The Silent Isle

The Silent Isle

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The Silent Isle by Arthur Christopher Benson

Published:

1913

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The Silent Isle

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The book that follows is an attempt, or rather a hundred attempts, to sketch some of the details of life, seen from a simple plane enough, and with no desire to conform it to a theory, or to find anything very definite in it, or to omit anything because it did not fit in with prejudices or predilections. The only unity of mood which it reflects is the unity of purpose which comes from a decision.

Book Excerpt

alk, and for being interested. Presumably both were sympathetic, and Martha showed it by practical kindness, and attention to the knives and the plates. But what was the one thing needful? What was the good part, which Mary had chosen, and which would not be taken from her? The truth is that there is very little said about active work in the Gospel. It is, indeed, rather made fun of, if one may use such an expression. There is a great deal about simple kindness and neighbourliness, but nothing about making money, or social organisation. In a poor village community the problem was no doubt an easier one; but in our more complicated civilisation it is not so easy to see how to act. Suppose that I am seized with a sudden impulse of benevolence, what am I to do? In the old storybooks one took a portion of one's dinner to a sick person, or went to read aloud to some one. But it is not so easy to find the right people. If I set off here on a round with a slop-basin containing apple fritters, my intrusion would be g

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