Tuesday, April 21, 2020

A life too quiet

She hesitated a moment, then asked, in return, “Is the property near Rome a residence?”

“Yes.”

“And pretty?”

“It is beautiful—a palace in the midst of gardens and shell-strewn walks; fountains without and within; statuary in the shady nooks; hills around covered with vines, and so high that Neapolis and Vesuvius are in sight, and the sea an expanse of purpling blue dotted with restless sails. Caesar has a country-seat near-by, but in Rome they say the old Arrian villa is the prettiest.”

“And the life there, is it quiet?”

“There was never a summer day, never a moonlit night, more quiet, save when visitors come. Now that the old owner is gone, and I am here, there is nothing to break its silence—nothing, unless it be the whispering of servants, or the whistling of happy birds, or the noise of fountains at play; it is changeless, except as day by day old flowers fade and fall, and new ones bud and bloom, and the sunlight gives place to the shadow of a passing cloud.

“The life, Esther, was all too quiet for me. It made me restless by keeping always present a feeling that I, who have so much to do, was dropping into idle habits, and tying myself with silken chains, and after a while—and not a long while either—would end with nothing done.”
Source: Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ by Lew Wallace

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