“July 30th, 1883
When we went to the office we met Mrs. Wallace there who took us to see the Museum. It is a splendid building very large and beautiful mosaic laid floors. We went first and saw the mosaic walls that had been found in Pompeii. After that we saw all the old and new coins of all the different nations. Then we went and looked at the paintings, they are very large and beautiful. We also saw the victuals that had been found in Pompeii, bread that had been baked two thousand years ago, also different kinds of nuts, locusts, wines and grains. In another room we saw the manuscripts that after having been half burned had been unrolled with great pains so that people who can read Greek are still able to read them. Another room was filled with the statues of all the old imperators and consuls of Rome, amongst them Julius Caesar and Augustus, the last consul and the first imperator. Still other rooms contained marble statues out of the Greek mythology, a great part of which had been found in the ruins of Pompeii. Everything that has been found there shows that the arts then held a position such as they can scarcely boat of now. Mrs. Wallace dined with us on board, where later on Mr. Holmes came to see us. Papa being still unwell and not able to take us ashore, Mr. Holmes offered us his carriage for a drive of which we gladly accepted, especially having Mrs. Wallace to accompany us. We went out of town and passed Posillipo, where we had a splendid view of the bay of Naples. We then passed through a grotto that goes right through the mountains into the country. Here we saw the vine yards miles and miles long and the grapes hanging down in clusters. After we had been out for a couple of hours, we drove into the town again, bade goodbye to Mrs. Wallace and went on board. At night Mr. Heinemann came on board and brought me a book called “The Last Days of Pompeii.” We sat down on deck, it being a fine night, and watched Mount Vesuvius, who emitted fire occasionally.”
(Sally here: If you’ve never studied Pompeii then take a look at this web site. It has an interactive map that when you click into it shows some incredible photos of Pompeii and also some great information. It’s been a city I’ve longed to travel to.
At the end of the day when Ernestine writes, “At night Mr. Heinemann came on board and brought me a book called “The Last Days of Pompeii.” We sat down on deck, it being a fine night, and watched Mount Vesuvius, who emitted fire occasionally.”…….can you just imagine; sitting on the deck of an 1880’s ship in the Bay of Naples, with a book all about Pompeii in your lap (having just visited some of the incredible relics from the site itself) and then watching a Volcano erupting in the night time sky. The same Volcano that covered the city of Pompeii in 79 A.D. Wow is all I can say.)