And Now, Sybarites And Basileans - Alike In Ruins!
A man of to-day, asked which of the two civilizations he would wish
restored, would not hesitate long in deciding for the Hellenic one.
Readers of Lenormant will call to mind his glowing pages on the wonders
that might be found buried on the site of Sybaris.
His plan of
excavation sounds feasible enough. But how remote it becomes, when one
remembers the case of Herculaneum! Here, to our certain knowledge, many
miracles of antique art and literature lie within a few feet of our
reach; yet nothing is done. These hidden monuments, which are the
heritage of all humanity, are withheld from our eyes by the
dog-in-the-manger policy of a country which, even without foreign
assistance, could easily accomplish the work, were it to employ thereon
only half the sum now spent in feeding, clothing and supervising a horde
of criminals, every one of whom ought to be hanged ten times over.
Meanwhile other nations are forbidden to co-operate; the fair-minded
German proposals were scornfully rejected; later on, those of Sir
"What!" says the Giornale d' Italia, "are we to have international
excavation-committees thrust upon us? Are we to be treated like the Turks?"
That, gentle sirs, is precisely the state of the case.
The object of such committees is to do for the good of mankind what a
single nation is powerless or unwilling to do. Your behaviour at
Herculaneum is identical with that of the Turks at Nineveh.
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