Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Southward Ho! A Spell of Sunshine >> Chapter XII / The Picture of Judgment; Or, The Grotta Del Tifone >> Page 221

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Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription THE ETRUSCAN SEPULCHRE. 221
you this morning in our conversation touching the ' Tarchun,'
and ' Sepulchres of Etruria,' by Mrs. Hamilton Gray ?"
You did not err, senorita. In my own poor fashion, I have
gleaned from these and other picturesque chronicles a story of
three thousand years ago, which may be sufficiently fresh for
our present audience."" In this salt atmosphere ?"" Precisely. With your permission, senorita, I will narrate
the legend thus compiled from the antique chronicle, and which
I call

THE PICTURE OF JUDGMENT; OR, THE GROTTA DEL TIFONE.

A TALE OF THE ETRURIAN.

Ma se conoscer la prima radice
Del nostri, amor, to hai cotanto affetto
Faro come colui the piange e dice.�DANTE.
CHAPTER I.

THE Grotta del Tifone" an Etruscan tomb opened by the
Chevalier Manzi, in 1833�discovered some peculiarities at the
time of its opening, which greatly mystified the cognoscenti of
Italy. It was found, by certain Roman inscriptions upon two
of the sarcophagi, that the inmates belonged to another people,
and that the vaults of the noble Tarquinian family of Pompo-
nius had, for some unaccountable reasons, been opened for the
admission of the stranger. No place was so sacred among the
Etruscans as that of burial ; and the tombs of the Lucumones
of Tarquinia were held particularly sacred to the immediate
connections of the chief. Here he lay in state, and the scions
and shoots of his blood and bosom were grouped around him,
being literally, as the old Hebrew phraseology bath it, " gath-
ered to their fathers." It was not often� and then only under
peculiar circumstances which rendered the exception to the rule
proper�that the leaves of stone which closed the mausoleum
were rolled aside for the admission of foreigners. The Grotta
del Tifone"� so called from the Etruscan Typhon, or Angel of
Death, which appears conspicuously painted upon the square
central pillar�was the last resting-place of the distinguished