- Project Runeberg -  The story of San Michele /
399

(1929) [MARC] Author: Axel Munthe - Tema: Medicine
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the rich man. Simple food tastes in the long
run better than food from Ritz. Contentment
and peace of mind thrive better in a small
country cottage than in the stately palace in a
town. A few friends, a few books, indeed a
very few, and a dog is all you need to have about
you as long as you have yourself. But you
should live in the country. The first town was
planned by the Devil, that is why God wanted
to destroy the tower of Babel.

Have you ever seen the Devil? I have. He
was standing leaning his arms against the parapet
of the tower of Notre Dame. His wings were
folded, his head was resting in the palms of his
hands. His cheeks were hollow, his tongue was
protruding between his foul lips. Pensive and
grave he looked down on Paris at his feet.
Motionless and rigid as if he were of stone, he
has been standing there for nearly a thousand
years gloating over the city of his choice as if
he could not tear his eyes away from what he
saw. Was this the arch-fiend whose very name
had filled me with awe since I was a child, the
formidable champion of evil in the struggle
between right and wrong?

I looked at him with surprise. I thought he
looked far less wicked than I had imagined, I
had seen worse faces than his. There was no
glimmer of triumph in those stony eyes, he looked
old and weary, weary of his easy victories,
weary of his Hell.

Poor old Beelzebub! Maybe when all is said
it is not altogether your fault when things go
wrong up here in our world. After all it was

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