It was a quaint and curious pasttime, wandering through this old silent city of the dead - lounging through utterly deserted streets where thousands and thousands of human beings once bought and sold, and walked and rode, and made the place resound with the noise and confusion of traffic and pleasure.
And so I turned away and went through shop after shop and store after store, far down the long street of the merchants, and called for the wares of Rome and the East, but the tradesmen were gone, and the marts were silent, and nothing was left but the broken jars all set in cement of cinders and ashes; the wine and the oil that once had filled them were gone with their owners.
Compare the cheerful life and the sunshine of this day with the horrors the younger Pliny saw here, the 9th of November, A.D. 79, when he was so bravely striving to remove his mother out of reach of harm . . .
I was lucky enough to visit Pompeii and Herculaneum, and though the streets were far from deserted when I was there - packed with tourists like me - Twain's descriptions still resonated with me.
A side note: I apologize for all the blank spaces in this post. I detest and abhor the new blogger interface, I find it very difficult to use compared with the previous version, and missing important features. I cannot figure out something simple like how to eliminate those extra spaces.