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rose mysteriously up out of the shadows beside us and said "Ho!" And so we left.
In ten minutes more we struck into a beautiful road, and unlike some others we had stumbled upon at intervals, it led in the right direction. We followed it. It was broad and smooth and whitehandsome and in perfect repair, and shaded on both sides for a mile or so with single ranks of trees, and also with luxuriant vineyards. Twice we entered and stole grapes, and the second time somebody shouted at us from some invisible place. Whereupon we left again. We speculated in grapes no more on that side of Athens.
Shortly we came upon an ancient stone aqueduct, built upon arches, and from that time forth we had ruins all about us-we were approaching our journey's end. We could not see the Acropolis now or the high hill, either, and I wanted to follow the road till we were abreast of them, but the others overruled me, and we toiled laboriously up the stony hill immediately in our front- and from its summit saw another climbed it and saw another! It was an hour of exhausting work. Soon we came upon a row of open graves, cut in the solid rock- (for a while one of them served Socrates for a prison) we passed around the shoulder of the hill, and the citadel, in all its ruined magnificence, burst upon us! We hurried across the ravine and up a winding road, and stood on the old Acropolis, with the prodigious walls of the citadel towering above our
heads. We did not stop to inspect their massive blocks of marble, or measure their height, or guess at their extraordinary thickness, but passed at once through a great arched passage like a railway tunnel, and went straight to the gate that leads to the ancient temples. It was locked! So, after all, it seemed that we were not to see the great Parthenon face to face. We sat down and held a council of war. Result: The gate was only a flimsy structure of wood we would break it down. It seemed like desecration, but then we had traveled far, and our necessities were urgent. We could not hunt up guides and keepers — we must be on the ship before daylight. So we argued. This was all very fine, but when we came to break the gate, we could not do it. We moved around an angle of the wall and found a low bastion - eight feet high without — ten or twelve within. Denny prepared to scale it, and we got ready to follow. By dint of hard scrambling he finally straddled the top, but some loose stones crumbled away and fell with a crash into the court within. There was instantly a banging of doors and a shout. Denny dropped from the wall in a twinkling, and we retreated in disorder to the gate. Xerxes took that mighty citadel four hundred and eighty years before Christ, when his five millions of soldiers and camp-followers followed him to Greece, and if we four Americans could have remained unmolested five minutes longer, we would have taken it too.
The garrison had turned out-four Greeks. We clamored at the gate, and they admitted us. [Bribery and corruption.]
We crossed a large court, entered a great door, and stood upon a pavement of purest white marble, deeply worn by footprints. Before us, in the flooding moonlight, rose the noblest ruins we had ever looked upon the Propylæa; a small temple of Minerva; the Temple of Hercules, and the grand Parthenon. [We got these names from the Greek guide, who didn't seem to know more than seven men ought to know.] These edifices were all built of the whitest Pentelic marble, but have a pinkish
stain upon them now. Where any part is broken, however, the fracture looks like fine loaf sugar. Six caryatides, or marble women, clad in flowing robes, support the portico of the Temple of Hercules, but the porticoes and colonnades of the other structures are formed of massive Doric and Ionic pillars, whose flutings and capitals are still measurably perfect, notwithstanding the centuries that have gone over them and the sieges they have suffered. The Parthenon, originally, was two hundred and twenty-six feet long, one hundred wide, and seventy high, and had two rows of great columns, eight in each, at either end, and single rows of seventeen each down the sides, and was one of the most graceful and beautiful edifices ever erected.
Most of the Parthenon's imposing columns are still standing, but the roof is gone. It was a perfect
building two hundred and fifty years ago, when a shell dropped into the Venetian magazine stored here, and the explosion which followed wrecked and unroofed it. I remember but little about the Parthenon, and I have put in one or two facts and figures for the use of other people with short memories. Got them from the guide-book.
As we wandered thoughtfully down the marblepaved length of this stately temple, the scene about us was strangely impressive. Here and there, in lavish profusion, were gleaming white statues of men and women, propped against blocks of marble, some of them armless, some without legs, others headless -but all looking mournful in the moonlight, and startlingly human! They rose up and confronted the midnight intruder on every side— they stared at him with stony eyes from unlooked-for nooks and recesses; they peered at him over fragmentary heaps far down the desolate corridors; they barred his way in the midst of the broad forum, and solemnly pointed with handless arms the way from the sacred fane; and through the roofless temple the moon looked down, and banded the floor and darkened the scattered fragments and broken statues with the slanting shadows of the columns.
What a world of ruined sculpture was about us!
Set up in rows stacked up in piles scattered
broadcast over the wide area of the Acropolis were hundreds of crippled statues of all sizes and of the most exquisite workmanship; and vast fragments
of marble that once belonged to the entablatures, covered with bas-reliefs representing battles and sieges, ships of war with three and four tiers of oars, pageants and processions everything one could think of. History says that the temples of the Acropolis were filled with the noblest works of Praxiteles and Phidias, and of many a great master in sculpture besides and surely these elegant fragments attest it.
We walked out into the grass-grown, fragmentstrewn court beyond the Parthenon. It startled us, every now and then, to see a stony white face stare suddenly up at us out of the grass with its dead eyes. The place seemed alive with ghosts. I half expected to see the Athenian heroes of twentve centuries ago glide out of the shadows and, and into the old temple they knew so well and and tried with such boundless pride. matter but
The full moon was riding high in the words. I heavens now. We sauntered carel
en up to idolatry.
ingly to the edge of the loft Athens, his spirit was stirred citadel, and looked down vision! Athens by moonli gogue with the Jews, and with the thought the splendors of ily with them that met with him.
revealed to him, surely Sight him unto Areopagus, saying, May the level plain right whereof thou speakest is?
abroad like a picture midst of Mars hill, and said, Ye men of as we might have loo things ye are too superstitious;
no semblance of a 1 beheld your devotions, I found an altar HE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom, therefore, ye
window, every clinglare I unto you."— Acts, ch. xvii.