- Project Runeberg -  Jenny /

(1921) Author: Sigrid Undset
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come out here — sort of prepared myself for it. Yet, when I
stood here yesterday so suddenly, I was almost taken unawares.”

“I quite understand,” said Jenny.

“The moment I stepped out of the train yesterday and saw
the ruins of the Thermes opposite, surrounded by modern
buildings with cafés and cinemas, with the sun shining on the mighty,
yellow ruins, I loved it. The trams in the piazza, the
plantations, the gorgeous fountains with such quantities of water. I
thought the old walls looked so pretty in the midst of the
modern quarters with the busy traffic.”

She nodded pleasantly. “Yes,” she said; “I love it too.”

”Then I went down to the town; it was delightful. Modern
buildings among the old ones, and fountains flowing and
plashing everywhere. I walked right out to San Pietro; it was dark
when I got there, but I stood a while and looked at the water.
Do they play all night in this city?”

“Yes, all night. You see and hear fountains almost everywhere.
The streets are very quiet at night. Where we live,
Miss Jahrman and I, there is one in the courtyard, and when
the weather is mild we sit on our balcony late at night and listen
to it.”

She had sat down on the stone parapet. Helge stood in the
same spot as the evening before and gazed again at the town,
with its background of hills under a sky as clear as the one
over the mountain-tops at home. He filled his lungs with the
pure, cold air.

“Nowhere in the world, are there such mornings as in Rome,”
said Jenny. “I mean when the whole town is sunk in a sleep
that grows lighter and lighter, and then suddenly awakes rested
and fit. Heggen says it is because of the shutters; no
window-panes to catch the morning light and throw it on to your face.”

They sat with their backs to the breaking dawn and the golden
sky, where the pines in the Medici garden and the small church
towers, with pavilions on top, appeared in hard and sharp

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