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I.

VISIT TO THE CATACOMBS.

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I.

VISIT TO THE CATACOMBS.

ABOUT two miles from the gates of Rome, on that same Appian Way, over whose pavements once the legions of victorious Rome marched on their way to the Capitol, and whose stones were bedewed with the tears of captive princes as they were dragged along to swell the glory of the triumph, stands the church of St. Sebastian. The tide of population bas flowed away from it-the dwellers about have fled from the deadly miasma which broods over these wastes-the ruins of their habitations have sunk beneath the soil, as the rank vegetation rose around them and the church, with its adjoining monastery, stands nothing but a monument of the saint who is said to have suffered martyrdom on that spot.

It was on one of those genial mornings when an Italian winter is rapidly changing to its early spring, that we stood opposite to this time-worn relic of the past. A scene which presented the image of more perfect repose could not be imagined. Around us,

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