By the waters of Sicily 1901 by Norma Lorimer (with illustrations) Travel Guide

By the waters of Sicily 1901 by Norma Lorimer (with illustrations)  Travel Guide


Excerpt:

A girl, a real live girl, just rid of her teens, I should say, has taken this hotel by storm! — a girl of dimples and magic laughter, who has brought all the way from England the freshness of springtime in her eyes and her cool cheeks! The ancient visitors in this establishment cannot well account for the appearance in their midst of anything so full of youth, so essentially a part of the present day, — the present day of England, I mean, for here in Sicily the present day has nothing in common with the present day of the English-speaking world. It is really surprising to find what ancient specimens of humanity travel across the world to see ancient Greek remains. But indeed, after all, it is not so surprising, perhaps; for youth clings to youth, and is ever living in the expectant future, while old age is always looking back. Youth's " unconquerable hope," old age's winters of regret! I cannot imagine this girl spending one single day of her glorious girlhood seeking after the tomb of Archimedes, or studying the original plan of the five cities of Syracuse. The present is much too engrossing, — life for her has better things to offer.
When she took her seat at the breakfast-table there was a quickening in the pulses of thirty-odd and old tourists seated there — just a little breath of emotion amongst them, like the fluttering of withered leaves when the summer has left the trees; a little flutter in the women's hearts for their lost springtime; a little flutter of regret in the hearts of the men for the old, quick blood of their youth. The many " Good-mornings " offered to the girl by the busy Germans and the stolen glances from the cautious English were answered with a smile, a smile which suggested something between the blinking archness of a kitten and the rounded beauty of Donatello's singing cherubs. She seemed to think it was a good morning and a very pleasant thing to be alive and young. Her pretty skirts were arranged with dignity not untouched with vanity. (Personal vanity has become almost a virtue in my eyes since I have been cast among women who study Greek remains in the remains of German fashions.) She settled herself behind the would-be silver coffee-pot and jug of steaming goats milk.

Two old eyes from behind a stale copy of the Weekly Times watched her rounded wrists lift the coffee-pot and milk-jug, and pour the contents of the two vessels into her cup. She looked more than ever like a contented kitten as she licked the line of milk left on her upper lip.

Author: Norma Lorimer
 Publication Date:1901

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