Parthagica Directory 02
In such a mood as that there is no sense of terror or despair at the quick-coming onset of death; no more dread of what may be than there is when the hamlet, with its little roofs and tall trees, is folded in the arms of the night, as the sunset dies behind the hill. Beauty may be a terrible thing, as in the sheeted cataract, with all its boiling eddies, or in the falling of the lightning from the womb of the cloud. There is desolation behind that, gigantic movement, ruthless force; but charm comes like a signal of security and good-will, and even its inevitable end is lit with something of mercy and quietness. The danger of charm is that it is the mother of sentiment; and the danger of sentiment is not that it is untrue, but that it takes from us the sense of proportion; we begin to be unable to do without our little scenes and sunsets; and the eye gets so used to dwelling upon the flower-strewn pleasaunce, with its screening trees, that it cannot bear to face the far horizon, with its menace of darkness and storm.
CAMPANIA extended along the coast from the Liris, which separated it from Latium, to the Silarus, which formed the boundary of Lucania. It is the fairest portion of Italy. The greater part of it is an unbroken plain, celebrated in ancient as well as in modern times for its extraordinary beauty and fertility. The _Bay of Naples_--formerly called Sinus Cumanus and Puteolanus, from the neighboring cities of Cumae and Puteoli--is one of the most lovely spots in the world; and the softness of its climate, as well as the beauty of its scenery, attracted the Roman nobles, who had numerous villas along its coasts.