Page:A Sicilian Romance (1792) vol. 1.djvu/13

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of stone, which lay scattered through the immense area of the fabrick, and surveyed the sublimity and grandeur of the ruins, I recurred, by a natural association of ideas, to the times when these walls stood proudly in their original splendour, when the halls were the scenes of hospitality and festive magnificence, and when they resounded with the voices of those whom death had long since swept from the earth. "Thus," said I, "shall the present generation—he who now sinks in misery—and he who now swims in pleasure, alike pass away and be forgotten." My heart swelled with the refection; and, as I turned from the scene with a sigh, I fixed my eyes upon a friar, whose venerable figure, gently bending towards the earth, formed no uninteresting object in the picture. He observed my emotion; and, as my eye met his, shook his head and pointed to the ruin. "These walls," said he, "were once the seat of luxury
and