Because I felt very happy in going back to Pompeii after a generation, and being alive to do so in the body, I resolved to behave handsomely by the cabman who drove me from my hotel to the station. I said to myself that I would do something that would surprise him, and I gave him his fee and nearly a franc over; but it was I who was surprised, for he ran after me into the station, as I supposed, to extort more. He was holding out a franc toward me, and I asked the guide who was bothering me to take him to Pompeii (where there are swarms of guides always on the grounds) what the matter was. "It is false," he explained, and this proved true, though whether the franc was the one I had given the driver or whether it was one which he had thoughtfully substituted for it to make good an earlier loss I shall now never know. I put it into my pocket, wondering what I should do with it; the question what you shall do with counterfeit money in Italy is one which is apt to recur as I have hinted, and in despair of solving it at the moment I threw the false franc out of the car-window; it was the false franc I have already boasted of throwing away.

This was, of course, after I got into the car, and after I had suffered another wrong, and was resolved at least to be good myself. I had taken first-class tickets, but, when we had followed several conductors up and down the train, the last of them said there were no first-class places left, though I shall always doubt this. I asked what we should do, and he shrugged. I had heard that if you will stand upon your rights in such a matter the company will have to put on another car for you. But I was now dealing with the Italian government, which has nationalized the railroads, but has apparently not yet repleted the rolling stock; and when the conductor found us places in a second-class carriage, rather than quarrel with a government which had troubles enough already I got aboard. I suppose really that I have not much public spirit, and that the little I have I commonly leave at home; in travelling it is burdensome. Besides, the second-class carriage would have been comfortable enough if it had not been so dirty; it looked as if it had not been washed since it was flooded with liquid ashes at the destruction of Pompeii, though they seemed to be cigar ashes.

The country through which we made the hour's run was sympathetically squalid. We had, to be sure, the sea on one side, and that was clean enough; but the day was gray, and the sea was responsively gray; while the earth on the other side was torn and ragged, with people digging manure into the patches of broccoli, and gardening away as if it had been April instead of January. There were shabby villas, with stone-pines and cypresses herding about the houses, and tatters of life-plant overhanging their shabby walls; there were stucco shanties which the men and women working in the fields would lurk in at nightfall. At places there was some cheerful boat building, and at one place there was a large macaroni manufactory, with far stretches of the product dangling in hanks and skeins from rows of trellises. We passed through towns where women and children swarmed, working at doorways and playing in the dim, cold streets; from the balconies everywhere winter melons hung in nets, dozens and scores of them, such as you can buy at the Italian fruiterers' in New York, and will keep buying when once you know how good they are. In Naples they sell them by the slice in the street, the fruiterer carrying a board on his head with the slices arranged in an upright coronal like the rich, barbaric head-dress of some savage prince.

Our train was slow and our car was foul, but nothing could keep us from arriving at Pompeii in very good spirits. The entrance to the dead city is gardened about with a cemeterial prettiness of evergreens; but, after you have bought your ticket and been assigned your guide, you pass through this decorative zone and find yourself in the first of streets where the past makes no such terms with the present. If some of the houses of an ampler plan had little spaces beyond the atrium planted with such flowers as probably grew there two thousand years ago, and stuck round with tiny figurines, it was to the advantage of the people's fancy; but it did not appeal so much to the imagination as the mould and moss, and the small, weedy network that covered the ground in the roofless chambers and temples and basilicas, where the broken columns and walls started from the floors which this unmeditated verdure painted in the favorite hue of ruin.

Most of the places I re-entered through my recollection of them, but to this subjective experience there was added that of seeing much newer and vaster things than I remembered. That sad population of the victims of the disaster, restored to the semhlance of life, or perhaps rather of death, in plaster casts taken from the moulds their decay had left in the hardening ashes, had much increased in the melancholy museum where one visits them the first thing within the city gates. But their effect was not cumulative; there were more writhing women and more contorted men; but they did not make their tragedy more evident than it had been when I saw them, fewer but not less affecting, all those years ago. It was the same with the city itself; Pompeii had grown, like the rest of the world in the interval, and, although it had been dug tip instead of built up, a good third had been added to the count of its streets and houses. There were not, so far as I could see, more ruts from chariot-wheels in the lava blocks of the thoroughfares, but some convincingly two-storied dwellings had been exhumed, and others with ceilings in better condition than those of the earlier excavations; there were more all-but-unbroken walls and columns; some mosaic floors were almost as perfect as when their dwellers fled over them out of the stifling city. But upon the whole the result was a greater monotony; the revelation of house after house, nearly the same in design, did not gain im-pressiveness from their repetition; just as the case would be if the dwellings of an old-fashioned cross-town street in New York were dug out two thousand years after their submergence by an eruption of Orange Mountain. The identity of each of the public edifices is easily attested to the archaeologist, but the generally intelligent, as the generally unintelligent, visitor must take the archaeologist's word for the fact. One temple is much like another in its stumps of columns and vague foundations and broken altars. Among the later discoveries certain of the public baths are in the best repair, both structurally and decoratively, and in these one could replace the antique life with the least wear and tear of the imagination.

