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There are many other rooms on the sides of the square, and a commoner kind of bath, (perhaps for the use of the servants) but in all, the floors are laid on piles, and the flues seem nearly perfect.
I have said that it is supposed that the place was destroyed by fire.; let us hope that the inhabitants—amongst whom one may believe, from the things left behind them, there were some dainty Roman ladiesmade good their retreat to the camp at Norbury ; but they could have had little time to save anything but their lives, if we may judge from the articles found and placed in the museum, which can yet be but a very few compared with those utterly destroyed in the flames.
I will try and remember some of them. There were the locks and keys and very curious hinges of doors, and small keys that may have belonged to fancy boxes and tables ; there were different kinds of tools axe-heads, &c., shears like those our tailors use at the present day, and knives of several kinds; and horses' bits and shoes, with many kinds of nails. There was a pair of curling-tongs, which I think a little sandpaper would have made usable, exactly the pattern of some I have seen in hair-dressers' hands years ago. There were other necessaries of the toilet-rings and armlets, and fibulæ or brooches, some of the safety kind, so much copied of late years from old Roman patterns; and one or two specimens, which interested us very much, of steelyards for weighing goods, just such as are used now, but small and very perfect. One fancies the domestic economy of this Rrman household to have been of a high order.
There were a good many remains of Samian and Roman pottery; but, of course, much more imperfect than the bronze and iron articles. But it was strange to see the sharpness with which the unknown maker's name was stamped on every article: as clear and as fresh as if cast only yesterday. There were several amphoræ-earthenware jars, of classical shape, for wine or water; and numbers of their little lamps, exactly resembling those still in use, with one of which my companion told me he had lighted himself up to bed not many years ago, in the farm-house of a Roman yeoman.
Among the glass objects, which I do not remember enough to particularize, I find it mentioned in the Guide to the Corinium Museum, that ‘fragments of a colourless glass bowl, engraved exquisitely with the Grecian fret, were found in the Roman villa, at Chedworth.' It did strike me forcibly that every article in the museum at the villa, shewed that its last owner must have been a man of taste and wealth.
My companion also reminds me of what I had forgotten, that there were two or three specimens of lachrymals or tear-bottles. But did these old Romans ever weep-or is human nature the same in all
and countries in its deeper feelings! We have reason to believe it, and that many changes brought about by joy and sorrow, life and death, went on within and around these walls, as they do amongst ourselves. There were one or two small stone domestic altars, and there were two or three stone coffins found, and some sepulchral urns, in two of which bones were discovered. VOL. 9.
In these were treasured up, perhaps, the remains of some who had died loved and honoured in this far-off land beyond the sea. Nor were these the only remains that made the spot sacred, for the same old history, that I have quoted, speaks of a large tumulus on the hill a little above the bath, which had a huge rough stone set upright on the top of it, supposed to be raised by the Britons or Saxons.' Not long since (one hundred years ago) some of the farmers removed the stone with a double team of oxen, and so exposed great quantities of human bones lying near the top of the barrow.
This is all that I can remember clearly of these long-buried treasures. The sight of these common every-day things, which our conquerors taught us to use, ought to remind us of the many better things, laws and letters, arts and sciences, which they taught us also. Our language itself may tell us how much these grand old Romans did for us. Looking back across eighteen centuries, we can own that it was worth four hundred years of subjugation and suffering to have learnt all this. But we won from them something better still. On one stone, preserved from that Roman villa, may be seen this mark
It is the sign of Christianity. It shews that from far off Judæa the glad tidings of salvation had spread to our shores, and that the Romans had been God's instruments in bringing the good news to us.
It shews, we may believe, that at least one of the owners of this Roman villa was a Christian man, who, living among heathen, and with the vestiges of his old pagan state around him in many forms, still put that mark upon his house to shew the Faith he held, the Master he served ; and we may hope he shewed forth the same in the daily life he led among rude and barbarous men.
May the lives that we lead, and the work that we leave behind us, bear the same mark upon it, and tell of the same Lord and Master !
