The Last Days of Pompeii

The Last Days of Pompeii

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The Last Days of Pompeii

The Last Days of Pompeii

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Excerpt

This work has had the good fortune to be so general a favorite with the Public, that the Author is spared the. task of obtruding any comments in its vindication from adverse criticism. The profound scholarship of German criticism, which has given so minute an attention to the domestic life of the ancients, has sufficiently testified to the general fidelity with which the manners, habits, and customs, of the inhabitants of Pompeii have been described in these pages. And writing the work almost on the spot, and amidst a population that still preserve a strong family likeness to their classic forefathers, I could scarcely fail to catch something of those living colors which mere book-study alone would not have sufficed to bestow; it is, I suspect, to this accidental advantage that this work is principally indebted for a greater popularity than has hitherto attended the attempts of scholars to, create an interest, by fictitious narrative, in the manners and persons of a classic age. Perhaps, too, the writers I allude to, and of whose labors I would speak with the highest respect, did not sufficiently remember, that in works of imagination, the description of manners, however important as an accessary, must still be subordinate to the vital elements of interest, viz., plot, character, and passion. And, in reviving the ancient shadows, they have rather sought occasion to display erudition, than to show how the human heart beats the same, whether under the . . .

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