"Through the eyes of..."
In Letters of Horace Walpole,
Earl of Oxford,vol.
1, this Grand Tourist had
this to say about Herculaneum:
(June 14, 1740): (from
Naples) One hates writing descriptions that
are to be found in every book of travels; but
we have seen something to-day that I am sure
you never read of, and perhaps never heard of.
Have you ever heard of a subterraneous town? a
whole Roman town, with all its edifices,
remaining under ground? Don't fancy the
inhabitants buried it there to save it from
the Goths: they were buried with it
themselves; which is a caution we are not told
that they ever took. You remember in Titus's
time there were several cities destroyed by an
eruption of Vesuvius, attended with an
earthquake. Well, this was one of them, not
very considerable, and then called
Herculaneum. Above it has since been built
Portici, about three miles from Naples, where
the King has a villa. This under-ground city
is perhaps one of the noblest curiosities that
ever has been discovered. It was found out by
chance, about a year and half ago. They began
digging, they found statues; they dug,
further, they found more. Since that they have
made a very considerable progress.
(by Joshua Reynolds)
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