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Old September 16, 2010, 06:39 PM   #368
4V50 Gary
Join Date: November 2, 1998
Location: Colorado
Posts: 19,341
Mark Twain visits Pompeii and sees a Roman soldier

The fellow has been dead for several centuries of course. From page 41 of Vol. II, The Innocents Abroad, we have:

But perhaps the most poetical thing Pompeii has yielded to modern research, was that grand figure of a Roman soldier, clad in complete armor; who, true to his duty, true to his proud name of a soldier of Rome, and full of the stern courage which had given to that name its glory, stood to his post by the city gates, erect and unflinching, till the hell that raged around him burned out the dauntless spirit it could not conquer.

We never read of Pompeii but we think of that soldier; we cannot write of Pompeii without the natural impulse to grant to him the mention he so well deserves. Let us remember that he was a soldier - not a policeman - and so, praise him. Being a soldier, he stayed - because the warrior instinct forbade him to fly. Had he been a policeman he would have stayed, also - because he would have been asleep.
Vigilantibus et non dormientibus jura subveniunt. Molon Labe!
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