I could not tell which the several private houses were; but the guide-books can, and there I leave the specific knowledge of them; their names would say nothing to the reader if they said nothing to me. In Pompeii, where all the houses were rather small, some of the new ones were rather large, though not larger than a few of the older ones. Not more recognizably than these, they had been devoted to the varied uses known to advanced civilization in all ages: there were dwellings, and taverns and drinking-houses and eating-houses, and there were those houses where the feet of them that abide therein and of those that frequent them alike take hold on hell. In these the guide stays the men of his party to prove the character of the places to them from the frescos and statues; but it may be questioned if the visitors so indulged had not better taken the guide's word for the fact. There can be no doubt that at the heart of paganism the same plague festered which poisons Christian life, and which, while the social conditions remain the same from age to age, will poison life forever.

The pictures on the walls of the newly excavated houses are not strikingly better than those I had not forgotten; but of late it has been the purpose to leave as many of the ornaments and utensils in position as possible. The best are, as they ought to be, gathered into the National Museum at Naples, but those which remain impart a more living sense of the past than such wisely ordered accumulations; for it is the Pompeian paradox that in the image of death it can best recall life. It is a grave which has been laid bare, and it were best to leave its ghastly memories unhindered by other companionship. One feels that one ought to be there alone in order to see it aright. One should not perhaps

  "Go visit it by the pale moonlight,"

but if one could have it all to one's self by day, such a gray day as we had for it, there is no telling what might happen. One thing only would certainly happen: one would get lost. It never was a town of large area; and, like all spaces that have been ruined over, it looked smaller than it would have looked if all its walls were standing with all their roofs upon them. Still, it was a mesh of streets, out of which you would in vain have sought your way if you had been caught in it alone; though it is mostly so level that if you had mounted a truncated column almost anywhere you could have looked over the labyrinth to its verge.

It was not much crowded by visitors; though there were strings of them at the heels of the respective guides, with, I thought, a prevalence of the Germans, who are now overrunning Italy; I am sorry to say they are not able to keep it cheap, at least for other nationalities. Among these I noted two little smiling, shining, twinkling Japs, who carried kodaks for the capture of that classical antiquity which could never really belong to them. Their want of a pagan past in common with us may be what keeps us alien even more than the want of a common Christian tradition.

  "The glory that was Greece 
  And the grandeur that was Rome"

could never mean to our brown companions what they meant to us; but they put on a polite air of being interested in the Graeco-Roman ruin, and were so gentle and friendly that one could almost feel they were fellow-men. Very likely they were; at any rate, until we are at war with them I shall believe so.

Our guide, whom we had really bought the whole use of at the gate, thriftily took on another party, with our leave, and it was pleasant to find that the American type from Utah was the same as from Ohio or Massachusetts; with all our differences we are the most homogeneous people under the sun, and likest a large family. We all frankly got tired at about the same time at the same place, and agreed that we had, without the amphitheatre, had enough when we ended at the Street of Tombs, where the tombs are in so much better repair than the houses. For myself, I remembered the amphitheatre so perfectly from 1864 that I did not see how I could add a single emotion there in 1908 to those I had already turned into literature; and though Pompeii is but small, the amphitheatre is practically as far from the Street of Tombs, after you have walked about the place for two hours, as the Battery is from High Bridge. There is no Elevated or Subway at Pompeii, and even the lines of public chariots, if such they were, which left those ruts in the lava pavements seem to have been permanently suspended after the final destruction in the year 79.

