That's a bit long for me, my friend.
- For Teachers
Could someone please proofread the story for me???....It will be a great favour!! I doubt that there are some grammar mistakes!
The Lotus eater
In 1913, I visited a friend who lived on the island of Capri. Capri is a most beautiful island in the Bay of Naples. From the island, you can see across the water to Mount Vesuvius on the mainland of Italy.
One day, I went for a walk with my friend. On the way, we passed a man sitting on the hillside looking out at the sea. The man was about fifty and he was dressed in old clothes. He had grey hair and his face was burnt brown by the sun.
"That's Thomas Wilson," my friend said. "He's going to die when he's sixty."
I stopped and looked at my friend.
"That's a strange thing to say," I told him. "How does he know he's going to die when he's sixty?"
"Because he's going to kill himself," my friend replied. "He came to Capri when he was thirty-five. He has enough money to last for twenty-five years. When his money is finished, he's going to kill himself."
Wilson did not look very interesting, but I wanted to meet him. I thought he would he an interesting man to talk to. He had made a decision that very few people make. Most people live simple lives. They do not make big decisions which change their lives completely. And very few people decide when they are going to die.
A few days later, I had a chance to have a long talk with Wilson. My friend had invited him to come and have dinner with us. But that evening, my friend was not feeling very well. So Wilson and I had dinner by ourselves. After dinner, we sat in the garden and looked at the beautiful Bay of Naples in the moonlight.
"This is the most beautiful place in the world," said Wilson. "I fell in love with this island the first moment I saw it. That was sixteen years ago."
"I was on holiday in Italy at the time. I took a boat from Naples to visit Capri for a few days. And I fell in love with the place immediately."
"The first night I was here, I sat on the hillside and looked across the bay. I could see the red smoke coming from the top of Vesuvius."
"Next morning, I went swimming in the bright, clear water. After a swim, I went walking round the island. That day was the Feast of the Assumption*. There was a procession going through the streets. The crowd of people following the procession were laughing, dancing and singing. Everyone was happy."
"I stayed here for three days. On my last night, I went for a walk to see the Bay of Naples by moonlight. It was a full moon that night - the same as it is now. And it was on that walk in the moonlight that I made my decision."
"I decided that I was going to live here for the rest of my life."
"What about your family?" I asked.
"I had no family." replied Wilson. "My wife and my daughter were dead. I had no other relations and no close friends."
"But what about your work?"
"After my first visit here, I went back to work in London," Wilson replied. "I was a bank manager and I had worked in the same bank since I was seventeen. I did not want to do the same work for the rest of my life. I wanted to go back and live on Capri for the rest of my life."
"But I did not decide in a hurry," Wilson went on. "I had to be sure that I was not making a terrible mistake. So I went on working in the bank for a whole year. That's the one thing I regret now."
"And you have no other regrets?" I asked.
"None at all," he replied. "I thought about it very carefully during that year. If I stayed working at the bank, I would go on doing the same thing day after day, year after year. I would be manager of the same small bank until I retired.
"I kept thinking about Capri - about the sun and the sea and the moonlight. I would die one day like everyone else. I decided I was going to live a happy life before I died."
"But what about money? Did you have enough money to leave work and come here?"
"I had some money," replied Wilson. "I had some savings and I sold my house in London. With this money, I bought an annuity for twenty-five years. Each year, I get enough money- to live a simple life. But the money will come to an end after twenty-five years. So, when I am sixty, I will have no more money. That will he the end."
He did not say exactly what he was going to do when the money was finished. But I understood what he planned to do. I felt a cold shiver running through me. But, it was his own life and he could do what he liked with it.
Before he left that night, Wilson asked me if I'd like to see his house. So. two or three days later, I went to see him. He lived in a small cottage. The cottage was in a vineyard, far from the town. There was a beautiful view from the cottage out over the sea. There was a huge flowering tree beside the door of the cottage. The tree was covered with large, brightly coloured flowers. It looked beautiful.
