THE LAST MAN
Author : Mary Shelley
I VISITED Naples in the year 1818. On the 8th of December of that year, my
companion and I crossed the Bay, to visit the antiquities which are
scattered on the shores of Baiae. The translucent and shining waters of the
calm sea covered fragments of old Roman villas, which were interlaced by
sea-weed, and received diamond tints from the chequering of the sun-beams;
the blue and pellucid element was such as Galatea might have skimmed in her
car of mother of pearl; or Cleopatra, more fitly than the Nile, have chosen
as the path of her magic ship. Though it was winter, the atmosphere seemed
more appropriate to early spring; and its genial warmth contributed to
inspire those sensations of placid delight, which are the portion of every
traveller, as he lingers, loath to quit the tranquil bays and radiant
promontories of Baiae.
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