We were not only very tired, but very hungry, and we asked our guide to take us back the shortest way. I suggested a cross-cut at one point, and he caught at the word eagerly, and wrote it in his note-book for future use. He also acted upon it instantly, and we cut across the back yards and over the kitchen areas of several absent citizens on our way back. Our guide was as good and true as it is in the nature of guides to be, but absolute goodness and truth are rather the attributes of American travellers; and you will not escape the small graft which the guides are so rigorously forbidden to practise. Pompeii is no longer in the keeping of the Italian army; with the Italian instinct of decentralization the place has claimed the right of self-government, and now the guides are civilians, and not soldiers, as they were in my far day. They do not accept fees, but still they take them; and our guide said that he had a brother-in-law who had the best restaurant outside the gate, where we could get luncheon for two francs. As soon as we were in the hands of the runner for that restaurant the price augmented itself to two francs and a half; when we mounted to the threshold, lured on by the fascinating mystery of this increase, it became three francs, without wine. But as the waiter justly noted, in hovering about us with the cutlery and napery while he laid the table, a two-fifty luncheon was unworthy such lords as we. When he began to bring on the delicious omelette, the admirable fish, the excellent cutlets, he made us observe that if we paid three francs we ought to eat a great deal; and there seemed reason in this; at any rate, we did so. The truth is, that luncheon was worth the money, and more; as for the Vesuvian wine, it had the rich red blood of the volcano in it, and it could not be bought in New York for half a franc the bottle, if at all; at thrice that sum in Naples it was not a third as good.

If there had been anything to do after lunch except go to the train, we could not have done it, we were so spent with our two hours' walk through Pompeii, though the gray day had been rather invigorating. Certainly it was not so exhausting as that white-hot day forty-three years before when I had broiled over the same ground under the blazing sun of a Pompeian November. Yet the difference in the muscles and emotions of twenty-seven as against those of seventy told in favor of the white-hot day; and, besides that, in the time that had elapsed a much greater burden of antiquity had been added to the city than had accumulated in its history between the year 79 and the year 1864. During most of those centuries Pompeii had been dreamlessly sleeping under its ashes, but in the ensuing less than half a century it had wakefully, however unwillingly, witnessed such events as the failure of secession and the abolition of slavery, the unification of Italy and Germany, the fall of the Second Empire, the liberation of Cuba, and the acquisition of the Philippines, the exile of Richard Croker, the destruction of the Boer Republic, the rise and spread of the trusts, the purification of municipal politics, the invention of wireless telegraphy, and the general adoption of automobiling. These things, and others like them, had perhaps not aged Pompeii so much as they had aged me, but their subjective effect was the same, and upon the whole I was not altogether sorry to have added scarcely a new impression of the place to those I had been carrying for more than a generation. Quantitatively there were plenty of new impressions to be had; impressions of more roofs, gardens, columns, houses, temples, walls, frescos; but qualitatively the Greater Pompeii was now not different from the lesser which I remembered so well.

This, at least, was what I said to myself on the ground and afterward in the National Museum at Naples, where most of the precious Pompeian things, new and old, are heaped up. They still make but a poor show there beside the treasures of Herculaneum, where the excavation of a few streets and houses has yielded costlier and lovelier things than all the lengths and breadths of Pompeii. But not for this would I turn against Pompeii at the last moment, as it were, though my second visit had not aesthetically enriched me beyond my first. I keep the vision of it under that gray January sky, with Vesuvius smokeless in the background, and the plan of the dead city, opener to the eye than ever it could have been in life, inscribed upon the broadly opened area of the gentle slopes within its gates. Whether one had not better known it dead than alive, one might not wish perhaps to say; but the place itself is curiously without pathos; Newport in ruins might not be touching; possibly all skeletons or even mummies are without pathos; and Pompeii is a skeleton, or at the most a mummy, of the past.

Seeing what antiquity so largely was, however, one might be not only resigned but cheerful in the ef-facement of any particular piece of it; and for a help to this at Pompeii I may advise the reader to take with him a certain little guide-book, written in English by a very courageous Italian, which I chanced to find in Naples. Though it treats of the tragical facts with seriousness, it is not with equal gravity that one reads that sixteen years before the Vesuvian eruption "the region had been shaken by strong sismic movements, which induced Pompei inhabitants to forsake precipitately their habitations. But being the amazement up, they got one's home again as soon as the earth was quiet and all fear and sadness went off by memory." Signs of the final disaster to follow were not wanting; the wells failed, the water-courses were crossed by currents of carbonic acid; "the domestic animals were also very sensible of the approaching of the scourge; they lost the habitual vivacity, and having the food in disgust, had from time to time to complain with mournful wailings, without justified reasons. . . . The sky became of a thick darkness, . . . interrupted only by flashes of light which the lava riverberated, by the bloody gliding of the thunderbolts, by the incandescence of enormous projectiles, thrown to an incommensurable highness. . . . Death surprised the charming town; houses and streets became the tombs of the unhappies hit by an atrocious torture."

