A minute came and went, and I was at the exit of the chasm, staring out upon an enormous amphitheatre of mountains.
It is a great pity that this superb and interesting building is not kept in good repair; the fact is it is seldom or ever made use of except on very particular occasions: it is almost useless in a place like Parma, "so fallen from its high estate," but were such an amphitheatre in Paris, London, or any great city, it might be used for all kinds of spectacles and amusements.
Their public theatres often rung with loud weeping, thousands sobbing convulsively at once over fictitious woes and imaginary sufferers: and yet these same multitudes would shout amidst the groans of a thousand dying gladiators, forced by their conquerors to kill each other in the amphitheatre for the amusement of the public.
The place chosen for the gathering was most suitable, there being two or three places like amphitheatres on which the hearers could sit.
The city is about four miles round, presenting a front of a mile long to the water; and when approached by sea, it resembles a capacious amphitheatre with the ruins of an ancient castle crowning its summit.
By this means you may define ex ungue leonem, as the diverb is, by his thumb alone the bigness of Hercules, or the true dimensions of the great Colossus, Solomon's temple, and Domitian's amphitheatre out of a little part.
A very little time spent on building would be needed to restore the amphitheatre to its original form.
No one has seen and not admired the romantic amphitheatre below Edrington Castle, through which the Whitadder coils like a beautiful serpent glittering in the sun, and sports in fantastic curves beneath the pasture-clad hills, the grey ruin, the mossy and precipitous crag, and the pyramid of woods, whose branches, meeting from either side, bend down and kiss the glittering river, till its waters seem lost in their leafy bosom.
On a pleasant summer afternoon, the children of the neighborhood had assembled in the little forest-crowned amphitheatre behind the meeting-house, and the recovering invalid was there, leaning on a staff.
I have seldom seen a country which presented so beautiful a prospect; a low land, divided into plains and groves, extended along the seashore, and afterwards rose like an amphitheatre up to the mountains, whose summits were lost in the clouds.
Immediately to the northward some lofty peaks reared their rugged summits in an amphitheatre round the rich and picturesque vale of Pritie, which lay at the feet of their varied slopes, one mass of tropical vegetation.
Traces of Roman mines (such as tools and pigs of lead) have been found at Priddy and Blagdon, and an amphitheatre at Charterhouse-on-Mendip.
Suddenly, as if entering a cavern, I stepped through the edge of all this, into a dark little amphitheatre beneath a hemlock-grove, where the afternoon sunlight struck broadly through the trees upon a tiny stream and a miniature swamp,this last being intensely and luridly green, yet overlaid with the pale gray of last year's reeds, and absolutely flaming with the gayest yellow light from great clumps of cowslips.
The chief antiquities consist of the old Roman lead-mines and an amphitheatre near Priddy, the old Roman road linking Uphill with Old Sarum, and a few camps, such as those at Masbury and Burrington.