MISSION WORK IN PLYMOUTH.
THE Parish of St. Peter's, Plymouth, has a population of fourteen thousand ; and although the streets are built of substantial-looking houses, yet those who live in them are all very poor ; they live on the foreign system of a family in each room, father, mother, and children sharing it together. It can easily be imagined that in a parish such as this, there is great need of earnest and devoted workers, to visit, to teach, to dispense food and clothing, and in short to tend the souls and bodies of these starving ignorant people.
And workers have been found who it may be hoped will gradually civilize and Christianize those with whom they have so much to do. More than a year ago the Vicar of St. Peter's wrote to ask if Sisters could be sent from St. Mary's Home, Wantage, to work in his parish. And in January, 1869, two Sisters took possession of the little Mission House, going like true missionaries to a new and strange place, hardly knowing what their work would be, but prepared to do all in their power to bring souls to Christ. Such was the beginning; and now, it may be asked, what work is going on, and what results have been obtained during the past year?
The work is of a three-fold character; (1) visiting the poor, (2) teaching, and (3) conducting an industrial school in a house which has been thrown open to the Mission House.
I will first speak of the visiting. The Sisters and any visitors who may be staying with them have each a district of the parish to visit; every family is known, and its needs in the way of clothes, food, coals, &c., are, as far as possible, supplied. But the distress this winter has been terrible; owing partly to the severe weather, partly to the want of employment, so many workmen having been turned off the dock-yards by Government. The tales of utter destitution and misery, just short of actual starvation, are very sad to hear when the power of relieving the poor creatures is very limited. I will give a few instances out of many: one of the Sisters went one day into a room literally bare of everything except some old tin vessel which served as a table ; there was no bed, no furniture at all. She asked the mother where she and the children slept ; 'We huildle together in a corner,' was the answer.
Another poor woman, who had inflammation of the lungs, was found in bed with no covering but an old thin counterpane, and that in the bitter weather of last February. In another case the neighbours heard the children next door crying for food; they had given all they could, and had only just enough to live on themselves, so they called a policeman, and when he found that the mother had had nothing to eat for three days, he insisted on the relieving-officer giving them a loaf; and the children 'tore at it' like famishing wolves. Now this distress is not caused by idle or drunken husbands; in, I believe, all these cases the husband was at sea, and the poor wife left at home to support herself and her children. And though they might go into the work house for a time, yet, when the husband came home, he would have to pay the parish for keeping his family, and of course, the poor wonen do not like to contract a considerable debt to be paid on their husbands' return.
The poor are very kind to each other, and will divide their last crust with a starving neighbour ; but surely the rich ought to help them; in the parish of St. Peter's there are but few wealthy people, and therefore help must be asked from those in other parts of the country who are able to give it.
I will now return to my account of the Sisters' work. They have night-schools for boys and girls, and about one hundred and thirty
children are taught in them. There is no need to expatiate on the usefulness of these schools, in such a poor place, where the children are often taken away from the day-schools very young, because their parents cannot afford to pay for them. Besides the night-schools, there are Sunday classes for married women and others; and instruction is given at the Mission House to children who are anxious to get on with their learning,' and who seem likely to answer to special teaching and kind influence.
The Industrial Home is a little training-school, where about eight girls, most of them belonging to Plymouth, are taught house-work, cooking, &c., under the superintendence of a matron. They wait upon the Sisters, and help in the cooking; and places are found for them when they are fit for service.
I have given but a brief sketch of the work which is being carried on now; of the tangible results it is, of course, less easy to speak. But the following anecdote will shew that the influence of the example of loving devotion is really, though silently, making its way among even the worst people.
Some little time ago, one of the Sisters was in a very bad street, where she had been visiting. As she walked along, two girls impudently beckoned her into a house of bad character; she followed them into it, and spoke so forcibly to them, that they came to the Mission House begging to be sent away from Plymouth; and they are now in two Penitentiaries, both doing well.
