As the “Vittorio Emanuele” neared the shore those on board saw the white façade of the palazzata through the gray rain—for still it rained and always rained a fine cold rain, “not quite like any other rain,” as Rosina Calabresi had said. “Earthquake rain” I remember she called it. At first sight it seemed as if the palazzata— 바카라사이트 the splendid row of palaces two miles long, that lined the sickle-shaped harbor fronting the straits—was little damaged. As they came nearer they saw that the outer wall, with its sculptured façade of graceful reclining goddesses, was an empty shell.

“There were three shocks,” Rosina said. “One from side to side, one up and down as if the earth jumped under us, one round and round; that was the worst, the very earth groaned with the pain of it.”

These three shocks that reduced the beautiful city of Messina to a heap of ruins, lasted just thirty-two seconds! The sidewise movement threw down the side walls; then the first, second,{42} third, fourth, and fifth floors, with all that in them lived, dropped one over the other in awful chaos to the bottom of the cellars. Along the water front high in air hung a cloud of dun smoke; for after earthquake and tidal wave came fire. That drifting smoke was the only thing in sight that moved as the King approached; it might have been the soul of Messina hanging over the dead city.