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history of the Reformation—the journey of Lather, -with its strange and mixed incidents—his appearance in Worms before the Diet, his prayer beforehand, his fears, his triumph, the excitements that followed his triumph, his seizure on his return, and residence in the Wartburg. It would be difficult to find anywhere a nobler subject for a great poem.
He entered Worms on the 16th April, escorted by his friends and numbers of the Saxon noblemen, who had gone out to meet him. As he passed through the city, so great was the crowd that pressed to see him, that he had to be conducted through back-courts to his inn. More than two thousand assembled at the "Deutscher Hof," where he took up his abode, and till night his room was thronged by nobles and clergy, who came to visit him. After his room was cleared, a different picture presented itself. The bold monk is seen prostrate in an agony of prayer. His voice was heard in snatches by his friends as it rose to heaven, and it is impossible to read anything more touching and awe-inspiring than the fragments of this prayer -which have been preserved. On the following day he received notice to attend before the Diet the same afternoon, and amidst the dark frowns of Spanish warriors and ecclesiastics, and the whisperings of affectionate and courageous sympathy, he was ushered into the imperial presence.
The scene which presented itself to the monk was one well fitted to move him. The Emperor Charles V., seated on his throne, with the three ecclesiastical electors on the right, the three secular on the left; his brother Frederick on a chair of state below the throne; .the nobles, knights and delegates of the free cities around, the Papal nuncio in front . The sun, verging to its setting, streamed full on the scene of worldly magnificence, strangely varied by every colour and form of dress; the Spanish cloak of yellow silk, the velvet and ermine of the electors, the red robes of cardinals, the violet robes of bishops, the plain sombre garb of deputies of towns, and priests. The solitary monk, with his head uncovered, pale with recent illness and hard study, with little or none as yet of the brave rotundity of his later age, a pale slight figure, " encircled by the dark flashing line of the mailed chivalry of Germany." Little wonder that at first he seemed bewildered, and that his voice sounded feeble and hesitating. His old adversary Eck ■was spokesman, and loudly challenged the monk,—first, as to whether he acknowledged the books before him as his writings; and secondly, as to whether he would retract and recall them. To the first question he replied in the affirmative; in answer to the second, he demanded a day's delay to consider and frame an answer. Many thought he was at length frightened, and would temporize; but on the following day they were abundantly undeceived. All signs of timidity and hesitation had then vanished; he had had time to meditate an adequate reply, and in a speech of two hours, first, in German, and then in Latin, he expressed his determination to abide by what he had written, and called upon the Emperor and the States to take into consideration the evil condition of the church, lest God should visit the empire and German nation with His judgments. Being pressed for a direct answer, yea or nay, whether he would retract, he answered finally in the memorable words, "Unless I be convinced by Scripture and reason, I neither can nor dare retract anything; for my conscience is a captive to God's word, and it is neither safe nor right to go against conscience. Here I take my stand. I can do no otherwise. So help me GodAmen."—Tulloch's "Leaders of the Reformation."
LESSON LXXXI. POMPEII.
The ruins of Pompeii are now open to the day. A great many of the streets, with all the houses bordering them, have been cleared, and the sand and gravel under which they were buried have been carted away. Immense heaps of this rubbish are lying outside tho entrance, covered with grass and small trees, and looking like great railway embankments. Indeed, the appearance which Pompeii now presents, is that of a large open village of ruined and roofless one-storied houses. Many of the houses were originally two stories high, it is true; but the upper stories have been destroyed or shaken down, and in general it is the lower story only that now remains.
The structure of the houses, in respect to plan and general arrangement, is very different from that of the dwellings built in our towns at the present day. The chief reasons for the difference arise from the absence of windows and chimneys in the houses of the ancients, and of course the leaving out of windows and chimneys in a house makes it necessary to change everything.
The inhabitants of Pompeii had no chimneys, because the climate there is so mild that they seldom needed a fire; and when they did need one, it was easier to make a small one in an open vessel, and let it stand in the middle of the room, or wherever it was required, than to make a chimney and fire-place. The open pan in which the fires were made in those days stood on legs, and could be moved about anywhere. The fire was made of small twigs cut from the trees. The people would let the pan stand in the open air till the twigs were burnt to charcoal, and then they would carry the pan, with the embers still glowing, into the room which they wished to warm.
The same contrivance is used at the present day in Naples, and in all the towns of that region. In going along the streets in a cool evening or morning, you will often see one of these little brass pans before a door, ■with a little fire blazing in it, and children or other persons before it wanning their hands. Afterwards, if you watch, you will see that the people take it into the house.
The ancient inhabitants of Pompeii depended entirely on arrangements like these for warming their rooms; there is not a chimney to be found in the whole town.
In respect to windows, the reason why they did not have them was because they had no glass to put into them. They could not make glass in those days well or easily enough to use it for windows. Of course they had openings in their houses to admit the air and light, and these openings might perhaps be called windows. But in order to prevent the wind and rain from coming in, it was necessary to have them placed in sheltered situations, as, for example, under porticos and piazzas. The custom, therefore, arose of having a great many porticos in the houses, with rooms opening from them; and in order that they might not be too much exposed, they were generally made with the open side inwards, towards the centre of the house, where a small square place was left without a roof over it to admit the light and air.
Of course tho rain would come through this open
space, and the floor of it was generally formed, into a square marble basin to receive the water. This was called the impluvium. Sometimes there was a fountain in the centre of the impluvium, and all around it were the porticos, within and under which were the doors opening into the different rooms. The bedrooms were extremely small; the walls of some of them were beautifully painted, but the rooms themselves were often not much bigger than a state-room in a steamship. The bedstead was a sort of berth, formed upon a marble shelf built across from wall to wall.
In some of the houses there were- more rooms tbnn could be arranged around one court, and in such cases there were two and sometimes three courts. In one case, the third court was a garden, with a beautiful portico, formed of ornamental columns all round it, beneath which the ladies of the house in rainy weather could walk at their ease, and see the flowers growing in the garden, as well as if the weather were fair.
Under this portico all round was a subterranean chamber, which seemed to be used as a sort of cellar; and yet it was very neatly finished, and the walls of it were ornamented in such a way as to lead people to suppose that it might have been used as a cool walk in warm weather. This passage-way was first discovered by means of the steps leading down to it. It was almost full of earth, composed of volcanic sand and ashes, which had flowed into it in the form of mud.
On one side of this subterranean passage-way, near the entrance, a number of skeletons were found. The skeletons were in a standing position against the wall, where the persons had been stopped and buried up by the mud as it flowed in. The marks left by the bodies'