Inside the cottage there were two rooms and a small kitchen. There was also a shed where he kept firewood. The sitting-room was comfortable, with two large chairs, a desk and a piano. There was also a bookshelf filled with books.
"I found this cottage when I first came hack to Capri," Wilson told me. "And I have stayed here ever since. It belongs to the owner of the vineyard and his wife comes in every day. She cleans the rooms and she cooks my meals."
"I see you have a piano," I said. "Will you play something?"
He played some music by Beethoven. He did not play very well. But I saw that he enjoyed playing the piano.
I looked round the room and saw a pack of cards. They were old and dirty.
"Do you play cards?" I asked him.
"A lot," he replied. "I play patience by myself."
I now knew everything about Wilson. He lived a quiet life. He bathed in the sea, he went for long walks, he played cards and he read hooks. He was happy to be by himself, but he also enjoyed meeting people from time to time. Then he would talk quite interestingly.
He lives a dull life, I thought. But he seems to be happy.
My visit to Capri came to an end and I went hack to England. A year later, in 1914, the First World War broke out. When the war ended, I was busy visiting many different parts of the world. It was thirteen years before I went to Capri again.
My friend was still living on Capri, but he had moved into a smaller house. I stayed in a hotel. My friend had dinner with me in the hotel that night. And I asked him about his new house.
"You have been in the cottage," my friend told me. "It's the cottage that Thomas Wilson used to live in. I bought it. It's small, but comfortable."
I had forgotten all about Wilson. Now I suddenly remembered him.
"What happened to Wilson?" I asked. "Did he kill himself when he was sixty?"
"No, he didn't," my friend replied. "It's rather a sad story."
"When he reached the age of sixty, the money was finished. But he was able to borrow small sums of money. He told the owner of the cottage that his money would come soon. The owner's wife, Assunta, came every day as usual. She cleaned the cottage and cooked his meals."
"He lived like this for over a year. In the end, the owner of the cottage told him he had to leave unless he paid the rent."
"That night, he tried to kill himself. He shut all the windows and lit a charcoal fire in his bedroom. The next morning, Assunta came to make his breakfast. She found him lying on the bed. He was very ill, but he was still alive."
"They took him to hospital and he slowly got better. But he was not the same. I went to visit him in hospital. He didn't know who I was. Perhaps his mind was damaged by the smoke."
"So what happened to him then?"
"Assunta helped him. She and her husband let him live in the woodshed behind their house. They gave him food and he looked after their goats and their chickens."
"It's not very comfortable in the woodshed," my friend went on. "Burning hot in the summer and freezing cold in the winter."
"What does he do?" I asked.
"He walks in the hills on his own. I've tried to speak to him. But it's no good. He runs away whenever I go near him. Assunta comes down here sometimes to see me. I give her some money so that she can buy some tobacco for him. But I don't know if he gets the tobacco. Perhaps her husband takes the money and keeps it."
"What a terrible way to live," I said.
"It was Wilson's decision," said my friend. "He lives happily for twenty-five years. He didn't do any work. Why didn't he kill himself when he said he would?"
"It's not so easy to kill yourself," I said. "For a very long time, Wilson had lived an easy life. He had not had to make any decisions. When the time came to make a decision, he was unable to do anything."
A few days later, I went for a walk with my friend. We were walking along a narrow path.
"There's Wilson!" my friend said suddenly.
I looked round and saw a man hiding behind a tree. He was like a wild animal. As soon as we had passed him, I heard him running away. That was the last time I saw him.
Wilson died last year. He had lived for six years in that woodshed. One morning they found his body on the hillside. It had been a full moon the night before.
Wilson had died in the moonlight. He died looking out over the beautiful bay of Naples that he loved so much.
That's a bit long for me, my friend.
Pope of the Dictionary.com Forum
haha!!! I know it's two long. I read the story and encountered some mistakes but wasn't sure enough to fix them. That's why I wanted someone else who knows more than me to have a look at the story for grammar mistakes. I would be very pleased if you extract some of your expensive time. I don't want to have it done by tomorrow. You can take a week or two. And it's a request!!!
hoping for a positive response,