow will bring a bright morning," she added, so positively that Mrs. Sprague sent Rafael to buy the tickets, in order that they might be ready for an early start.

Although it was the last week in December the air was soft and warm, and the sun shone with the brightness of summer.

From Naples to the foot of Mt. Vesuvius there was first a drive of several hours, after which they went up to the crater over an inclined railway.

"It is like looking at the entrance to the underworld," said Edith, as they looked down into the great chasm which holds so much mystery and terror; and she was glad to take the train back to the foot of the mountain.

As they stood looking at the great beds of lava which poured down the sides of the mountain many years ago, Edith exclaimed, "How can any one dare to live near the volcano?"

Rafael turned to a peasant whose little farm was not far away, and asked him if he ever felt free from danger.

"Ah, no!" the man answered, lifting sad eyes and hands to heaven. "When I go to sleep at night I think always, before the light of the morning, the mountain, he may send his fire and stones to crush us all; who knows?"

"Why did the people of Pompeii live so near to Vesuvius, if they knew it might bury them?" Edith asked impatiently.

"They did not know it in the days when Pompeii was built," Rafael told her. "Vesuvius was supposed to be an extinct volcano then. It had not said a word for hundreds of years. Everything about it was green and beautiful, and its slopes were covered with forests and vineyards. It is not strange that people built the two cities near its base."

"What other city was built, besides Pompeii?" asked the girl.

"Herculaneum," answered Rafael. "None of the people felt any fear of danger in the two cities, although an earthquake destroyed some of the buildings in the reign of Nero.

"But in the year 79 A. D., Vesuvius suddenly woke up, and there was a fearful eruption. Ashes and rocks were thrown out of the crater with great force, and hot lava poured down the side of the mountain. The two cities at the foot were completely buried under the ashes, and thousands of people were killed."

"There was an eruption in 1906, which made many people homeless," said Mrs. Sprague, "and no one knows when there may be another.

"Pompeii lay buried for seventeen centuries, and people forgot that there had been such a city; when, after a long time, a farmer who was digging for a well discovered the ruins, and since then a part of each city has been excavated."

"I should like to know just how the people of Pompeii lived, and what they were doing when the city was destroyed," said Edith.

"You shall see the relics that were taken from the ruins and are now in the museum at Naples," her mother told her. "The life of the old Pompeiians has been studied from those relics and a guide can tell you just how they did their housekeeping and what their life was like."

Before she left America, Edith had looked forward to the smoking mountain of Vesuvius and the city of Pompeii as being the most wonderful part of her journey. The volcano, and the city which lay buried under ashes for centuries, had been the goal of her desires.

"Wait until we see Vesuvius and Pompeii!" had been her cry whenever she wrote home. "Then I shall have something to tell you!"

But she turned her face away from the forbidding crater and the desolate beds of lava with a feeling of disappointment that was half fear.

"Perhaps I shall like better to go into the museum and see the curious things that were found in Pompeii," she said, as she searched for a bit of lava from which to have a piece of jewelry fashioned.

"Just think of having the whole world interested to know how the people baked their bread so long ago," said Rafael; and when they had returned to Naples, the children found it very interesting to visit the museum and imagine how the people lived in the time of Christ.

Then one day they went down to the ruined city, riding in a small car over a roadbed so loosely made that Rafael laughed about it, and Edith said it was only a toy journey.

But when they went through the sea-gate at Pompeii, passed the army of boys bearing baskets of earth from the excavations, and stood in the silent streets, Edith drew closer to her mother, and Rafael walked quietly beside them.



They followed the instructions of the guide and looked obediently at the deep ruts made in the pavements of the narrow streets by the old Roman chariot wheels. They walked through the forum, and stood in the ruined amphitheatre.

At last Edith drew Mrs. Sprague into the lonely angle of a wall where they could see nothing of the crumbled houses all about them, the pavements, or the great stepping-stones in the streets.

"I want to go home," she said with a shudder. "I never want to see Vesuvius again."

She was plainly homesick. It was a sudden ending to the "long thoughts of youth" which had filled so many hours with bright anticipations; but she was in such a hurry to get away from the buried city that they took the next train back to Naples without even stopping to buy picture postcards of the ruins.

When they reached their hotel in Naples they found a foreign war-ship anchored in the bay.

"There is the old man-of-war threatening us from the land, and here is one in the bay," exclaimed Edith. "It makes me nervous!"

Mrs. Sprague saw that her daughter was tired. "We will go back to Rome to-morrow," she said.

"But I want to buy a lottery ticket before we leave Naples," said the girl.

