Death Comes as the End

All Egypt is obsessed with death! And do you know why, Renisenb? Because we have eyes in our bodies, but none in our minds. We cannot conceive of a life other than this one - of a life after death. We can visualize only a continuation of what we know. We have no real belief in a God.

All life is a jest, Imhotep - and it is death who laughs last. Do you not hear it at every feast? Eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow you die.

A trifle, a little, the likeness of a dream. And death comes as the end.

But it is not always the people who say most who do most.

But what really happens after you are dead - that is what I want to know?

I cannot tell you Renisenb. You should ask a priest these questions.

He would just give me the usual answers. I want to know.

We shall none of us know until we are dead ourselves.

Courage is the resolution to face the unforeseen.

Fear is incomplete knowledge

Handsome, strong, gay ... She felt again the thro and lilt of her blood. She had loved Kameni in that moment. She loved him now. Kameni could take the place that Khay had held in her life.
She thought: 'We shall be happy together - yes, we shall be happy. We shall live together and take pleasure in each other and we shall have strong, handsome children. There will be busy days full of work ... and days of pleasure when we sail on the River...Life will be again as I knew it with Khay...What could I ask more than that? What do I want more than that?'
And slowly, very slowly indeed, she turned her face towards Hori. It was as though, silently, she asked him a question.
As though he understood her, he answered:
'When you were a child, I loved you. I loved your grave face and the confidence with which you came to me, asking me to mend your broken toys. And then, after eight years' absence, you came again and sat here, and brought me the thoughts that were in your mind. And your mind, Renisenb, is not like the minds of the rest of your family. It does not turn in upon itself, seeking to encase itself in narrow walls. Your mind is like my mind, it looks over the River, seeing a world of changes, of new ideas - seeing a world where all things are possible to those with courage and vision...'
She broke off, unable to find words to frame her struggling thoughts. What life would be with Hori, she did not know. In spite of his gentleness, in spite of his love for her, he would remain in some respects incalculable and incomprehensible. They would share moments of great beauty and richness together - but what of their common daily life?
I have made my choice, Hori. I will share my life with you for good or evil, until death comes...
With his arms round her, with the sudden new sweetness of his face against hers, she was filled with an exultant richness of living.

I never gossip - but after all, a tongue is given one to speak with, and I'm not deaf mute.

That you most certainly are not. A tongue, Henet, may sometimes be a weapon. A tongue may cause a death - may cause more than one death. I hope your tongue, Henet, has not caused a death.

It can happen that if anyone is talking to a person they know cannot see well, they are careless. They permit themselves an expression of face that on other occasions they would not allow.

It's as easy to utter lies as truth

Let us think only of the good days that are to come.

Proof must be solid break walls of facts.

Sitting here, literally amongst the dead, reckoning up gains and losses, casting accounts, I have come to see gains that cannot be reckoned in terms of wealth, and losses that are more damaging than loss of a crop... I look at the River and I see the lifeblood of Egypt that has existed before we lived and that will exist after we die... Life and death, Renisenb, are not of such great account.

Sometimes what you think is an end is only a beginning. And that wouldn't do at all.

That is the word of reality - need.

The only clue to what is in people's minds is in their behavior. If a man behaves strangely, oddly, is not himself--

Then you suspect him?

No. That is just what I mean. A man whose mind is evil and whose intentions are evil is conscious of that fact and he knows that he must conceal it all costs. He dare not, therefore, afford any unusual behavior.

The rottenness comes from within.

Those words of hers had meant nothing - you could not dismiss [however] a human being so easily.

Well, people are like that too. THey create a false door - to deceive. If they are conscious of weakness, of inefficiency, they make an imposing door of self-assertion, of bluster, of overwhelming authority - and, after a time, they get to believe in it themselves. They think, and everybody thinks, that they are like that. But behind that door, Renisenb, is bare rock... And so when reality comes and touches them with the feather of truth - their true self reasserts itself.

Who can tell? It may be that there must always be growth - and that if one does not grow kinder and wiser and greater, then the growth must be the other way, fostering the evil things. Or it may be that the life they all led was too shut in, too folded back upon itself - without breadth or vision. Or it may be that, like a disease of crops, it is contagious, that first one and then another is sickened.

You are lucky, Renisenb. You have found the happiness that is inside everybody's own heart. To most women, happiness means coming and going, busied over small affairs. It is care for one's children and laughter and conversation and quarrels with other women and alternate love and anger with a man. It is made up of small things strung together like beads on a string.

You are not the happy, unthinking child you have always appeared to be, accepting everything at its face value. You are not just one of the women of the household. You are Renisenb who wants to think for herself, who wonders about other people.