The author's study of the life of Pompeii is notable for diction which, if there were logic in language, would be admirable English, for while yet in his mind it must have been "very choice Italian." He tells us that "Pompei's dwellings are surprising by their specific littleness," and explains that "Pompei inhabitants, for the habitudes of the climate could allow, lived almost always to the open sky," just as the Naples inhabitants do now. "They got home only to rest a little, to fulfill life wants, to be protected by bad weather. They spent much time during the day in forum, temples, thermes, tennis-court, or intervened to public sports, religious functions and meetings. . . . Few houses only had windows. The sunlight and ventilation to the ancients was given through empty spaces in the roofs. . . . Hoofs knocked under the weight of materials thrown out by Vesuvius; it is undoubted, however, that roofs were provided with covers or supported terraces. In the middle of the roofs was cut an ouerture through which air and light brought their benefits to the underlaid ambients. . . . Proprietor disposed the locals according to his own delight. . . . So that, there were bed, bath, dining, talking and game rooms." In the peristyle "the ground was gardened, the area shared in flower beds, had narrow paths; herbs, flowers, shrubs were put with art well in order on flower beds, delighted from time to time by statues of various subjects," as may be noted in the actual restorations of some of the Pompeian houses,

As for their spiritual life, "Pompeian's religion, like by Roman people, was the Paganism. Deities were worshipped in the temples with prayers, sagrifices, vows, and festivities. . . . Banquets to the Deity were joined to prayers. In fact, dining tables were dressed near the altars, and all around them on dining beds, tricli-nari, placed Divinities statues as these were assembled to own account to the joyous banquest." Auspices or auguries "gave interpretation to thunders, lightnings, winds, rain crashes, comets, or to bird songs and flights. . . . Horuspices inquired the divine will on the animal bowels, sacrificed to the altar; they took out further indications by fleshes and bowels flames when burnt on the altar."

An important feature of Pompeian social life was the bath, which "was one of the hospitality duty, and very often required in several religious functions. . . . Large and colossal edifices were quite furnished with all the necessary for care and sport. Besides localities for all kind of bath - cold, warm, steam bath - didn't want parks, alleys, and porticos in order to walk; lists rings for gymnastic exercises, conversation and reading rooms, localities for theatrical representations, swimming stations, localities for scientific disquisitions, moral and religious teachings. The most splendid art works adorned the ambient."

When we pass to the popular amusements we are presented with the materials of pictures vividly realized in The Last Days of Pompeii, but somewhat faded since. "In the beginning gladiators' rank was made by condemned to death slaves and war prisoners. Later also thoughtless young men, who had never learned an advantageous trade, became gladiators." In the arena they engaged in sham fights till the spectators demanded blood. Then, "sometimes one provided one's self nets for wrapping up the adversary, who, hit by a trident much, frequently die. When the gladiator was deadly wounded, forsaking the arm, struck down and stretching the index, asked the people grace of life. The spectators decided up his destiny, turning the thumb to the breast, or toward the ground. The thumb turned toward the ground was the unlucky's death doom, and he had without fail the throat cut off."

Such, dimly but unmistakably seen through our Italian author's well-reasoned English, were the ancient Pompeians; and, upon the whole, the visitor to their city could not wish them back in it. I preferred even those modern Pompeians who followed us so molestively to the train with bargains in postal-cards and coral. They are very alert, the modern Pompeians, to catch the note of national character, and I saw one of them pursuing an elderly American with a spread of hat-pins, primarily two francs each, and with the appeal, evidently studied from some fair American girl: "Buy it, Poppa! Six for one franc. Oh, Poppa, buy it!"

I had again lavished my substance upon first-class tickets, and so had my Utah friend, who expounded his philosophy of travel as we managed to secure a first-class carriage. "When I can't go first-class in Italy, I'll go home." I promptly and proudly agreed with him, but I concealed my morning's experience of the fact that in Italy you may sometimes go second class when you have paid first. I agreed with him, however, in not minding the plunder of Italian travel, since, with all the extortions, it would come to a third less than you expected to spend. His was the true American spirit.