"Befana will fill your stockings with ashes if you do," said Rafael.

"Everybody in Italy buys lottery tickets. Why should not I?" asked Edith perversely.

"I do it not," said Rafael shortly.

"That is because your wonderful king does not believe in it," she answered.

"Is that not a good reason?" asked the boy. He looked at her with the same expression he wore in Venice, when she spoke slightingly of the superstitions of his country, and as she knew him better now, she laughed and agreed with him.

"I did not really mean to do it," she said, and added, "Tell me more about Befana."

"How I used to shake in my bed when I heard her bell ring!" he said with a laugh.

"Did you really hear it ring?" asked Edith.

He looked at her drolly, answering, "Of course I heard her bell. And often I heard the sheep talking to one another on Twelfth-night; or at least I thought I did."

"Truly?" asked Edith in great delight.

He nodded, smiling mischievously at her unexpected pleasure in hearing of the Italian superstitions.

Befana is the Italian Lady Santa Claus. She is quite different from the fat, jolly man who drives his reindeer over the roofs at Christmas time.

While Sir Santa is short and rosy, Befana is dark and tall; and while the kind old gentleman leaves something in every stocking, good and bad alike, this rather terrible old lady puts presents only in the good children's stockings, and drops bags of ashes into the others.

Instead of happening at Christmas, as with us, the Italian festival is celebrated on the eve of Epiphany, the sixth of January.

"Everyone is happy then," said Rafael, "and we shall forget Pompeii and the man-of-war which is always threatening it."

So the children began at once to plan for the Twelfth-night festival.

"Mother and I will make some peasant costumes for us to wear," Edith told Rafael, and added, "or you might wear a soldier's uniform and a cocked hat. The soldiers look so fine and march so well in Italy!"

"Come children, it is time to go to bed if we are to take the early morning train to Rome," interrupted Mrs. Sprague, who had been studying a time-table; and the children separated, little dreaming that every plan would soon be changed.



CHAPTER XVII

THE MAGIC OF THE FOUNTAIN

In the morning they wakened to find on every tongue the news of the terrible earthquake at Messina, and for many days it was Italy the desolate that filled their minds and kept their hands busy.

People who saw it never forgot the dreadful misery of the country at that time.

Edith and Rafael stood silent, as when they had walked the streets of the buried city of Pompeii, and watched the confusion of vessels coming and going to the South. Boxes and bundles of all sizes and shapes were piled high on the wharf, and supplies of food and clothing were being hurried to the suffering city.

Newspaper men, frantic to gather news which everyone wished to hear, hurried back and forth on the quay, filling Edith with indignation. "What difference does it make whether we know all the latest news or not?" she asked hotly. "All those poor, starving people must be fed."

Rafael watched the soldiers march through the streets, without the music of the band, and go on board the ships to follow the king's boat to the stricken island, and his heart yearned to go with them.

"Italy is accursed," he heard the superstitious Neapolitans moaning, but he shook his head. "Not while the king and queen live, and teach us how to help," he said to himself, and then he went to find Mrs. Sprague.

"I cannot live this idle life any longer," he said, as he had said it once before, in Venice.

And as his mother asked then, so Mrs. Sprague asked now, "What will you do?"

"I will follow the king to Messina and ask him to make me one of the patrol guard," the boy answered.

They were standing on the quay as he spoke, and could see a relief-ship which was getting up steam, ready to sail out of the harbor.

Mrs. Sprague was alarmed. She knew that the boy would not be allowed to go into the ruined city, and she felt sure that his mother would not permit him to go if she were there; but in the excitement it was possible for him to slip away at any moment, under the mistaken idea that he could be of service.

She put her hand upon the boy's arm to detain him, if indeed he needed to be detained, and said, "How can I make you see that it is not possible for you to be of any use there?"

A man in naval uniform, who was just about to step into a tender and go out to the relief-ship, heard her words and turned, looking into Rafael's face.

He smiled suddenly and held out his hand. "We have met before, when life was brighter," he said; and Rafael recognized with delight the man who had listened to the serenade at the Rialto bridge with him, that summer night in Venice.

"May I go with you?" asked the boy impetuously.

The officer looked at him thoughtfully for a moment. "Our ambassador has sent me down to see what Messina needs most," he said, "and I shall be gone but a day or two. I see no harm in taking you along; but there must be no nonsense about doing patrol duty."

So it came about that Rafael went to Messina and saw the ruin and destruction caused by the greatest earthquake in the history of the world.

