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poets, the admirable Lucian, remarks that their doctrine was brought to Rome by a little hooknosed Jew, namel Paulus, who was behealed by the divine Nero over yonder near tlie Ostian gate, beside the pyramid of Cestius, which you may see amongst the cypresses. They have many strange usages. Their funeral customs, especially, differ very widely from the Greek or Roman ones.
. They bury the body, with many mysterious rites, in vaults or chambers underground, instead of burning it on a funeral pyre. They are rank atheists, refusing to worship the gods, or even to throw so much as a grain of incense on their altar, or place a garland of flowers before their shrines, or even have their images in their houses. They are a morose, sullen, and dangerous people, and are said to hold hideous orgies at their secret assemblies underground, where they banquet on the body of a newly-slain child.* See yonder,” he continued, pointing to a low-browed arch almost concealed by trees in a neighbouring garus to conceive the content and detestation in which crucifixion was held by the Romans. It was a punishment reserved for the worst of felons, or the vilest of slaves.-ED.
* All these calumnies, and others still worse, are recorded by pagan writers concerning the early Christians. Their celebration of the Lord's Supper in the private meetings became the ground of the last-mentioned distorted accusation.-ED.
den," is the entrance to one of their secret crypts, where they gather to celebrate their abominable rites, surrounded by the bones and ashes of the dead. A vile and craven set of wretches; they are not fit to live.”
They are not all cravens; to that I can bear witness," interrupted Sertorius. “I knew a fellow in my own company-Lannus was his namewho, his comrades said, was a Christian. He was the bravest and steadliest fellow in the legion ; -saved my life once in Libya ;-rusled between me and a lion, which sprang from a tliicket as I stopped to let my horse drink at a streamas it might be the Anio, there. The lion's fangs met in his arm, but he never winced. He
may believe what he pleases for me. I like not this blood-hound business of hunting down honest men because they worship gods of their own. But the Emperor's edict is written, as you may say, with the point of a dagger— The Christian religion must everywhere be destroyed.””
“ And quite right, too, your Excellency,” said the soft-swiling Greek. “They are seditious conspirators, the enemies of Cæsar and of Rome.”
“ A Roman soldier does not need to learn of thee, hungry Greekling,"* exclaimed the centurion, laughtily, “what is his duty to his country!"
*“Graeculus esuriens,” the term applied by Juvenal to those foreign adventurers who sought to worm their way
“True, most noble sir," faltered the discomfited secretary, yet with a vindictive glance from his treacherous eyes.
“ Your Excellency is always right.”
For a time they rode on in silence, the secretary falling obsequiously a little to the rear. It was now bigh noon, and the crowil and bustle on the Appian Way redoubled. This Queen of Roads* lan straight as an arrow up-hill and down from Rome to Capua and Brundisium, a distance of over three hundred iniles. Though then nearly six hundred years old, it was as firm as the day it was laid, and after the lapse of fifteen hundred years more, during which "the Goth, the Christian, Time, War, Flood and Fire,” have devastated the land, its firm lava pavement of broad basaltic slabs seems as enduring as ever. On every side rolled the undulating Campagna, now a scene of melancholy desolation, then cultivated like a garden, abounding in villas and mansions whose marble columns gleamed snowy while through the luxuriant foliage of their embosoning myrtle and laurel groves. On either side of the road were the stately tombs of Rome's mighty dead-her prætors, proconsuls, and semi
into the employment and confidence of great Roman houses.
Regina Viarum, as the Romans called it.
tors-some, like the mausoleum of Cæcilia Metella,* rising like a solid fortress; others were like little wayside altars, but all were surrounded by an elegantly kept green sward, adorned with parterres of flowers. Their ruins now rise like stranded wrecks above the sea of verdure of the tonib-abounding plain. On every side are tombo -tombs above and tombs below—the graves of contending races, the sepulchres of vanished generations. Across the vast field of view stretched, supported high in air on hundreds of arches, like a Titan procession, the Marcian Aqueduct, erected B.C. 146, which after two thousand years brings to the city of Rome an abundant supply of the purest water from the far distant Alban Mouutains, 1 hich present to our gaze to-day the same serrated outline and lovely play of colour thut delighted the eyes of Horace and Cicero.
As they drew nearer the gates of the city, it became difficult to thread their way through the throngs of eager travellers-gay lecticæ or silkencurtainel carriages and flashing chariots, conveying fashionable ladies and the gilded gallants of the city to the elegant villas without the walls -processions of consuls and proconsuls with
* It is a circular structure sixty five feet in diame er, built upon a square base of still lager size. After two thousand years it still defies the gnawing tooth of Time.
their guards, and crowds of peasants bringing in the panniers of their patient donkeys fruits, vegetables, and even snow from the distant Soracte, protected from the heat by a straw mattingjust as they do in Italy to-day. The busy scene is vividly described in the graphic lines of Milton :
“ What conflux issuing forth or entering in ;
Prætors, proconsuls to their provinces