These facts I will leave to speak for themselves; I would, in conelusion, mention the great need there is of money, and help in other forms—such as old clothes, books, or prizes for the ehildren-so as to carry on these good works. Cannot some who read this account spare a little out of their abundance to help to Christianize this great multitude of almost heathen people? Cannot some who have never known what it is to want luxuries, far less necessaries, have pity upon those who are starving, to whom the very 'broken meat' would be abundance ? Even the so-called 'rubbish' which is thrown away carelessly, old pincushions, torn picture-books, boxes, and above all clothes, are most useful. And it is surprising to find what an amount of this useful rubbish may be discovered in nursery cupboards, and other places where odds and ends have a tendency to hoard themselves. Surely it is worth while to take the trouble to turn such things out of their dusty hidingplaces, when we think of the blessing promised to even a 'cup of cold water.' Any parcel or gift of money may be sent to
THE SISTER SUPERIOR,
PLYMOUTH, who will acknowledge donations in The Monthly Packet.
HINTS ON ITALIAN READING.
Simon Pietro e Simon Mago,' del P. G. Franco Roma. Coi tipi della Civiltà Cattolica. 1868.
I HAVE promised that I will next bring under notice some more modern and entertaining works than I have yet touched upon, and a neglected letter many months old giving me permission to translate the work above named falling fortuitously under my hand, suggested to me to begin with it. Nor do I think my readers will regret the choice. Of all novels those which make us acquainted with historical characters are generally the most improving, and of all historical novels those which make us acquainted with, and propose for our ensample, the Princes and heroes of the Faith, must afford the best occupation of our time. Take the history of the Church at any point you choose, it will always present a picture of the same struggle of good and evil, the natural and the supernatural, the flesh and the spirit. Like the section of a clustered column, strike it across where you will in any part of its length, it gives you the same pattern. And from any event in the life of the Church you may take occasion to point the same lessons. There is scarcely any epoch, however, more fraught with interest than that which is marked by the first incisive inroads of the new Revelation in the weakness of infancy, upon the old-world maxims it had come to supersede. In this treatment of the history of early Christianity, ‘Fabiola' and *Calista' have taken up a position from which they are not likely to be driven by any competitor. The gentle appreciation of human affeetions betrayed in the one, and the sympathetic allowance for intellectual difficulties made by the other, revealed to us, for the first time perhaps, that the great historic champions of our religion were not the unapproachable, statue-like giants we had deemed them, but men and women-yes, young men and maidens of like weaknesses and passions with ourselves, and that we hence underlie the obligations-according to our calling and measureof emulating their spirit of devotion and sacrifice. While the singular ability and peculiar position of the writers of both rendered them consummate in the attraction and polish of their style, no less than in the authority of their teaching, or the accuracy of their accessory descriptions; and recommended them to a permanent place both in our minds and hearts.
• Fabiola' and 'Calista' have had many emulators, though they have been approached by few. One of the best attempts at following in their steps I have met, is presented in ‘Simon Pietro e Simon Mago.' Like Loccatelli's life of S. Chiara, it is illustrated by great circumstantiality of detail, which the writer's acquaintance with and study of local circumstances enables him to introduce. This is specially recommendable, where the locality treated is so dear to us in every nook and corner and sa rife with traditions as the Eternal City, and where the design of the work is to shew us something of what may be called the home life of the Princes of the Apostles.
Our story opens with a description of the early morning preparations for the day's life in Rome at the Neronian era, and after introducing us to houses of Pagan nobles, leads us on to that of the Senator Pudens. Here, the clients who crowd the entrance are more sedate in character than those we have hitherto observed, and they are treated with a spirit of cordiality and respect different from anything we have witnessed elsewhere. Presently the murmur of voices is hushed, for the patron's family approach; the Senator himself, as he passes through the atrium, has a word of thoughtfulness, a token of recognition for each ; along with him is Claudia bis wife, and their two daughters Prassede and Pudenziana, who all emulate his benevolence and assist him in the distribution of his charity. On the particular morning on which we are