He was back in Naples a few days later with a face deeply saddened by the suffering he had seen. "I could not do anything there," he told Mrs. Sprague, who was glad to see him safely back again; "but my friend, the naval officer, helped me to think of a way to be of service."

"I will help you. What are you going to do?" asked Edith. She had been busy every day, helping her mother collect food, clothing and medicine to send to Messina in the relief-ships; but she longed to do still more.

"I am going to make some tops," he told her. "I saw the king and queen doing with their own hands whatever needed to be done to help the poor people; and I can make tops and sell them. In that way I can raise a little money for the sufferers."

That was how it came about that, one evening a week later, a pair of picturesque peasants stood among the booths in the Circus Agonale, in Rome, selling tops. There were booths where peddlers sold whistles of every kind and description; but they two, Edith and Rafael, were the only peddlers of tops.

In all the din of the crowds that passed and re-passed, nothing attracted more attention and made more fun than the doll-tops which Edith and her mother had dressed for Rafael. Edith blew a great blast on her whistle, Rafael gave a piercing scream on his, and they had a little crowd of merry-makers around them in a moment.

Roman whistles are made of pewter, terra-cotta, or wood, in every shape of bird, or beast, or fish. Rafael had a bird-whistle, Edith's was a yellow butterfly, and the tops which they spun were dressed like dolls, in many fantastic costumes.

As he had said in Venice, so Rafael called to his audience in Rome, when he had a little space cleared for the performance, "Signor Rafael Valla will now present his troupe of trained tops!"

"It is for the earthquake sufferers," he had taught Edith to say in Italian, and she had no sooner said it than the tops were all as good as sold.

"It is a pity we had not time to make more," said Edith, when the last one was gone, and they were counting their gains in their room at the hotel.

"You would make a good business man, Rafael," she said suddenly. "The tops cost you only ten lire, and you have sold them for twenty times as much."

But the boy was tired and made no answer for a few moments. Perhaps the tops reminded him of home. After a little, he said, "I think my mother must be very lonely in Venice, when she reads of those who have been made homeless in Messina."

Mrs. Sprague looked at him wisely and nodded her head. "Edith and I must go home to America," she said. "Our friends will be worried about us, and will fear for our safety, after this terrible earthquake."

So they began to plan for leaving Rome at once. The keepsakes and treasures were all packed, the last calls were made, and the night before their departure arrived.

"Let us say good-bye to the Eternal City at the Fountain of Trevi," Edith suggested to Rafael. "I have heard that whoever wishes to return to Rome, should go to the fountain on the last evening of his visit, take a drink out of the basin with his left hand, then turn and throw a half-penny into the water over his left shoulder. I surely wish to come back some day."

"And I," said Rafael. "Let us find some half-pennies at once."

It was a cold, clear, moonlight night, and the two children hurried through the streets, chatting merrily over their errand.

They passed an old woman carrying a scaldino under her shawl. "We shall need a scaldino ourselves," Edith said, "to warm our fingers after we have dipped them in the cold water."

A scaldino is a little brazier for holding coals of fire. The Italians carry one about with them in winter, and when they sit down they hold it in their laps or put it on the floor at their feet.

When they reached the fountain Edith stood still a moment, looking at the water. "I have had such a good time in this historic old land that I shall always be a good Italian," she said; "but I shall be a better American also."

"That is right," said Rafael. "And I shall read the foreign papers to see if you become a famous woman."

"I don't care so much about being famous as you men do," she answered. "But I shall read the foreign news to see what the great patriot, Rafael Valla, is doing for his country, and perhaps, some day, your good king may send you to the United States as ambassador from Italy.

"Let us wish it," she added, and dipped her hand into the fountain. "To Rafael Valla, the ambassador," she said with a smile, and drank the clear, cold water.

"To the Signorina, my friend," said Rafael. "I wish her happiness."

Tears sprang to Edith's eyes, and she held out her hand quickly for the half-penny. "Over your left shoulder, remember," she said, as she tossed the coin into the water.

"Over my left shoulder," Rafael repeated, and added earnestly, "We shall see Rome and the king again."



VOCABULARY

Ap'pi [letter a with an uptack]n Way, a famous Roman highway.

Ap'pi us Clau'di us (cla), a Roman statesman.

a vaen'ti (te), begone.

bam bi'no (be), baby.

Be fa na (b[letter a with an uptack] fae'na), the Italian Lady Santa Claus.

Bi an ca (b[letter e with an uptack] an'ka), a girl's name.

Brin di si (br[letter e with an uptack]n'd[letter e with an uptack] ze), a seaport of south-eastern Italy.

