Monday, January 27, 2020

What no man can suffer

We hired a sailboat and a guide and made an excursion to one of the small islands in the harbor to visit the Castle d'If.

This ancient fortress has a melancholy history. It has been used as a prison for political offenders for two or three hundred years, and its dungeon walls are scarred with the rudely carved names of many and many a captive who fretted his life away here and left no record of himself but these sad epitaphs wrought with his own hands.

How thick the names were! And their long-departed owners seemed to throng the gloomy cells and corridors with their phantom shapes.

We loitered through dungeon after dungeon, away down into the living rock below the level of the sea, it seemed.

Names everywhere!--some plebeian, some noble, some even princely. Plebeian, prince, and noble had one solicitude in common--they would not be forgotten!

They could suffer solitude, inactivity, and the horrors of a silence that no sound ever disturbed, but they could not bear the thought of being utterly forgotten by the world.

Hence the carved names.
Source: The Innocents Abroad by Mark Twain

For those who have believed in Jesus, God says, “See, I have written your name on the palms of my hands” (Isaiah 49:16). Never forgotten!

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