Merlin, amazed, alone.

Came across this today after being reminded by a good friend to stop and smell the flowers. April is my land’s best time of the year, the time when it has on its best face.

Here Merlin is impressed at once with the kingly opulence, and the lack of pomp—the rich, lonely luxury of the place where he has found himself, awake after 1500 years.

——

“Sir,” said Merlin, in answer to the question which the Director had just asked him, “I give you great thanks. I cannot, indeed, understand the way you live, and your house is strange to me. You give me a bath such as the Emperor himself might envy, but no one attends me to it: a bed softer than sleep itself, but when I rise from it I find I must put on my own clothes with my own hands as if I were a peasant. I lie in a room with windows of pure crystal so that you can see the sky as clearly when they are shut as when they are open, and there is not wind enough within the room to blow out an unguarded taper; but I lie in it alone, with no more honour than a prisoner in a dungeon. Your people eat dry and tasteless flesh, but it is off plates as smooth as ivory and as round as the sun. In all the house there is warmth and softness and silence that might put a man in mind of paradise terrestrial; but no hangings, no beautified pavements, no musicians, no perfumes, no high seats, not a gleam of gold, not a hawk, not a hound. You seem to me to live neither like a rich man nor a poor one: neither like a lord nor a hermit. Sir, I tell you these things because you have asked me. They are of no importance.”

C. S. Lewis, That Hideous Strength 13.5.

Thanks, dear reader, should you ever find me, for being my gadfly.

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