‘You seem,’ Poirot said, ‘to be well acquainted with the culture of the marrow?’
‘Seen gardeners doing it when I’ve been staying in the country. But seriously, Poirot, what a hobby! Compare that to’ – his voice sank to an appreciative purr – ‘an easy-chair in front of a wood fire in a long, low room lined with books – must be a long room – not a square one. Books all round one. A glass of port – and a book open in your hand. Time rolls back as you read:’ he quoted sonorously:
Μὴτ ὃ αὐτε xυβερνὴτης ἐνὶ οὶνοπι πόντῳ
νῆα θοὴν ιθύνει ἐρεχθομένην ὰνέμοισι
“By skill again, the pilot on the wine-dark sea straightens
The swift ship buffeted by the winds.” *
Of course you can never really get the spirit of the original.’
For the moment, in his enthusiasm, he had forgotten Poirot. And Poirot, watching him, felt suddenly a doubt – an uncomfortable twinge. Was there, here, something that he had missed? Some richness of the spirit? Sadness crept over him.
Agatha Christie - The Labours of Hercules (1947)
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