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find the whole story in his pleadings against that infamous prætor.
There was likewise in this temple a famous picture by Zeuxis. Hercules was represented in his cradle killing the two serpents : Alcmena and Amphitrion having just entered the aparte ment, were painted with every mark of terror and astonishment. Pliny says, the painter looked upon this piece as invaluable ; and therefore could never be prevailed on to put a price upon it, but gave it as a present to Agri. gentum, to be placed in the temple of Hercules. These two great masterpieces have been lost. We thought of them with regret whilst we trod on these venerable ruins.
Near to this lie the ruins of the temple of Jupiter Olympus, supposed by the Sicilian authors to have been the largest in the heathen world. It is now called Il Tempio de Giganti, or the Gi. ant's Temple, as the people cannot conceive that such masses of rock could ever be put together by the hands of ordinary men. The fragments of columns are indeed enormous, and give us a vast idea of this fabric. It is said to have stood till the year 1100 ; but is now a perfect ruin. Our Cicerones assured us, it was exactly the same dimensions with the church of St. Peter
at Rome: but in this they are egregiously mistaken; St. Peter's being much greater than any thing that ever the heathen world produced.
There are the remains of many more temples, and other great works'; but these, I think, are the most conspicuous. They show you
that of Vulcan, of Proserpine, of Castor and Pollux, and a very remarkable one of Juno. This too was enriched by one of the most famous pictures of antiquity ; which is celebrated by many of the ancient writers.—Zeuxis was determined to excel every thing that had gone before him, and to form a model of human perfection. To this end, he prevailed on all the finest women of Agrigentum, who were even ambitious of the honour, to appear naked before him. Of these he chose five for his models, and moulding all : the perfections of these beauties into one, he composed the picture of the goddess. This was ever looked upon as his masterpiece; but was unfortunately burnt when the Carthaginians took Agrigentum. Many of the citizens retired into this temple as to a place of safety ; but as soon as they found the gates attacked by the enemy, they agreed to set fire to it, and chose rather to perish in the flames, than submit to the power of the conquerors. However,
neither the destruction of the temple, nor the loss of their lives, has been so much regretted by posterity, as the loss of this picture.
The temple of Æsculapius (the ruins of which are still to be seen) was not less celebrated for a statue of Apollo. It was taken from them by the Carthaginians at the same time that the temple of Juno was burnt. It was carried off by the conquerors, and continued the greatest ornament of Carthage for many years, and was at last restored by Scipio at the final destruction of that city. Some of the Sicilians allege, I believe without any ground, that it was afterwards carried to Rome, and still remains there, the wonder of all ages, known to the whole world under the name of the Apollo of Belvi. dere; and allowed to be the perfection of human art.
I should be very tedious were I to give you a minute description of every piece of antiquity. Indeed, little or nothing is to be learned from the greatest part of them. The ancient walls of the city are mostly cut out of the rock ; the catacombs and sepulchres are all very great : one of these is worthy particular notice, because it is mentioned by Polybius as being opposite to the temple of Hercules, and to have been
struck by lightning even in his time. mains almost entire, and answers the description he gives of it: the inscriptions are so defaced, that we could make nothing of them.
This is the monument of Tero king of Agri. gentum, one of the first of the Sicilian tyrants. The great antiquity of it may be gathered from this, that Tero is not only mentioned by Diodorus, Polybius, and the later of the ancient historians, but likewise by Herodotus and Pindar, who dedicates two of his Olympic odes to him: so that this monument must be more than two thousand years old. It is a kind of pyramid, probably one of the most durable forms.
All these mighty ruins of Agrigentum, and the whole mountain on which it stands, are composed of a concretion of seashells run together, and cemented by a kind of sand or gravel, and now become as hard, and perhaps more durable than even marble itself. This stone is white before it has been exposed to the air; but in the temples and other ruins, it is become of a dark brown. I shall bring home some pieces of it for the inspection of the curious. I found these shells on the very summit of the mountain, at least fourteen or fifteen hundred
feet above the level of the sea. They are of the commonest kinds, cockles, mussels, oysters, &c. “ The things we know are neither rich nor rare ; But wonder how the devil they got there."
By what means they have been lifted up to this vast height, and so intimately mixed with the substance of the rock, I leave to you your philosophical friends to determine.- This old battered globe of ours has probably suffered many convulsions not recorded in any history.
-You have heard of the vast stratum of bones lately discovered in Istria and Ossero ;-part of it runs below rocks of marble, upwards of forty feet in thickness, and they have not yet been able to ascertain its extent: something of the same kind has been found in Dalmatia, in the islands of the Archipelago ; and lately, I am told, in the rock of Gibraltar.—Now the deluge recorded in scripture will hardly account for all the appearances of this sort to be met with, almost in every country in the world. But I am interrupted by visitors ;-which is a lucky circumstance, both for you and me: for I was just going to be very philosophical, and consequently very dull.