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Nero’s Baths, the ruins of Baiae, the Temple of Serapis
Old 27-05-2019   #5
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Nero’s Baths, the ruins of Baiae, the Temple of Serapis

Nero’s Baths, the ruins of Baiae, the Temple of Serapis; Cumae, where the Cumaean Sibyl interpreted the oracles, the Lake Agnano...

[ed. note: Lake Agnano was not an ancient Lake. It formed in the Middle Ages and was drained in 1870, after MT wrote these lines. It no longer exists. See this entry.]... with its ancient submerged city still visible far down in the depths. These and a hundred other points of interest we examined with critical imbecility, but the Grotto of the Dog claimed our chief attention, because we had heard and read so much about it. Everybody has written about the Grotto del Cane and its poisonous vapors, from Pliny down to Smith, and every tourist has held a dog over its floor by the legs to test the capabilities of the place. The dog dies in a minute and a half — a chicken instantly. As a general thing, strangers who crawl in there to sleep do not get up until they are called. And then they don’t, either. The stranger that ventures to sleep there takes a permanent contract. I longed to see this grotto.

I resolved to take a dog and hold him myself; suffocate him a little, and time him; suffocate him some more, and then finish him. We reached the grotto about three in the afternoon, and proceeded at once to make the experiments. But now, an important difficulty presented itself. We had no dog.

ɨ ǟʍ Ꮖɦɛ ɖǟʀᏦռɛֆֆ ʏօʊ ǟʀɛ Ꮖɦɛ ʟɨɢɦᏆ

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