Cam pag na (cam paen'ya), a plain surrounding Rome.

Can'di a, an island in the Mediterranean Sea.

Cap'i to line, one of the seven hills of Rome.

ca'ro, dear.

Ca vour' (voor), an Italian statesman, died 1861.

cen time (san tem'), a copper coin, the hundredth part of a franc.

Cin cin na'tus, a Roman soldier and hero.

Cir' cus A go nal'[letter e with an uptack], one of the squares in Rome.

Col os se'um, an out-door theatre of ancient Rome.

Con'stan tine (ten), the first Christian emperor of Rome.

con'tae di'no (de), a peasant farmer.

Cy'prus, an island in the Mediterranean Sea.

Dan'do lo, a Doge of Venice, died 1205.

Doge (doj), the chief ruler in the ancient republic of Venice.

ec'co, look; behold.

Fla min'i an Way, a highway of ancient Rome.

fo'rum, a market-place or public meeting-place.

Gen'[letter o with an downtack] a, a seaport of northwestern Italy.

gon'do la, a boat used in the canals of Venice.

gon do lier' (ler), a man who rows a gondola.

Her cu la'ne um, a buried city near Naples.

Ho ra'ti us (shi us), a Roman legendary hero.

Jul ius Cae sar (jul'yus se'zar), a famous Roman general, statesman, orator, and writer; died 44 B. C.

la goon', a shallow sound or channel.

li di (le'de), sand-bars in the lagoon of Venice.

Li'do (le), the bathing-beach of Venice.

li'ra (le), a coin worth about nineteen cents.

li re (le'ra), plural of lira.

l'i tal'i a, Italy.

log gia (lod'ja), a roofed, open gallery.

mad're (r[letter a with an uptack]), mother.

Mar'a thon run, a twenty-six-mile running race.

Mer ce ri a (mar ch [letter a with an uptack] re' [letter a with an uptack]), a shopping district in Venice.

Mes si'na (se), a city in Sicily, destroyed by earthquakes in 1908.

mi a (me'a); mi o (me'o), my.

Mi chael An ge lo (mi'kel an'j[letter e with an uptack] lo), an Italian painter and sculptor; died 1564.

M[letter o with an uptack] re'a, the southern peninsula of Greece.

Ne a pol'i tan, pertaining to Naples.

Pal'a tine, one of the seven hills of Rome.

Pa laz zo Vec chi o (pa lat'so vek'ke o), a palace in Florence.

Pa'o lo, a boy's name; Paul.

Paz zi (pat'se), an influential family of Florence.

Pi az za (pe at'sa), square.

Pi az'za del Du o'mo, the square in front of the cathedral in Florence.

Pi az zet ta (pe at set'ta), little square.

Pit ti (pe'te), a palace in Florence.

po len'ta, a pudding made of meal boiled in milk.

Pom pe ii (pa'ye), a buried city near Naples.

quat tro (kwot'tro), four.

Ri al'to (re), a bridge over the Grand Canal of Venice.

San Gior'gi o (jor), Saint George; a church in Venice.

San Min i a to (me ne a'to), a cemetery on a hill southeast of Florence.

scal di no (skol de'no), a brazier.

Scal'i ger[letter s with an downtack below], an Italian family of medieval times.

si (se), yes.

Si e na (se a'na), a province and city in Italy.

Si gnor (se nyor'); Si gnore (se nyo'r[letter a with an uptack]), Sir; Mr.

Si gno ra (se nyo'ra), Madam; Mrs.

Si gno ri na (se nyo re'na), Miss.

Strass'burg, a city in Germany.

Tar'quin (kwin), a legendary king of ancient Rome.

Ti'ber, the river on which Rome is situated.

Tin to ret'to (ten), an Italian painter, died 1594.

Ti tian (tish'an), a famous Venetian painter, died 1576.

Tre vi (tra've), a fountain in Rome.

Tus'ca ny, a province of Italy.

Uf fi zi (of fet's[letter e with an uptack]), a celebrated art-gallery in Florence.

Vat'i can, the Pope's residence.

Ve ro' na (v[letter a with an uptack]), a city in northern Italy.

Ve ro ne se (v[letter a with an uptack] r[letter o with an uptack] n[letter a with an uptack]' z[letter a with an uptack]), an Italian painter, died 1588.

Ve su'vi us, an active volcano near Naples.

Vil'la Bor ghe'se (ga z[letter e with an uptack]), a villa near Rome.

Vi'va (ve), "long live!" "hurrah for!"

* * * * *

THE END

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