The Headland, Capri.

The Headland, Capri.

The Landing Place.

The Landing-Place.

Hotel Tiberius, Capri.

Hotel Tiberius, Capri.

The Villa Of Tiberius.

The Villa Of Tiberius.

Bearing these facts in mind, we climbed to the sum-, mit of the Capriot cliff which most precipitously overhangs the sea. Here, formerly, stood one of the imperial villas; and the appalling precipice, nearly one thousand feet in height, is still known as the "Leap of Tiberius," because from this, it is said, he used to have his victims hurled after protracted tortures; while, lest by any possibility they might survive, sailors were stationed below, to beat the mangled bodies until life became extinct. What a spectacle for men and gods to look upon was that of this miserable master of the world, pale from debauchery and haunted with insomnia, standing upon this cliff, with the unspeakable glory of the bay, from Baiae to

The Leap Of Tiberius

The "Leap Of Tiberius

The Steamer At Capri.

The Steamer At Capri.

Sorrento, here outspread before him, yet finding his enjoyment in watching tortured men hurled downward to the sea!

As all the world knows, the most attractive natural feature of Capri is its wonderful Blue Grotto. On every pleasant day, a little steamer brings tourists here from Naples and Sorrento, and, as soon as it has halted, a score of boats dart forward, buzzing and circling about, like honey bees attacking a sweet flower. These boats are of necessity very small. Only two passengers beside the boatman are allowed in each of them, and even though the party be but three in number, it must be divided. In the Blue Grotto, as in other places in this world, "Two are company, three are a crowd." The cause of this is obvious, for the opening to the grotto is so small that one who does not know its situation looks for it in vain. Even when found, the tourists' boats slip through the aperture like coins dropping into a purse. In fact, unless the sea be calm and the wind favorable, the traveler cannot enter it at all. It seemed to me as I approached, that, with a little assistance from a rising wave, I might easily crack my skull like an egg-shell on the rock. I therefore gladly obeyed the order to lie down. For a few moments I looked up tranquilly at the sky; then I could feel that the boat was rising on a little wave; it suddenly shot forward; one instant, and the entire mountain seemed to be falling on my breast; the next we were within a fairy place. I started up with exclamations of delight. Walls, roof, and water had assumed a color such as no painter in the world can reproduce. In truth, it did not seem like water, but, rather, like folds of shimmering blue satin, moving around and beneath us in luminous, transparent waves. The submerged oar seemed a blade of sapphire. My hand, when dipped in the marvelous liquid, gleamed like silver. Out toward the bay the tiny opening, through which alone the light can enter, appeared like the sun emerging from a sea of turquoises. The silence of the place is, also, most impressive. Outside, the waves may dash against the cliffs; but here, beneath a dome, apparently of lapis-lazuli, the ocean seems astonished at its sudden transformation, and holds its breath, enamoured of its own unlooked-for beauty. It is not well, however, to linger too long in the Blue Grotto. If the sea becomes violent and barricades the portal with a watery wall, an exit is impossible, and visitors must wait till the wind changes and the waves go down. Travelers who have come to spend twenty minutes here have sometimes been detained twenty-four hours. In doubtful weather, therefore, the boatmen from Sorrento usually carry food with them for such an emergency. A passageway, long since filled up, used to connect this ocean cavern with the cliffs above; and it is possible that Tiberius kept the grotto as a place of refuge, and as a secret exit from the island to the outer world.

The Blue Grotto.

The Blue Grotto.

The Boats At Capri.

The Boats At Capri.