Thursday, December 07, 2023


The Pleasantest Way of Spending a Holiday

George Gissing, letter to his sister Margaret (April 16, 1882; Alg. = his brother Algernon):
Alg. and I often compare our notions as to the pleasantest way of spending a holiday. I say how grand it would be to have a month in the Mediterranean; Alg. would not think of that in preference to the Scotch border or the Hebrides. I cannot get him to realize the gloriousness of seeing Italy, Sicily and Greece, Rome, Athens, the Ionian Islands—countries where every spot of ground gives off as it were an absolute perfume of reminiscences and associations. Think of standing in the Forum, and saying to oneself—"Here on this very spot have Scipio and Sulla, Cicero and Caesar, Virgil and Horace stood and talked; these very blocks of stone and marble have echoed to the noises of a Roman crowd, and beheld the grandest scenes of all history!"

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