A Tyrolean Promenade Solitaire.

A Tyrolean "Promenade Solitaire".

The Bridge Of The Oreto.

The Bridge Of The Oreto.

The Church Of The Vespers, Palermo.

The Church Of The Vespers, Palermo.

Church Of San Giovanni Degl.' Eremiti, Palermo.

Church Of San Giovanni Degl.' Eremiti, Palermo.

Commemorative Monument In Cemetery Of Church Of The Vespers.

Commemorative Monument In Cemetery Of Church Of The Vespers.

Old Garibaldi Soldier, Guardian Of The Church Of San Giovanni Degl' Eremiti.

Old Garibaldi Soldier, Guardian Of The Church Of San Giovanni Degl' Eremiti.

Calatafimi, The Wav To Selinus.

Calatafimi, The Wav To Selinus.

In the long, sanguinary history of Sicily, however, an episode like that of the Sicilian Vespers is only one of countless grains of sand in the colossal hour-glass of Time. Moreover, the Norman Conquest and the brilliant century succeeding Roger's coronation are comparatively recent; and churches and cathedrals, built by Christians seven hundred years ago, seem modern when compared with structures which were centuries old when Christ was born. Yet these, too, stand upon Sicilian soil, and give to every landscape which they dominate the solemn pathos of a distant past. It is, in fact, one of the principal charms of Sicily that one can pass there quickly from the relics of one famous epoch to the ruins of another, as one can open an intensely interesting volume, and read therein at will an earlier or a later chapter.

Accordingly, while staying at Palermo, wishing one day to study one of Sicily's more ancient and mysterious records, I made an ever memorable excursion to the ruined city of Selinus. This site of vanished splendor lies at a considerable distance from Palermo; but there exists no. special difficulty in reaching it, since one can travel all but seven of the eighty miles essential to the journey in a railway train, and make the rest of the trip by carriage in from one to two hours, according to the strength of the ill-fed horses harnessed to it. It is true, one has to spend the night at Castel-vetrano, - the terminus of the railway journey, - and this awakens some misgivings in the minds of those familiar with the smaller towns of Sicily. But Castelvetrano has three decent inns, at one of which, as travelers willing to adapt ourselves for a night to somewhat primitive surroundings, we were fairly comfortable. The same can be said of the archaic vehicle, in which we drove thence to Selinus on the following morning. Indeed, for all such minor troubles we found abundant compensation in the sea of flowers, whose fragrant billows broke for miles along the cactus hedges that enclosed the road. An ardent botanist would possibly have been content to gather specimens here, and let the ruins go; so charming are the adjacent fields, where thousands of red poppies, daisies, hyacinths, blue flax, gladioli, asphodels, convolvuli, and small white roses make the landscape luminous with vivid colors.

Wayside Monk.

Wayside Monk.

A Wilderness Of Stone.

A Wilderness Of Stone.

Suddenly, rising like a low reef from this floral sea, I saw a wilderness of stone. Selinus was before us ! I have seen many ruins in the world, from the gray shafts of Stonehenge, to the marble fragments of Diana's shrine at Ephesus, and the stupendous temples of the Upper Nile, but never have I been more overpowered with a sense of fallen grandeur than in presence of this scene. The site itself is most impressive. The elevations covered by the wreckage overlook the "Mare Africano," - that portion of the Mediterranean lying between Sicily and Africa; and I was conscious of a thrill of emotion as I gazed upon it, and realized that beyond its glistening waves, and only a few hours distant, lay the shore of Carthage. I will not attempt to describe the buildings in detail. It would at best be hopelessly confusing, since even archaeologists themselves agree so little about them, that all the overthrown temples are now indicated on the map by letters of the alphabet, A, B, C, D, E, F, and G. But I enjoyed Selinus none the less on that account. The general effect of its colossal ruins must touch all thoughtful travelers profoundly, however slight may be their knowledge of details; just as the solemn aspect of the stellar universe may fill the soul with awe, although one may not have the skill to calculate the speed of Sirius or the distance of the Pleiades. In either case, however, a certain amount of knowledge is of course essential. Hence, as one looks in dumb amazement at these acres strewn with columns, capitals, and cornices, - caressed in springtime by innumerable flowers which make the scene a gorgeous iridescence of decay, - one asks himself what must have been the original city here, whose fragments have been prostrate thus two thousand, three hundred years?