Wednesday, 11 May 2005
Seneca's Troubles with his Neighbours
Seneca did not choose wisely when he decided to live above the public baths. By the time he had realised how annoying this could be it was too late, because he had moved in, and the best he could do to vent his frustations was to write about them. I find the following passage very amusing...
"I live over a bathing establishment. Picture to yourself now the assortment of voices, the sound of which is enough to sicken one...
When the stronger fellows are exercising and swinging heave leaden weights in their hands, when they are working hard or pretending to be working hard, I hear their hissing and jarring breathing. When I have to do with a lazy fellow who is content with a cheap rubdown, I hear the slap of the hand pummelling his shoulders, changing its sound according as teh hand is laid flat or curved. If now a professional ball player comes along and begins to keep score, I am done for. Add to this the arrest of a brawler or a thief, and the fellow who always likes to hear his own voice in the bath, and those who jump into the pool with a mighty splash as they strike the water. In addition to those whose voices are, if nothing else, natural, imagine the hair plaucker keeping up a constant chatter in this thin and strident voice, to attract more attention, and never silent except when he is plucking armpits and making the customer yell instead of yelling himself. It disgusts me to enumerate the varied cries of the sausage dealer and the confectioner and of all teh peddlers of the cook shops, hawking their wares, each with his own peculiar intonation."
Posted by Anna at Wednesday, May 11, 2005